Getting ready for 150th no simple task |

Getting ready for 150th no simple task

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal staff writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada AppealLaura Pradere, left, and Carly Peckham paint clown artwork for the upcoming Carson City Sesquicentennial Kids Karnival. The Karnival will be 10 a.m.-3 p.m Saturday at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada.

Planning the celebration of Carson City’s 150th birthday is not as exciting and interesting as one might think.

Yes, you meet with the mayor, supervisors, Carson City Chamber of Commerce officials. You contact the media and even write a story about the effort.

But for public relations specialists Fred and Maxine Nietz, it gets downright mundane.

Like stuffing goodie bags at home, Maxine said, and making up chili kits, certificates, getting decorations put up, and answering telephone calls.

The Nietzes, who comprise the Arlington Group public relations firm, started working on this two years ago.

“We started to talk about it in the community and didn’t get a lot of positive feedback,” she said. “Then we spoke to John DiMambro, former Appeal publisher, and he called together a meeting that included a lot of movers and shakers, VIPs and just worker bees, and that was the beginning of the planning.”

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The event will take place at various locations around downtown Carson City, beginning 9 a.m. Saturday and going all day.

After getting their assignments, committee members defined what they wanted to do and created partnerships with the museums and local businesses.

“There is so much you have to plan for,” Nietz said. “If you want crafters, you have to set up a fee and a form. If you want entertainment, you need someone to get entertainers, with an eye toward a super minimum budget, because we had no

money to start with.”

Fundraising became one of the many chores that went into putting on the sesquicentennial celebration, and the workers had to cover every detail.

They created chili certificates and judging sheets, banners, collected donations from businesses to go into the goodie bags.

Then they had to get a cake.

“What’s a birthday without a cake?” she said. “How do you make a cake that big?

Then Wal-Mart came up with the perfect solution: 2,008 blue iced cupcakes made in the shape of Nevada. Who could ask for more?”

Some elements fell into place on their own, because they were already scheduled, like the coin press and the carnival at the children’s museum.

Penny Holbrook and Melodie Masterson of the Children’s Museum have been putting in long hours working with children to decorate for the carnival.

They’ve had some high-powered help, too. Both Sheriff Kenny Furlong and District Attorney Neal Rombardo will take turns sitting in the dunk tank.

The carnival is an annual event, and as in past years, Carson High students and kids from the Boys and Girls Club will help do the decorating, making signs for each booth.

“It’s been hectic, and we’ve had a bunch of kids come and empty the dungeon, which is where we keep the stuff for the carnival,” Holbrook said.

They also did their share of getting sponsors, donations and volunteers.

“We started nine months ago,” Masterson said.

The carnival will have lots of games and fun for children, including visits by Smokey Bear, Corey Clown and McGruff the Crime Dog. The bloodmobile will be on hand for blood donations and there will be a bounce house.

The staff are the organizers of the children’s procession which will go from the museum to the Nugget Parking lot at 3 p.m. Saturday just in time for the cupcake presentation.

– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or call 881-7351.