Mountain men, gunslingers and lots of food at Mills Park

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Kurtis Neilson, 11, of Sheridan, Calif., throws an axe at Mills Park during the Rendezvous on Saturday morning.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Kurtis Neilson, 11, of Sheridan, Calif., throws an axe at Mills Park during the Rendezvous on Saturday morning.

The Latin Energy Dancers performed dances called Jarabe Tapatio and La Negra during the 21st annual Carson City Rendezvous on Saturday. Theirs was one of about 120 booths at the event, which continues today.

"We basically just want to share a little bit of our culture with the community," said dance instructor Leticia Senda.

Other groups represented at this year's Rendezvous included the Scottish Clans, the American Indian crafters, mountain men, gunfighters, Pony Express riders, Civil War reenactors and the Dutch oven cookers.

"I like the diversity of all the different cultures," said Milly Densmore of Silver Springs. She came out with her husband, Bob.

"We come out almost every year," she said.

Carson City's Martha Kneese brings her family out every year, too. She watched as her grandson Ethan, 3, rode a camel named Michael.

"Did he stink?" asked the boy's mom.

"No," he answered.

Across the stream Robert Bledsaw instructed a group of Naval Reserve Office Training candidates in the finer points of the caber toss. An ancient Scottish competition, caber tossing involves holding a log vertical and throwing it end over end.

Bledsaw, who played his bag pipe in a popular jam session with accompanying drums, will preside over a church service this morning at the main stage. Everyone is welcome to the 10 a.m. service.

There are 14 mountain man trading tents this year, an all-time record, said organizer Maxine Nietz of the city's redevelopment authority. That's not including those in the mountain man camp, some of whom demonstrate flint knapping and tomahawk throwing.

There are 15 American Indian crafters this year, seven Scottish clan tents, about eight Pony Express riders and 21 food vendors.

"You can get anything you want here from the diet conscious, Atkins-friendly fare to the absolutely, sinfully delicious fudge," said Nietz.

Organizers are pleased with the turnout.

"We're close to capacity," said Nietz. "I don't know if we can shoe horn in any more."

Other features this year included performances of the original children's theater play, "Fizz," by the BAC Stage Kids and a special Saturday night concert sponsored by Casino Fandango featuring David John & The Comstock Cowboys, Larry Maurice, Karen Quest and Sourdough Slim.

Relaxing in the grass near a distant park restroom, Ricky Lee Stone and Jeremy Kiehlo shared a 22 oz. can of Bull Ice malt liquor on Saturday.

"I liked (the Rendezvous) better in the '80s when they had live boxing," Stone said.

"And the fireworks were good," added Kiehlo.

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.

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