Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry draws hundreds to Virginia City |

Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry draws hundreds to Virginia City

Sandi Hoover

Virginia City was alive with color and flavor Saturday for the 20th Annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry and St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Hundreds of people lined the streets for the parade and then lined up to buy samples of beef testicles being prepared in the booths of competitors.

“It’s just awesome today,” said Rich Crombie, organizer from NV Shows. “In the beginning, it was windy, then it opened up to this nice blue sky. There is a huge crowd – twice as many as last year and 14 contestants. Everyone is eating and having a good time.”

Crombie said one of the goals for the day was to be bigger and better every year, and the day was a success based on that alone. The contestant booths had to be moved to the Delta parking lot this year because last year, there was barely enough room in the Bucket of Blood parking lot for booths and visitors.

“We’ve got live entertainment and this event kicks off the official tourist season for Virginia City,” he said.

Jeff Thackston of Dayton, said he had sampled several of the oysters and liked best the ones wrapped in wontons and the ones made into tacos.

“I think it’s really nice that they have this. It’s a little out of the ordinary and you can bring the whole family up here to have fun together,” Thackston said.

Rob Cislini, also of Dayton, spoke while he cooked up samples from his booth, Nut Up or Shut Up.

“We won best taste last year, and took second in presentation,” he said.

The secret for their dish is that they saute the meat, then wrap meat in wontons, and dip them in either sweet and sour sauce, or spicy, sweet and sour sauce.

“We learned so much last year, so this year we made this nice booth and sign. We stepped it up a bit. Instead of just a plate, we presented our dish with a placemat, vase of flowers and water glasses. We have a good product,” Cislini said.

Laicey Chamberlain was in Reno from Michigan for her husband’s bowling tournament.

“I saw that this was going on today, and I said, ‘Oh, my gosh, we have to go there,'” Chamberlain said.

“It’s awesome. It’s so nice to see the whole community come out, and everyone is so friendly,” she said.