Today Nevada turns 153. On October 31, 1864, the constitution of the new state was telegraphed to President Lincoln from Fort Churchill, not far from where I now call home. I’m very much smitten with my new home state. This year, for the first time, I got to celebrate Nevada Day in Carson City with my fellow Nevadans.
Nevada Day is the largest statehood celebration in the country. A state holiday gets that ball rolling on the last Friday in October. That’s just a beginning, though—festivities continue through the weekend. Nowhere is Nevadan pride more apparent than at the parade and rock drilling contest. The collection of entries in the parade likely belies most people’s image of the state and its people. In a few hours of watching the parade of over 200 entries you’ll see a lot of what you’d expect at any parade such as marching bands, dance and cheerleading troupes, ROTC and veterans groups, rodeo queens, law enforcement and fire departments, local businesses and clubs, and politicians. On Nevada Day though, you’ll also get brothel “bunnies”, wild horse advocates, a breadth of native tribes, Pony Express preservationists, low-rider enthusiasts, sikhs, gunfighters, vaqueros, Clampers, and even the president and first lady of Molossia.