Halloween not always celebrated on Nevada Day | NevadaAppeal.com

Halloween not always celebrated on Nevada Day

jill lufrano

With the birth of the state and the celebration of the dead falling on the same day, Carson City has had to find a way to juggle the safety of recognizing each event.

This year, children will be running around grabbing treats on the official night of Halloween, but it hasn’t always been that way. In the past, if Halloween fell on the same day as the Nevada Day parade, the city would move treat night to another time.

Carson City officials decided it was too hazardous to have children roaming the streets on the same night as adults were reveling after parade day. Nevada Day hasn’t always been the tame, family-oriented celebration it is today.

“The general concern on the part of community leaders was just to prevent a lot of people out drinking, driving, and partying with kids out on the street at night being subject to the bad behavior,” said Guy Rocha, assistant administrator for Archives and Records for the Nevada State Library and Archives.

By moving treat night to another day, children from Reno to Gardnerville could “double dip” by visiting Carson streets one night and their own neighborhoods on Halloween proper, Rocha said.

A decision by the 1999 Legislature changed the arrangement by designating the last Friday in October as the official celebration of Nevada Day. The parade and other festivities now follow on Saturday. The city started observing the new arrangement in 2000.

It will be a rare occurrence if Halloween and parade day will fall on the same day in the future.

“People don’t have to make a decision anymore now,” Rocha said. “If they come to the one here, they miss the one in their own town.”

The Legislature changed the state’s official Admission Day observance on Oct. 31 to Nevada Day in 1933, and made it a discretionary state holiday.

Carson City became home to the celebration in 1938, and a law passed the next year made it an official state holiday.