Tradition, celebration keep Nevada Day alive |

Tradition, celebration keep Nevada Day alive

Teri Vance
Jim Grant/Nevada AppealHot air balloons line Carson Street for a mass lift off on Saturday morning. For more photos of Saturday's Nevada Day events go to

By the time the annual Nevada Day parade began Saturday, Jennifer Pavlik and her family were already wrapped in blankets and settled into their spot across from the Carson Nugget.

“We get here when it’s dark to set up our chairs,” she said, “then we come back and sit in them.”

As children, she and her sister, Stephanie, regularly attended or marched in the parade and now continue as adults.

“We’ve always come together,” Stephanie said. “I think it would be strange to be home while it’s happening, to be honest.”

Jennifer is passing the tradition to the next generation, bringing her boyfriend, Colt Rynerson, and his 9-year-old daughter, Raven.

“It’s got fun stuff,” Raven said. “It’s got these toys and toy bubbles. We can laugh together, and we can see the horses and everything,”

Katelyn Creon and Taya Rains, along with their families, set up camp on the corner of Curry and Spear streets.

“We usually come early and get this spot early and cook food,” Creon said. “We’ll walk up and watch some of the floats.”

They used to station themselves near Comma Coffee but moved to be closer to the parking lot where the annual Single-Jack Rock Drilling World Championship is hosted.

“My dad always likes to watch the rock drilling,” Rains said. “We just like to have fun. You get to meet old friends you haven’t seen in a while.”

Saturday’s Nevada Day celebration, in honor of the 147th anniversary of statehood, featured a parade with 200 entries.

In addition to the rock drilling contest, the annual beard contest is also held on the same day, along with a list of activities, including a chili feed hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, tours of the Governor’s Mansion, a fun run and more.

Inspired by his father’s win of the Best Salt & Pepper Beard about five years ago, Russell Lenhares decided to grow his own – which turned out to be pretty easy.

“I come from hairy folk,” he said.

And his efforts were fruitful.

“I’ve won a third and second place in the Scruffiest category,” he said.

But the Carson City does have one complaint.

“Virginia City cheats,” he said of the city that typically walks away with the Most Bearded Community award.

While some come down for the events, others come down for the free flow of alcohol and relaxed restrictions.

“You can walk around with your drinks in the streets,” said Derrick Dannenfelser.

However, it also can pose some hazards.

“You’re hammered by 4,” said Joe LaChew. “But you have to watch out for shrubbery. It attacks on Nevada Day.”