Carson Conversation: Celebrating summer in historic Carson City (Voices)

Ronni Hannaman is executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.

Ronni Hannaman is executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. Courtesy Photo

Oh, what a relief it is! We can now enjoy the summer of 2021 — with or without masks — and support the businesses and nonprofits who put on the many events throughout the summer and early fall that we so missed in 2020.

With all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, it’s been a bit difficult to finalize summer plans.

However, as they say, “The show must go on,” and the various agencies and nonprofits are making sure Carsonites and our visitors will find a robust arts scene this summer, along with other signature events always popular and fun that are part of the continued emphasis on the quality of life in this city.

Most popular of the many music venues are the free Levitt-Amp Outdoor Concerts performed on the outdoor stage at the Brewery Arts Center, beginning July 10 and occurring every Saturday through Aug. 28, with regional favorite band Mumbo Gumbo as the final performance.

August brings the sounds of jazz all over the city. The Jazz & Beyond Carson City Music Festival organized by the Mile High Jazz Band began in 2004 to honor the 100th Birthday of Count Basie and has held free music events all over the city since.

Not to miss a beat, the event was live-streamed last year, and the organizers are happy to be able to again present live regional talent beginning with this year’s opening event to be held in the backyard of the Governor’s Mansion on Aug. 13 and ending with a performance by the Reno Jazz Orchestra playing at the outdoor amphitheater in the Legislative Plaza on Aug. 29.

As the state capital, it would stand to reason there are many wonderful historical attractions to visit.

Currently, there are four must-see attractions: Nevada State Museum, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Stewart Indian School Museum and the now-open Nevada State Prison, which is available for tours on special dates as shown on their website. All museums are kid-friendly and a good way to teach them – and yourself — the history of Nevada.

Along the history line, ghost walks tell the history of residents who once walked mostly within the historic downtown along streets today referred to as the Kit Carson Trail. Reno actress Mary Bennett conducts the evening tours on Saturdays in August through October.

A fun event for the whole family takes place every Wednesday through Sunday where you push the pedal to the metal as you enjoy peddling a rail bike along the V&T tracks through the Carson River Canyon — don’t worry, there’s a bit of electric assist if needed.

Sept. 11 brings us the Taste of Downtown, the city’s largest block party “with a purpose,” put on by the nonprofit Advocates to End Domestic Violence. Carson Street is closed from Robinson to Fifth to accommodate the party-goers as they listen to various musical venues while tasting local cuisine.

On the first Saturday of each month — rain, shine, sleet or snow — the Carson City Wine Walk is a wonderful way to become acquainted with the historic downtown while sipping wine and touring participating businesses.

And, then there’s the granddaddy of all events: the Nevada Day Parade. This year, the huge parade and all activities will be on Saturday, Oct. 30. Downtown Carson City comes alive with thousands lining the streets, and all state museums open free. It’s quite the old-fashioned parade, fun for the entire family.

While we all enjoy the major headliners attracted to Lake Tahoe and Reno, we like to think of ourselves in Carson City as a great place to relax and enjoy mostly free entertainment performed by rising stars.

Carson City is easily accessible from all surrounding counties and is usually less than a 30-minute commute in any direction. Come play in our historic city where there is less traffic, less people and an easy community feel that will make you feel welcome!

Be sure to celebrate responsibly. Get your COVID vaccination or wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Carson City residents are currently about 55% vaccinated.

Information on all events can be found on the Chamber’s website at, or go directly to the website of the organizer.

“Carson Conversation” is a monthly NNBW Voices column authored by Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. Reach her for comment at


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