Carson’s light festival is Thursday |

Carson’s light festival is Thursday

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Bruce Henderson, electrician for the state of Nevada Buildings and Grounds Department, puts up holiday lights at the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.

Downtown Carson City will become a winter wonderland when the annual Silver and Snowflakes Festival of Lights ceremony takes place Thursday about 5:30 p.m.

Cold temperatures have kept a few inches of recent snowfall on the ground, making Santa’s entrance like a homecoming at the North Pole. Each year, children clamor about Santa Claus as he arrives, handing out candy canes to the excited group.

Gov. Kenny Guinn will be lighting the state tree at the Capitol, and Mayor Ray Masayko will light the city tree, which is at First Presbyterian Church, on the corner of South Nevada and Musser streets. Masayko encourages spectators to be careful when walking from one lighting to the other.

“It’s still pretty slick out there with some snow and ice,” Masayko said.

Rick Beckerdite, foreman of the Carson City Street Department, has his work cut out for him in stringing thousands of clear lights in downtown Carson City, as well as wreaths from Stewart Street to Hot Springs Road.

“We hang lights across Main Street and on the posts, from Fifth to Washington streets,” said Beckerdite.

“We had to borrow a bucket truck from Reno. Carson City has four bucket trucks – two small and two large. Both of what we needed – the large trucks – broke down.

“We have until 5:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon to get it done. But we will do it.”

Beckerdite and crew began hanging decorations at 2 a.m. Tuesday. He said it is safer to hang the decorations with a reduced flow of traffic.

“If we have time, we’ll put some up on South Curry Street, also, in the downtown area.”

Santa Claus will arrive in a 1926 Model T Ford “driven” by Beauregard, the golden retriever. Entertaining the crowd will be the Carson City Fifth-grade Music Students Singing Ensemble

of 250 children; and the Red Hot Bell Peppers, Carson Middle School’s handbell choir.

Featured are 16 willow reindeer made by students from Bordewich-Bray and Seeliger elementary schools in Carson City, Diamond Elementary School in Reno, Jacks Valley and Pleasant Valley elementary schools and Carson City Boy Scout Pack 145 Den 1 under the tutelage of “Willow” Bill Goulardt.

“The reindeer will be placed around the base of the 1876 tree, one of two trees to be lit up,” said Maxine Nietz with The Arlington Group. “The tree was planted by George Washington Gale Ferris. We’ll also light the new tree planted in 1999 by Mrs. Guinn.”

Nietz encourages everyone to bring a flashlight for the two-block walking procession to the city tree at First Presbyterian Church.

There, the Homeschool Singers and the Chorus of the Comstock will perform.

After the tree lightings, the public is welcome to visit City Hall for an open house from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, with more entertainment by the Chorus of the Comstock and Homeschool Singers.

There, Mayor Masayko will announce the winners of the Carson City Art Trail contest.

Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.


What: Silver and Snowflake Festival of Lights

When: About

5:30 p.m.

Where: State tree at the Capitol; then proceed to city tree at First Presbyterian Church, corner of South Nevada and Musser streets

Also: City Hall open house, 6:30-7:30 p.m. with refreshments

Information: 887-1294