Cantaloupe festival in Fallon shows the best of rural Nevada

One of Churchill County’s biggest events, the 24th annual Fallon Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival and Farmer’s Market promises to draw 20,000 visitors over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-7. At the Churchill County Fairgrounds, the festival provides fun for all ages with its carnival, junior rodeo, tournaments, contests, music, entertainment, dances and at least 10 commercial exhibits.

Southern Nevadans exploring their own state could hardly find an event that better typifies rural Nevada. Fallon lies 383 miles from Las Vegas on U.S. 95 at its junction with U.S. 50, reached in about a six-hour drive. Those planning to stay in Fallon should make reservations soon, for the town fills up fast with folks from all over northwestern Nevada during this and other special events.

A few ranches dotted the sparsely populated Lahontan Valley along the Carson River before 1900 with the Churchill County seat then in Stillwater. The railroads carried goods and passengers through the area, connected to scattered communities by various short lines. Overland routes such as the Old Pony Express Trail eventually morphed into the first roadways. The area where Fallon now sits boasted a crossroads post office at the Fallon Ranch.

When Theodore Roosevelt became president after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901, important changes came to the West. A conservationist, Roosevelt pushed for the 1902 Reclamation Act, which provided funds for development through the sale of public lands. Plans long rumored about a canal from the Truckee River and a dam on the Carson River to create a reservoir soon became possibilities.

Land developers and legislators (sometimes one in the same) envisioned an oasis of farms and ranches in a well-watered Lahontan Valley. They platted a new town, named it Fallon, moved the count seat from Stillwater and constructed a new courthouse by 1903. Fallon became an incorporated town in 1908. The dams, canal and reservoir followed. Electricity generated by the outflow from Lahontan Dam lit up Fallon in 1912. New settlers flocked to the area watered by the Newlands Project, many homesteading, others starting businesses.

By the 1920s, the land put into production yielded products shipped all over the country, including protein-rich alfalfa prized by cattle ranchers, turkeys that reached the White House dining table and Hearts of Gold cantaloupe so big and full-flavored they were in demand everywhere. Agriculture remains strong in the valley with 70 percent of the alfalfa shipped out-of-state.

New ventures include vineyards, a winery and an experimental distillery of fine spirits from Nevada-grown crops.

During World War II, the military came to Fallon at the Fallon Naval Air Station. Later developments extended the runways and created a pilot training base. The military remains a strong component of the region’s economy.

The Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival opens with free admission Sept. 4 from 7 p.m.-midnight. Admission charges the rest of the weekend are $5 for adults, $3 for military personnel and seniors, $2 for youngsters aged 5-16 and free for those under 5 years. Country-western music, a teen dance, a carnival, a beer garden and a bar featuring cantaloupe daiquiris keep visitors busy.

The festival opens Sept. 5 and Sept. 6 at 10 a.m., using indoor and outdoor facilities. Festival-goers enjoy choices among concerts, dancing, entertainers, games, contests and tournaments of all kinds until midnight. The carnival continues throughout the weekend. Some of the more entertaining contests involve cantaloupes in bowling, bocce ball and Plinko, cantaloupe chucking and cantaloupe eating. You can even learn how to use cantaloupes in cooking. Family-style attractions include a petting zoo. Junior rodeo events continue Sept. 5 and Sept. 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening brings concerts under the stars.

Sept. 7’s events get under way following the downtown Labor Day Parade. The fairgrounds open at noon. Finals for many contests and tournaments take place during the afternoon with awards presentations. The grounds close at 5 p.m.

Margo Bartlett Pesek’s column appears on Sundays.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
Trainer Lou “Mack” McCammon guides several rescue dogs through a series of tricks and jumps two shows a day weekends through December at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buddy V - Sep 21 Confidante
Famous Infinity Mirror Room is open in Las Vegas
Yayoi Kusama's "Aftermath of Obliteration of Infinity" mirror room is open at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Glittering Lights dazzles Las Vegas
The Glittering Lights holiday display is shining at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like