Nevada Day: For many Nevadans, parade’s a longtime tradition
Almost every year since 1980, Steve Leddy has been coming to the Nevada Day Parade with friends and family to eat and drink as the floats roll by.
It’s a tradition he said is unique to Nevada.
“Most people in California don’t even know when they got statehood,” Leddy said. “We believe in Nevada we are Nevadans. If you’re a native and born here, it’s something special.”
Leddy was among the thousands of people who lined Carson Street on Saturday morning to watch the 71st Nevada Day parade and its 200 floats.
Camille and Russell Harig tied the knot on the corner of Carson and Robinson streets near the Carson Nugget just as the parade was starting.
“It’s our favorite holiday,'” the newlywed couple said in unison.
“We’ll be here next year, we’ll be here the year after,” Camille said of the Nevada Day parade, a longtime tradition for their families. “And we’ll be here the year after that.”
Paul Fischer, 44, said he has been coming to the parade for 44 years – a family tradition that includes grilling chorizo.
Another cooking tradition was continuing in a parking lot on the corner of Fifth and Carson streets as Rick Doke and John Phenix of Carson City cooked on their homemade, pig-shaped barbecue.
As he flipped burgers and stirred a dish of pulled pork, Doke said he has been coming to the parade for 45 years.
As for that pig-shaped barbecue, complete with a metal snout and tail, Doke said Phenix started the project with scrap metal and a recycled exhaust pipe from a semi-truck for the smokestack.
Doke said it took him about three weeks to finish it.
“This is 95 percent recycled,” said Doke, who has set up a barbecue in the same spot for years to feed family, friends and anyone who asks for a meal. “This should be done in every community in Nevada.”
Beverly Mobley donned pink hair with silver curlers as she watched the parade roll by near the state Capitol.
“I’m a beauty school dropout,” Mobley said, adding she’s been coming to the parade for seven years.
“This time it seems like there’s more people, I think because it’s warmer today,” she said. “Usually I’m bundled up.”
Aaron Dennis and his wife Haela and their two children, Arion, 10, and Jaevion, 4, were watching the floats on Saturday in their Halloween costumes.
Arion, who was dressed as the comic book character Ghost Rider, said his favorite float of the day was the Wild Horse Children’s Theater float depicting the popular “High School Musical” film.