Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 | 12:21 a.m.
Sunny skies are predicted and thousands are expected to jam into downtown Carson City Saturday to celebrate Nevada’s 149th birthday.
There is still the “same enthusiasm” for the events, says Mike Shaughnessy, who will be grand marshal of the two-hour-long parade. It’s in honor of his past work in organizing the celebration.
Besides the parade there will be races, beard judging, a rock-drilling contest and concerts. And the football rivalry between UNR and UNLV for the Fremont Cannon will be played Saturday afternoon in Reno.
This is the 75th year of the observance started in 1938, said Shaughnessy. “”Everybody is cranking up for next year,” the 150th anniversary of Nevada’s admission to the Union.
President Lincoln officially approved Nevada’s admission on Oct. 31, 1864. Guy Roche, former state archivist, said it was changed by the 1999 Legislature to the last Friday of the month to set up a three-day holiday.
Residents from other areas found it difficult to attend if the celebration was in the middle of the week, said Rocha. And merchants received little extra business when the observance was mid-week.
It has been a Northern Nevada celebration. He said there is little participation from Clark and Lincoln counties in the south. Families in Las Vegas go to Disneyland during the three-day holiday so they won’t encounter the crowds from California, said Rocha.
Shaughnessy said the politicians will be “shaking hands and glad handing” Saturday and will ride in convertibles during the parade “so they don’t embarrass the horses,” he quipped. There are a number of mounted entries, bands and community groups who have signed up to be in the parade.
A traveling carnival will be in the city Friday night to offer enjoyment to youngsters. A Nevada Day Pow Wow will be held Saturday and Sunday featuring Native American foods, dances and art.
Free admission is offered during the celebration to the state’s museum. And the Capitol that has been closed on weekends and holidays will be open to the public.
A pancake breakfast is planned at the governor’s mansion with the proceeds going to local high schools. And tours will be conducted in the afternoon of the mansion.