Nov. 1, 1968: 40,000 on hand for Nevada birthday fete
Some 40,000 visitors and local residents turned out yesterday to watch the mile-long, 200-plus Nevada Day parade commemorating this state’s 104th birthday.
Pretty girls, bands by the dozen, some of the West’s finest horseflesh, ornate floats, marching groups, riding politicians, the inimitable Sade and the 20-30 Club replete with shovels, passed in review under partly overcast skies.
The floats ranged in time and vision from the space age of today and tomorrow back to the prehistoric Cecil, the monster out of Hawthorne.
A beard contest, gymkhana, art show, auto races and numerous political and religious open houses were included in the day’s festivities.
Curb side sights and sounds of the Nevada Day parade:
The sun’s brightness flattened and diffused by the overcast; folding chairs and blankets along the street’s edge, motorcycle patrolmen making test runs down Carson, marchers fortifying themselves with beer against ...
A little boy buying a green-handled dagger ... another little boy, with sounder instincts, chasing a little girl.
Balloon salesmen jockeying for position, belittling each other’s products. (“Fifty cents for THAT?”)
A young man confiding to a young woman: “My wife doesn’t’ understand me.”
(Flag approaches) An elderly man torn between the urge to photograph it and his duty to remove his hat. Posterity yields to patriotism. Off comes the hat ... crash goes the camera.
Miss Nevada, schooled, handsome, waving a braceleted, gloved hand at the crowd. (What’s Miss Nevada doing in a car with California plates?)
Sade Grant high kicking like a colt in clover.
Stewart Indian School float bearing a peace symbol.
(Misplaced sense of priority): Someone exclaiming, “Hey, that’s a good looking car,” and overlooking the demure beauty riding atop it.
The incongruous sight of pretty smiling young girls carrying rifles, making them seem, somehow, less pretty.
High stepping show horses and their handsomely attired riders, a dazzling, gracious swirl of black and tinseled silver; and the contrapuntal roar of souped-up autos and helmeted passengers.
The Carson Nugget float: lots of leg, lots of teeth, and lots of girls attached to it.
Cecil the Sea Serpent lunging at spectators, his fanged mouth big enough to swallow the national debt.
Rifle butts slamming against the pavement, the snap of bolts, and crisply enunciated commands. (What will parade officials find to substitute when the world disarms?)
Crowds finally drifting off, their senses distended like the bellies of kids who have had too much cotton candy. A state, feeding upon the cadaver of its past, and, perhaps, a little better off for having done so.
This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.
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