Millennium celebration to mark Carson's past and future

Events are planned daily throughout Carson City this week to mark the last days of the second millennium and the start of the third.

The Carson City Countdown to the Millennium Celebration kicks off Monday with Native American activities and cultural displays to recall Nevada's beginning.

Events continue through a New Year's Eve sleepover at the Boys & Girls Club to shepherd the community's children safely into the year 2000, as the community is invited to sound its bells and literally ring in the new year.

"Because we're the capital city, several of us felt we should do something special for the millennium. We started planning over a year ago," Candy Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said Friday. "A core group of eight of us worked throughout the year, with the idea to focus on family-type activities because adults always have plenty to do then.

"When we learned about the White House's American Millennium Community program, we knew we could qualify for the designation with programs about our history here."

Carson City was designated the only Millennium Community in Nevada, based on the programs available this week:

-- Monday - 1800-1864, Prelude to Statehood, Stewart Indian School Museum, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Traditional dances, Paiute singing, crafts including basket and fan weaving, beading and cedar work.

-- Tuesday - 1865-1930s, Welcoming the 20th Century, Brewery Arts Center, 2 p.m.: BAC Stage Kids present Millennium Review, with excerpts from Guys and Dolls and Junior, songs and dances from previous BAC shows and favorites from the past 100 years.

-- Wednesday - 1940s-1950s, Into Modern Times, Brewery Arts Center, 2 p.m.: Proscenium Players to perform scenes from My Three Angels; the Nevada State Museum, which was founded on Nevada Day 1941, returns to its early days 10 a.m.-5 p.m., featuring fashions of the Forties, a mine tour, a look at the how the museum's collections developed in its first two decades and entertainment by a swing band, free admission and refreshments.

-- Thursday - 1960s-Present, Reaching for Today, Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Children ages 17 and under from Carson City and around the world will have their questions about the future sealed in a Time Capsule to be opened in 25 years, free admission all day with capsule ceremony at 4 p.m.: Carson High School Gym, 7 p.m., the reunion of Carson's 1975 championship basketball team will highlight the Carson City Host Lions Club basketball tournament at the gym.

-- Friday - The Future - The Next Millennium, Community Center Gym, 8 p.m.-9 a.m.: Millennium Blast for Kids ages 7-18 sponsored by the Carson City Recreation Division, with fun, games, karoke, swimming, movies, age-specific activities and even a quiet room for those who want to sleep, admission $15 in advance at the Boys and Girls Club or $20 at the door) includes a membership to the Boys and Girls Club.

"We've asked the churches and anyone else who has bells to ring them at midnight New Year's Eve. The new chimes on the Laxalt Building will play then and KPTL radio will play bell music," Duncan said. "We want anyone at home to pull out any bells they have and join us in literally ringing in the next century."

Another unique event starting this week is the display of 30 classic and antique slot machines in the Old Assembly Chamber of the Capitol Building to mark the 100-year anniversary of the one-armed bandit. The free exhibit will remain through February.

"This is the only place you can see this exhibit," Duncan said. "Guy Rocha (of the Division of Libraries and Archives) had pointed out that this was the hundredth anniversary and, with the cooperation of the grandsons of the inventor, we were able to put this on."

Admission at the Children's Museum is free all week, sponsored by the Carson City Nugget and the Carson City Countdown to the Millennium Committee.


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