Mansion’s decor takes on Halloween style
Dozens of hay bales and pumpkins adorn the half-circle driveway of the stately Governor’s Mansion at 600 Mountain St. On the lawn, are several headstones noting the demise of the bodies below each identifying marker.
“Here sleeps Jim Dandy, he choked on a chunk of Halloween candy.”
Spider webs cling to the pillars at the front of the mansion as large black spiders seem to descend upon the unknowing trick-or-treaters standing below them.
“We need more cobwebs, spiders and smoke machines,” observed Dema Guinn, while assessing the decorations now in place at the mansion.
Gone is the motorized merry-go-round created and built by the father of former first-lady Sandy Miller. Pretty much, when the Miller’s left, all the decorations for special holidays left.
“When I was told that I would be decorating for Halloween and handing out candy I said ‘great, where’s the decorations?,’ “Then I was told there were none. That when the Miller’s left, everything left with them.”
For the past month and a half, every chance she got, Guinn was in a store finding decorations for Halloween. From Kmart to Wal-Mart, Target to JoAnns and Michaels.
“I had 50 pumpkins in the back of my car and hauled all of them back to the mansion. I could just imagine if I had to make a very quick stop, there would be pumpkin all over the place.”
Some of the pumpkins were donated by Supply One, some were purchased. Target donated $250 worth of candy, Mars donated, and some was purchased.
“Kenny and I will be on the porch handing out 4,200 pieces of candy. People will be able to take pictures with us also. We will not be dressed up. We want people to see what we really look like.”
On each side of the Guinns will be an animated, life-size scarecrow, purchased (at half-price) from Ralph Jones Display in Las Vegas.
“It has really been a lot of fun putting this together. We’ve had two groups of children in today, plus people are stopping as they drive by taking pictures and video of the house.
“I also have a casket coming. There will be fog. We’ll have Darth Vader and the Nevada Highway Patrol will have the crash dummies here. And some of the headstones came from Carson High School. I also have orange lights around the bushes out front along the driveway. There are 2,500 orange lights.
“I blew a fuse or something so we have to have the building and maintenance department come over and take a look at them.”
Governor and Mrs. Guinn will hand out candy and pose for pictures from 5-9 p.m. Halloween, Oct. 31.
“It will be a long evening, and cold. This is my first experience with this so I hope people like the change. We did not have one decoration for Halloween. As soon as I saw stuff in the stores, I was there. I bought these little plastic pumpkins with black hats. They have bulbs in them we will have lit on Halloween. I bought out Rite-Aid of all they had.”
Mrs. Guinn is also beginning her collection of Christmas display items, including a 6-foot Father Christmas she purchased from Ralph Jones Display. The mansion will be decorated by mid-November, in colors of gold, silver and blue. Special blue bulbs with the Nevada state seal are being made by Ralph Jones for decorating and as gifts to be given by the Governor and Mrs. Guinn.
“We’ve already got seven Christmas parties booked for the North Hall. We have to be done by Dec. 1. We’ll be ready by mid-November.”