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Fair parking dance solved by Fandango

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com
Old Clear Creek Rd. near Costco and Fuji Park is still under contstruction as shown here Thursday.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

The Nevada Sesquicentennial Fair is dancing toward parking paradise with the Fandango and bringing a Brewery Arts Center stage and local acts to the party.

Deputy City Manager Marena Works said Casino Fandango and the Galaxy Fandango movie theater complex have parking slots to provide for people coming to the July 30-Aug. 3 fair, which is about a 1.5 miles away from Fuji Park and Fairgrounds. Works praised Fandango, while city Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger, who met Thursday with Fandango officials, said 700 to 800 slots would be made available for a joint effort.

“We think that will handle it,” Pittenger said, adding Jump Around Carson (JAC) buses, along with other transport vehicles, would shuttle those who park there to the fairgrounds and back over the course of the five-day fair.

“The Fandango has stepped up,” said Works. who is overseeing fair logistics along with Fair Manager Susan Taylor.

Works and Pittenger earlier had tried to persuade the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to allow parking at the dirt worksite where the I-580 freeway eventually will hook up with South Carson Street and U.S. Highway 50 at the point it heads toward South Lake Tahoe. That site is about three blocks north of Fuji, but the plan didn’t come together.

“ I will say NDOT turned 180 degrees,” said Works, who earlier had expressed disappointment with the highway department’s inability to provide the site for parking. She said Thursday though cooperation has been great since, details conspired against the proposal.

“It’s just a matter of timing,” she said, taking the onus off NDOT. She said it had grown too close to show time and factors outside the state’s control still were pending.

So the Fandango-to-the-rescue pact is just the ticket, said Works and Pittenger.

“We’re looking good,” said Pittenger, noting the number of spaces is sufficient for city needs and the joint parking-shuttle program envisioned. He praised Court Cardinal of the Fandango and the staff there.

Works and Taylor, meanwhile, also talked of the entertainment lineup and the way the local arts community is stepping up through the BAC to expand fair offerings.

“The BAC is having a huge part,” said Works.

Tami Shelton, BAC program director, said the participation amounts to a donation from the local arts council and includes a BAC stage at Fuji Park.

She said various area cultural options will join the other fair entertainment planned.

“So we have theater, we have bluegrass, we have some jazz groups, we have different types of performance arts, as well as visual art,” said Shelton.

Taylor, meanwhile, said the BAC is sponsoring one stage, there’s a main park/fairgrounds stage and acts also will appear periodically for folks at the grandstand stage.

“BAC is on board with us,” she said.

Taylor not only expressed excitement about the BAC contribution, but also touted appearances of the Hollywood Tigers each day from noon to 9 p.m. to the west of the fair’s main stage. She said these are tigers who are trained or in training to appear in films. The tigers, she said, have been a big hit with patrons of other fairs.

Entertainment times remain fluid, but will be firmed up soon, said Taylor.

The fair headliner act is the Comstock Cowboys country group set to perform at the grandstand stage Friday evening, Aug. 1.

Fair entertainment kicks off Wednesday, July 30, at 5 p.m. on the main stage with a Battle of the Bands.