Senior Judge Robey Willis set to argue next month for a Carson City-based state fair |

Senior Judge Robey Willis set to argue next month for a Carson City-based state fair

John Barrette

A Nevada State Fair belongs in the state’s capital, says Carson City Senior Judge Robey Willis, who will push for the idea next month.

Willis, who retired from the bench in 2011, will take his case first to city/county government’s Parks and Recreation Commission at 5:30 p.m. April 2, when it meets in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center. The commission has the matter on its agenda. Willis broached the idea in a Nevada Appeal letter to the editor in January, and he expanded on the concept Friday.

“This is the capital city; the fair belongs here,” he said. “Reno dropped the ball.”

The plan, if the community can get such a fair off and running, would start small at Fuji Park at the city’s south edge and expand if it grows.

“It died in Reno,” Willis said, noting he contacted the Chamber of Commerce there and was told the fair hadn’t been held for a couple of years. He said he believes rural Nevadans would rather come to a smaller city such as Carson City anyway, rather than an urban environment such as Reno-Sparks.

“It’s not something half-baked that could be done this year,” he said, saying it would require work on any legal requirements and spreading the word. If there is state fair debt from the Reno days, he said, that would require a clean cut so it didn’t follow the fair here.

Willis urged anyone interested to show up for the commission’s meeting to voice their views: “Come one, come all.”

He said he has been told that during the late 1930s, District Judge Clark Guild helped bring Nevada Day parade festivities to Carson City from Reno, which had lost interest, so the same could be done now with the state fair if there is community support.

“I have faith in our community,” he said in the January letter, in which he also noted the idea didn’t originate with him. Since, he said, he has received much encouragement about the idea from various people across the city.