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Group wants Carson to get dressed up for Christmas

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

When Paula Cannon called me and said there is a group of volunteers trying to extend Christmas, I almost choked on my chai spice tea.

But when I thought about it, there really are only a few, very spread out events in Carson City leading up to the big day. Once the Capitol Christmas tree is lit and the Santa Train has been ridden, people are left to get their Christmas cheer at the store.

I talked with city employees Deborah Wiggins, Caron Machado, Lynn Winters and Heather Mandel on Thursday about their effort to spread a little extra cheer in the form of contests for tree and storefront decorations and a Victorian commemorative poster competition.

The group decided to come together in January when Heather was watching Home and Garden Television and saw what Nevada City does for Christmas.

“I thought it would be nice to take my daughter there, but she is just 11Ú2 and it’s winter, so it might not be a good idea,” she said. “Then I asked why we don’t do something like it here?”

Deborah took charge and the group, which also includes Judy Jackson and city Supervisor Robin Williamson, started meeting during lunch hours and after work.

“We want to bring families back downtown,” Deborah said.

Caron said the group didn’t want to tackle too many things at once.

“We hope to do these three very well,” she said.

Deborah agrees.

“We want people to say ‘Wow, have you seen Carson City?'”

Cash awards for first, second and third place will be made to a favorite charity in the name of the winner.

Lynn contacted art teacher Sherry Caston at Carson High School, who assigned the poster to her students. She received 150 and will pick the best 10. Prize money from the poster contest will go to the high school art program.

The storefront decoration contest starts Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 20. The Christmas tree decorating contest is set to begin Dec. 2.

The volunteers walked the Nevada Day Parade route with fliers describing the events.

For more on the contests call 883-1494. In a week, check things out online at: christmasincapital@nvbell.net

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Another Wiggins in the Nevada Day Parade was Deborah’s son, Pat, the education officer for Carson City Animal Control.

“We had a float with 30 volunteers from local veterinary offices and the Pet Network of North Lake Tahoe,” Pat said. “We had eight dogs and the pet network had six dogs. Volunteers walked the dogs with capes that said ‘Adopt me.'”

The parade must have generated some interest because the groups adopted out eight dogs between them at PetSmart after the parade.

“If it had been just three dogs that would have been nice,” Pat said. “These were big old guys, a mastiff, a bloodhound, a Rottweiler and a Labrador. People tend to like smaller and younger dogs. But all of our dogs were spayed and neutered.”

Pat, 35, has worked for the city for five years. He started out with the Nevada Humane Society in Sparks.

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Bob Wilk faxed me a copy of the Oct. 22 Tahoe Daily Tribune banner with a story about how cheese balls are back.

I look at the Trib pretty much every day and I didn’t remember that big cheese ball story, but Bob’s note explained that he did the cut-and-paste work.

Bob said the $6.50 balls du fromage will be available at the Carson Valley Medical Center 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 19. Money will go to buy equipment for Barton Memorial Hospital.

Kurt Hildebrand is city editor at the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at hildebrand@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-1215.