Different take on end of summer in Dayton
September 15, 2007
Trendspotting isn’t usually the goal of those who take a languid stroll through the summer festival circuit.
But don’t tell that to Dayton residents.
As revelers took part in Saturday’s Dayton Valley Days celebration, the usual signs of a main-street community gathering were there: The toe-ring vendor with a line of snickering teenage girls; the snow-cone maker spraying rainbow sugar on ice; the folk-art tchotchke peddler standing at the ready to etch out a surname into a piece of driftwood.
Looking closer, were some not-so-usual sights as well.
The hottest-selling shirt vendor didn’t feature an American flag espousing patriotic fervor. This year’s sought-after T-shirt featured the outline of the Silver State with the catch-phrase “Don’t care much how you did it in California” in bold Helvetica letters next to it.
The Lyon County Republican booth sat slightly dormant, while the Democrat tent just 20 feet away featured a small crowd swiping bumper stickers and filling out registration forms.
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“We’ve been busier this year, that’s for sure – a lot of questions and people re-registering Democrat,” said Dayton resident Leslie Sexton, a Lyon County Democrat volunteering at the booth. “I got a good question today. Someone asked me ‘If we elect Hillary, is she going to take all my money?’
“I told them, ‘no – I think she’s got plenty already.'”
Even the younger set seemed to be more leery of the usual sweets and treats that summer festival season brings.
“I didn’t eat much candy, this time,” said Dayton resident Jason Logan, 6. “It was just good to walk around and see some friends.”
Even the parade route featured a few surprises.
“We were supposed to have seven riders today – and only had three,” said Luanne King of the Stagecoach Ghost Riders – a horseback riding ensemble named for the club’s headquarter town. “But, sometimes what you want to do and what the horse wants to do is not the same thing.”
Vendors, too, felt something slightly askew.
“I saw a wonderful parade, but not much business yet,” said Joan Lachey of Reno, who sold novelties, blankets and toys. “It’s a nice day to be out – in any rate.”
Reluctant to comment whether the festival’s different feel was chance, circumstance or the result of on-set cold weather, for at least one attendee – the summer “is always an endless one” for members of the Dayton Valley Car Club.
“We started two years ago with five cars, now we have about 70 cars and 50 members,” said club co-founder Dennis Lindsay. “We take all kinds of cars – American, foreign, whatever. Unlike some (car clubs), we’re equal opportunity.”
• Andrew Pridgen can be reached at email@example.com.