Commentary: Nevada Day weekend – My favorite time of year
November 1, 2009
Nevada Day is one of my favorite holidays because I always have so much fun and see so many old friends. And even though I’ve been celebrating Nevada Day for many years, I never get tired of a unique holiday that offers so many diverse attractions to old-timers and newcomers alike.
We old-timers enjoy Nevada Day because it reminds us of good times gone by, and for newcomers this holiday is an opportunity to learn more about the Silver State’s colorful history. But I feel sorry for the newbies who haven’t yet realized that they no longer live in California. We Nevadans should resist Californication at all costs.
Among my early Carson City memories is the 1964 state centennial Nevada Day Parade featuring four members of “Bonanza’s” famous Cartwright family as grand marshals; however, I still don’t understand how Daddy Cartwright could be the same age as his plus-sized son, Hoss. Those 1960s parades always featured a steady stream of politicians and horses along with our beloved high-kicking 80-year-old chorus girl, Sade Grant.
The Nevada Day Parade hadn’t changed all that much by the time I returned to Carson in the mid-1990s except that most politicians had traded in their horses for new cars. Many of them rode horses 40 years ago to prove that they were “real Nevadans.” I don’t think then-Gov. Grant Sawyer rode a horse but if he did, he wasn’t all that happy about it. My friends and I tried to boost his spirits by running from corner to corner ahead of him and cheering wildly as he went by. That’s how politics worked around here before the Internet and “social media” ruined everything.
I enjoyed yesterday’s parade with my Appeal friend and colleague Sam Bauman. We drank coffee with friends at the City Cafe before strolling up to the Nugget for the annual political chili feed, now sponsored by Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who is continuing a worthwhile tradition started by ex-Gov./Sen. Dick Bryan – worthwhile because it’s a chance to harass your favorite politicians while enjoying a free lunch. What could be more fun than that?
Other possible highlights on my Nevada Day weekend agenda include a Brewery Arts Center concert by the inimitable Trailer Park Troubadours, a Basque dinner at the J-T in Gardnerville, Sunday brunch at the Del Rio Cafe in Virginia City followed by a rowdy country/western session with David John and the Comstock Cowboys at the Bucket of Blood Saloon, and a refreshments stop at the historic Gold Hill Hotel. It doesn’t get much better than that. Long live Nevada Day!
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• Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, has been celebrating Nevada Day since 1962.