Carson City Nevada -October 25, 2022 – The Cool weather swooped in Saturday on the Sierra Nevada. that must mean it is Halloween season. With so many Ghostly stories to tell in our small towns across the Sierra. There may not be a better place to be this week than Carson City. On the Eastern edge of Lake Tahoe Carson City and the Carson Valley just to its south are great family friendly towns that come to life in the holiday seasons with parades, family friendly community events etc. This week in Carson City besides Halloween, visitors can take in the best the Nevada has to offer in Family festivals.
Nevada Day Parade, “Carnivál On The Comstock” – Saturday, Oct. 29
Celebrate Nevada’s statehood at the annual Nevada Day Parade in Carson City at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. This year’s theme is “Carnivál On The Comstock.” Beginning at the intersection of William and Carson streets, nearly 200 floats will move along Carson Street. Visitors can also watch hot air balloons launch at 8 a.m., beard contests, and other festivities.
Other October festivities:
- BOOnanza trick or treating at Mills Park: 4-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27
- Blinky Man Bike Ride through Carson City: 6:30-11:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27
- Annual trick or treating at the Nevada Governor’s Mansion.
Halloween with the family is a treat with several trunk or treat events happing around the region plus Halloween at the Governors mansion is a unique tradition in Carson City. Plus check out BOOnanza-Come Trick-or-Treat with over 50 local businesses and organizations under the giant cottonwoods at Mills Park. There will be food trucks, activities and more! Don’t forget to visit the Carson City Library for some spooky crafts. The Mills Park Railroad will be operational from 4p-7p or $2, so after filling your bags with candy you can chow down while riding the train through Mills Park!
Plan your Nevada Day Get-A-Way
A Source Created by Carson City Local Shelby Holte
Whether or not you plan on participating in the Blinky Man ride (described next), arriving for Nevada Day Weekend on Friday afternoon or evening is a MUST. Nevada Day itself kicks off bright and early Saturday morning. I have seen locals claim their parade spots with lawn chairs as early as 6 am. We mean business here in Carson City! Check into your room, grab dinner nearby (there’s something here for everyone!, engage with the night to your desired degree, and rest up for an amazing Saturday lineup.
For those looking to achieve a perfect attendance score for the weekend, Blinky Man awaits. To put it simply, Blinky Man is a bar crawl on wheels. Participants gather in the evening at McFadden Plaza on bikes decked out in light-up decor. Costumes are encouraged, and there’s no sign-up or cost to join. You’ll ride as one blinking, rolling group to various bars and pubs around town. Be mindful of traffic as you ride! Some stops involve live music, and some legs are longer than others. It’s a great way to learn your way around town with kind locals and visitors alike. Last year, we stayed until about 10:30 but many riders carried on long past! Maybe they were on ebikes…
Regardless of if you use pedal assist at Blinky Man, if you want the full Nevada Day Weekend experience, you’re going to want to stay local! Saturday starts early!
Other Local Favorites On Friday:
NEVADA DAY POWWOW
The Nevada Day Pow Wow is held at the MAC Center/Boys&Girls Club in Carson City each year during the Nevada Day weekend Friday(7pm), Sat(1pm&7pm) and Sun(12pm), Oct 28, 29, 30, 2022. This public event showcases Native American/First Nations dancing and singing, also a wide variety of Craft and Food vendors are on site. There is a Hand Game Tournament, Horse Shoe Tournament, Youth 3on3 Tournament and new this year, Corn Hole Tournament.
Double up on Halloween fun, by heading down into the Carson Valley off Stephanie Lane for the LifePoint Community Trunk Or Treat festivities. 4-7pm Friday over 30 Trunks full of candy, games and family friendly Halloween spirit. Your family is invited to TRUNK or TREAT on Friday, October 28th, from 4-7pm at LifePoint Church. A free family fun event in a safe environment with candy, bounce houses, hot dogs, cocoa, coffee, and more for the whole family.
The Brave are up Early for pancakes or participating in the 32ND ANNUAL NEVADA DAY CLASSIC RUN/WALK before best Parade in Nevada gets started.
Here’s your trick for remembering the order of events on Nevada Day: FUEL. FLIGHT. FLOATS.
Pretty good, huh? Remember, this is the “perfect attendance” guide for seeing and experiencing everything the day holds. Mix and match to fit your interests!
FUEL UP at one of the many local Pancake Breakfasts. The earliest pancake breakfasts around town start at 7 am. A local favorite takes place at the Governor’s Mansion from 7-9:30 am. You’ll want to be early in line for this one! The proceeds from your $7 entrance fee go towards a scholarship for a deserving local senior in high school. It’s the kind of local support everybody rallies behind. Enjoy pancakes, eggs, bacon, and history inside the governor’s mansion! If you’re curious about the rest of the building, tours take place later in the day from 2 pm to 4 pm.
