Wet weather doesn’t drown out holiday spirit | NevadaAppeal.com

Wet weather doesn’t drown out holiday spirit

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Miranda Callahan, 10, of Bordewich Bray Elementary School, sings with the Carson City Fifth-Grade Students Singing Musical Ensemble during the Silver & Snowflakes 2005 Traditional Christmas Tree Lighting at the Nevada State Capitol on Thursday.

The resounding theme from the Silver and Snowflakes Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony Thursday evening was that the Christmas Spirit will overcome all. It will overcome blowing rain, last-minute changes, a mild electrocution and cramped quarters.

Despite the setbacks, organizers estimate more than 1,500 people turned out for the annual ceremony.

The festivities were moved from outside on the Capitol lawn to the historic Assembly chambers after a worker setting up decorations received a mild jolt of electricity. The worker was unhurt, but the incident prompted organizers to move the event out of the rain.

“They planned moving it inside about an hour after the worker was shocked putting up one of the willow reindeer. They were afraid the children would get a hold of one of them. We also had about 20 shorts in the light bulbs, so they couldn’t have thrown the switch anyway,” said Capitol Police Cpl. Randy Smith.

The weather also caused cancellation of the lighting of the city tree on the corner of Nevada and Musser streets, at the First Presbyterian Church, as well as the reduction of activities scheduled for Telegraph Square.

“The workers have been wonderful. They got us a tree inside (the Capitol), and Santa is still coming so it will be all right,” said Maxine Neitz, event coordinator. “I am amazed at the amount of people here. I didn’t expect these numbers.”

Patrons were still treated to music from the Carson City Fifth-Grade Music Students Singing Ensemble, accompanied by the Carson Middle School’s Red Hot Bell Peppers handbell choir.

Carson City resident Ben Merrell said he enjoyed the event, despite the accommodations.

“It’s all right. They needed a bigger room, but this will do. At least they are still doing it and not postponing it. This is a tradition for Carson City,” said Merrell.

Secretary of State Dean Heller, who was supposed to flip the switch and turn on the lights, arrived late because his flight from Las Vegas to Carson City had to be diverted to Reno because of the weather.

“It’s hard to complain about Christmas weather,” Heller told the crowd before leading a countdown to a cheer of “Merry Christmas.”

Santa Claus said the wet weather wasn’t forecast from the North Pole, but said he was working on bringing a white Christmas to Carson City.

“The machine’s are working up at the North Pole, but we have some polar bears that are clogging up the works. We need snow. Do you know how hard it is to land a sleigh on a roof with no snow?” said Santa.

— Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.