From running and drilling contestants to onlookers kicked back in camping chairs at the parade, Nevada Day fans reveled in sun-bathed fun Saturday.
So did participants in finery from period costumes to military regalia who lined up at staging areas east and west of Carson Street, then swung onto Carson City’s main drag to delight thousands arrayed along North and South Carson Street on the 151st anniversary of the Silver State’s entry into the union on Oct. 31, 1864.
Adam Whitt, a 2011 Carson High School graduate, is a prime example back for the revelry after missing recent Nevada Days.
“I love it,” said the Houston Astros organization’s minor league relief pitcher. “I haven’t been able to come the last couple of years.” He made that comment while chatting with Tobin Rupert, a competitor at the Single Jack World Championship Drilling contest in the Carson Nugget’s west parking lot.
Rupert did well, and even though he wasn’t among the top three prize winners, he expressed pride in his performance and called single jack rock drilling “a great sport just get to lay it out.” The rock drillers took turns with their 10 minutes of pounding even as the parade passed noisily by just to the east.
Pre-parade competitors included more than 600 runners or walkers — mostly runners — who tackled either nearly five miles or about two in the chillier morning that started from Telegraph Square downtown. The races ended for winners of the two-mile trek in just under 12 minutes later and the nearly five mile 8K race in just more 27 minutes outside the Carson Nugget.
Chris Badolato won the shorter race, Jeff Huxold, the longer run, and both competitors are from Reno.
Competing in the shorter race was Mike Mangiaracina, now from Wellington but formerly from Carson City, who returns each year for Nevada Day to run. While he was here, Mangiaracina was in public safety, working for years in probation and parole. At age 69 he still volunteers to help with search and rescue or ambulance service work where he lives. As he stretched prior to the run, he said he no longer tackled the longer route.
“In the old days, it was the 8K,” he said.
Among the other competitors in the races Gov. Brian Sandoval, Judge Robey Willis and Brett and Kari Long.
The Longs run and mountain bike. Brett Long, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said he didn’t make special preparation for the longer of the two runs; the lean runner confessed to doing that for 50-mile challenges.
Mayor Robert Crowell, more stationary, was caught up with near the staging area on Bath Street before the parade. He was sporting a cowboy hat and said he had come there from the Republican Women’s breakfast event at the Governor’s Mansion.
The mayor was asked where his former law firm colleague, Congressman Mark Amodei was for parade day. Crowell speculated Amodei wasn’t there to scoop up detritus from Sen. Dean Heller’s horse, as he has in the past, because he was protesting the parade entry fee for politicians. He didn’t rise to the bait when told the Nevada Appeal wanted to ask Amodei if cleaning up after Heller on parade day was akin to service in the House of Representatives.
A couple of blocks away, Gary Mauck, who served in the Army in both Alaska and Korea, was on hand to parade with the Honor Flight Veterans group. He said he enlisted at age 17 in 1945, near the end of World War II, and served until 1953 and mustered out as a staff sergeant. At 87, he said, he’s still ski racing. He said he went on an honor flight to Washington, D.C. in 2013.
Nearby warming up were several bagpipers, among them Army Sergeant First Class Mike Connell, who has played bagpipe regularly at area military and related events. He said he joined the group called the Sierra Highlanders last spring. Also in the parade were the Warren Engine Company of Carson City, the historic volunteer fire company, with representatives Paul and Don Webster, both Warren trustees, and the newest member of the engine company, Jake Helget. Helget is Paul Webster’s grandson.
The Karson Kruzers had a contingent in the parade, including Bob Hickox with his 1931 Plymouth. Hickox, a local photographer and artist, said he has had the car since he was 16 and living in California but restored it to its current state later. Hickox said he now is 72.
His car was cherry, but another and newer blue beauty was the Tesla that was shepherded onto Carson Street by a crew from Panasonic Energy of North America, including Mark Anderson. Anderson, a Panasonic human resources and general affairs executive working on the Tesla/Panasonic partnership at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, is a 1984 graduate of Carson High School.
Anderson and Whitt were revelers with Nevada Day experience, but even those who had never been here for the parade were having scads of fun. Sam Terrazas of Bakersfield, Calif., a Nevada visitor for just a few days, said it was his first time and a joy.
“It was really cool,” he said. “I liked a little bit of everything.”