FLIGHT: Weather permitting, about 20 hot air balloons take to the skies of Carson City at 8 am. Where many balloon festivals launch from a field, the Nevada Day balloon launch is beautifully unique in that it sends balloons into the sky from the middle of Carson City’s main street. Walk up and down Carson Street as early as 7 am to see them inflate, and to wave the riders off as they launch. There’s truly nothing like it!! I had the privilege to ride in one of the balloons a couple of years ago. We took off from right next to the Ormsby House, and to this day, when driving that section of road, I always think “WOW, there was a hot air balloon right here in the street!” Bring the camera. It’s quite the sight!
FLOATS: I’m just going to say it: you’d be hard-pressed to find a parade in the nation more locally beloved than the Nevada Day Parade. Stay with me. I know that’s the “correct” thing to say, but remember, I’m a Nevada Day convert. This tradition earned its place in my heart. Remember above when I said I’d seen locals claiming lawn chair real estate at 6 am? It’s true. The commitment to prime parade seating is likely due to the incredible duration of the Nevada Day Parade. Two hours of run time would be a conservative estimate. Most years it’s above three.
There are a couple of ways to approach this mega parade. You can embrace the mining history of the state and “stake your claim” to our most inviting sections of sidewalk and essentially tailgate (sans truck) your way through the morning. Or, you can do as I typically do, and stay on foot for most of the morning. I like to grab a coffee from Old World, see some parade segments on foot, swoop into Squeeze In for brunch, emerge to find the parade amazingly still running, and tour the Capitol Building (it’s open and free to all on Nevada Day!), emerge to find the parade amazingly still running… are you sensing a pattern? Because there’s still time for smoothies at So Juicy and a few more parade floats.
When you see the USS Nevada sail the waters (don’t worry there’s not actually water) of Carson Street, that’s your signal that the parade is coming to a close. The parade may have run its yearly course, but Nevada Day certainly has not!
Rock drilling: This year will be the 48th Annual World Championship single jack drilling contest.
What does that mean? Rock drilling is the ultimate test of Man vs. Rock… vs. other men…vs. other rocks. It’s tradition after all! The drilling contest honors a signature mining technique created in the late nineteenth century. Drillers would create a small hole within the rocks of the mine to be filled with black powder and strategically detonated. Contests surrounding the technique have taken place since the origin of the practice, with rewards running as high as a year’s wages. This year’s World Championship will put drillers up against Sierra White Granite. Drill the farthest the fastest, and we’ll cheer!
Beard Contest: Let’s be honest. If you don’t have a beard to compete with, and you’ve been adventuring with the rest of us since sunrise, the strategic local move here is to already be having lunch at one of McFadden Plaza’s restaurants. That way, when the beard contest takes the stage, you’re in prime seating to watch, and you’re fueling up for the rest of your day. You’re welcome. If you have a beard, though, we want to see you putting it to the test on stage! No entrance fee, big chance for local glory. If you’re reading this and planning your trip, it’s time to let it grow out! There will indeed be hooting and hollering from the audience.
Curry Street After Party: If there’s one big detail that sets Nevada Day apart from many similar events, it’s the fact that it’s morning oriented when most would center around an afternoon. Depending on your approach to the day, this leaves you with a couple of options post-festivities. Keep the party going at one of Curry Street’s pubs and saloons with whoever your lawn chair is
homesteaded next to. Head back to the hotel to rest and recharge and maybe grab a late dinner. Or, if you’re really pushing for perfection, it’s not too late to catch the sunset at neighboring Lake Tahoe. My hat’s off to you, oh great adventurer.
Ready for More Adventure:
The week after Nevada Day the Carson City Museum will feature DIA DE LOS MUERTOS this extraordinary cultural event free to everyone!
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday that pays tribute to the lives of loved ones who have passed on.
Schedule of Events:
– Friday, November 4 from 5pm – 7pm: Altar presentations with music and traditional refreshments.
– Saturday, November 5 from 10am – 3pm: Traditional crafts, music, and dance. A food truck will be on Curry Street. There will also be a museum-sponsored community altar so that members of the community can participate in remembering departed loved ones.
The Día de los Muertos celebration traces its roots to the time of the Aztec people in Central America but was later influenced by cultural and religious practices brought by the Spanish. It is widely celebrated today in Mexico and the American Southwest, though celebrations can now be found throughout the United States due to its universal theme of remembrance, honor, and love. Special exhibits, called altars, are set up as memorials to departed loved ones, and often contain items that were special to them. This may include a photo of the person, samples of their favorite foods, symbols of activities they loved, and bright yellow flowers. Pan de muerto (a typical day of the dead bread) is abundantly displayed during the festival. Sugar skulls (calavera) are decorated, and fancy paper cut-outs (papel picado) add color to homes, tables, and altars.
Of course if you are looking for outdoor adventure Carson City has some of the regions best Mountain Bike and hiking accessibility. Carson City is a certified bronze Bike-Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclist. Most trail sin Carson City are multi use you can find a complete list of trails here https://visitcarsoncity.com/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation/hiking/
Featured image top of the page: Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Momentum