Happy Motoring for Independence Day

For me, there’s no bad time to tour Nevada.

Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment overnighter or a methodically planned two-week adventure, there’s no shortage of good times in the Silver State.

If that makes me sound like a shameless shill for the state I love, so be it.

Yet, as I travel I’m amazed by the number of people I meet who haven’t journeyed in their own backyard. Granted, it’s a big backyard. But they just haven’t taken the time to check out their own state.

The Independence Day holiday is a great time to see Nevada. Sure, there are cooler months to travel. But when it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July, just about every town from Laughlin to Lovelock takes pride in a community celebration.

This year, the down economy poses a challenge for many communities looking to throw a red, white, and blue party. But they’re carrying on in true Battle Born spirit.

So permit me to pass along a few ideas in time for you to gas up the family sedan and take to the open road.

The Eureka Casino has stepped up to sponsor the fireworks show at the annual Mesquite Independence Day celebration. The fireworks had been set for elimination due to budget constraints, Morris Workman reports in the Mesquite Local News.

Thanks to the casino, the night will sparkle.

For tradition, it’s hard to beat the Boulder City Damboree, now in its 62nd year. It starts Saturday with a Rotary pancake breakfast at Bicentennial Park and concludes Sunday with a fireworks show and entertainment. In Laughlin, the oohs and ahhs are sure to be heard well into Arizona during the annual “Rockets Over the River” fireworks display.

After producing what’s been described politely as a disappointing program last year, the Pahrump Chamber of Commerce Liberty Festival Fourth of July Celebration starts at 8 a.m. Sunday in Petrack Park. In addition to ample food vendors, a beer garden, and a fireworks show, this year’s event will feature live music.

In Beatty, there’s an Old Fashion Independence Day celebration at Cottonwood Park with a parade that temporarily reroutes traffic on US 95. In addition to the barbecue and fireworks, there are wheelbarrow and sack races and a watermelon-eating contest.

In Goldfield there’s a town picnic. Up the highway in Tonopah, there’s a four-wheeler raffle and softball tournament in addition to the barbecue and fireworks at the town’s Sports Complex.

North to Ely, there’s a old-fashioned Fourth of July parade. In addition to a town barbecue, the Nevada Northern Railway Museum will be going full throttle from its East Ely depot.

But Ely’s not the only town high on tradition. To the west on US 50, there’s also an “Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade and Fireworks” scheduled for Eureka. Sounds like the two towns will compete for the most authentic “old fashioned” event. Eureka is smaller in population, but has been around longer than Ely. I expect the “competition” will be fierce.

In Yerington, the Mason Valley Chamber of Commerce has taken over this year’s celebration and is promising the largest fireworks display anyone is likely to remember. It takes place in Mt. View Park. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, officials are still busy fundraising to make sure the celebration is a smash.

“A Taste of Lovelock” will feature the wares of local businesses is set for Sunday with a flag dedication to honor the holiday.

Elko attracts people from all over the country to this week’s National Basque Festival, and on Saturday there’s an Old Time Box Lunch Social Picnic sponsored by the community volunteers. Meanwhile, up in Jarbidge there’s a 4th of July celebration that’s hard to reach but worth the drive.  

In Genoa, Nevada’s oldest town, there will be Pops in the Park to celebrate our independence.  

No matter which direction you go, Nevada sparkles on Independence Day.

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