Silver & Snowflakes: Event draws hundreds to Carson’s festive downtown
Carson City’s annual tree-lighting party just keeps getting better.
With more than six attractions for the family this year and several blocks of Carson Street closed to traffic, the 2010 Silver & Snowflakes celebration officially kicked off the holiday season in style.
Gina Baker and her friend Larry Wolfe were attending for the second year and said they were impressed by the effort that goes into the event.
“This is great, especially the horses with lights. It’s a great family thing,” Baker said.
Hundreds gathered in front of the Capitol steps for music from the fifth grade choir as Santa and Mrs. Claus rode in on a horse-drawn carriage. Santa gave out candy canes and took gift requests from the children who gathered around.
With a few opening remarks by Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, the crowd counted down from 10 to 1, as the two Christmas trees on the Capitol grounds lit up along with all the lights up and down Carson Street.
“This is a wonderful way to start the Christmas season,” said Mayor Bob Crowell, wishing Gov. Jim Gibbons a speedy recovery
from his horseback-riding accident. The governor, recovering from a broken pelvis, was not able to attend as planned.
“This is a time when we celebrate faith, family, friends and community,” Crowell said, “but we must not forget the 3,000 wage earners and citizens in our city who are unemployed.”
He reminded people to “reach out to friends and neighbors in need,” and to support the “men and women fighting in faraway places to preserve our freedoms.”
For those who attended the tree-lighting, it was a time for fun and families.
“This is the second time we’ve been here,” said 15-year-old Heather Mounce from Carson City. “It’s amazing because all the fifth graders sing and everyone is having fun, and families come together.”
Her 14-year-old sister Rachel Mounce agreed, saying, “I love this event. You actually get to see families and friends you don’t get to see that often.”
Jennifer Anderson of Carson City was attending with her son and 18-month-old daughter Charlotte.
“She sort of gets it,” Anderson said. “She knows there’s excitement. But her 3-year-old brother T.J. – he was excited to see Santa.”
Xenia and Dennis Moore brought their 5-year-old son Jacob and 2-year-old daughter Sadie downtown for the festivities. They moved to Carson City two years ago from Los Angeles, and this was the first year they attended the tree-lighting.
“A co-worker of mine said he was coming, so I decided we should check it out,” said Dennis.
“Being from L.A., this is really different for us with snow and all,” Xenia said.
After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the Civil War Choir led a caroling procession to the city Christmas tree two blocks west. From there, the crowd moved to Telegraph Square where merchants and vendors offered shopping opportunities along with lots of hometown hospitality and treats.
Kelly Harris, who opened her flower shop Floral Creations two days after Thanksgiving, was delighted to be part of the holiday celebration.
“This is such a great opportunity. When Doreen (Mack) came in to tell me about it, I said, ‘Of course I’ll stay open 12 hours!'” Harris said. “There are so many people here and I get to see my old customers from Scolari’s where I was the floral manager for four years.”
Michael and Suzanne Anderson
offered gemstone jewelry and other shiny gifts and baubles from their One of a Kind Stuff booth, on Telegraph Street.
“This is wonderful with all the community interaction. I just loved all the music, but it made me cry when I read that story in the paper about the homeless shelter and the homeless people, so I hope somebody can help them” have a good Christmas, Suzanne Anderson said.
She said she and her husband work for the state, and the furloughs have meant 28 percent cuts for each of them.
“We decided to do this (side business) and turn a negative into a positive. And we’re teaching our kids about good business,” she said.
The Andersons will be in the Carson Mall selling their wares throughout December.
The city’s Christmas party continued at the Arlington Ice Rink where the Downtown Business Association served free hot chocolate, the Elks Club served hot dogs and chili dogs, and local competitive figure skaters and ice dancers performed. Of the six performers, local celebrities included Morgan and Bryan Remick of Carson City.
Directly across the street on the Laxalt Plaza, the Nugget offered eggnog, hot apple cider, popcorn and chestnuts roasted over an open fire.
Winners of the Kit Carson Trail Holiday Art Contest also were announced on the plaza. Members of the Carson Library Teen Advisory Board judged the contest with the theme of “Awaiting Christmas.”
Contest sponsors were the Nevada Appeal and the Carson Nugget. First-place winners received $50, second place won $25 each, and third-place awards were $15. One of the winners’ art will be featured on the cover of next year’s Silver & Snowflakes event program.
One winner, Samantha Snyder, a second grader at Seeliger Elementary School, said she wanted to be an artist when she grew up.
“It was really fun, and I was excited to win,” she said.