Each October, Nevadans turn their attention to Carson City, Nevada's state capitol, home of the Nevada Day Celebration and Parade. It's Nevada's Heritage Celebration, a gathering of community spirit to celebrate the founding of the state of Nevada, and to salute the state's past and look ahead to its future.
Nevada Day is presently a state holiday recognized on the last Friday in October with the parade on Saturday.
Now, more than 70 years old, Nevada Day features a multitude of activities, including the parade, music and arts shows, RSVP Carnival, Pancake Breakfast, Nevada Day Classic Run/Walk, World Championship Single-Jack Rock Drilling Contest, Beard Contest, Annual Chili Feed, post-parade musical performances by local bands and more.
The 74th Annual Nevada Day Parade takes place on Saturday, October 27, 2011. It ambles down Carson Street from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). The parade kicks off with an 8:00 a.m. hot air balloon launch on Carson Street (weather permitting), followed by the 10:00 a.m. flyover of F-18 Hornets and F-16 Falcon from the Fallon Naval Air Station, and C-130 Hercules from the Nevada Air Guard. The parade features floats, equestrian units, marching bands and a variety of entertainment . The 2012 Nevada Day Theme is "Nevada's Great Outdoors", and this year's co-Grand Marshals are Chris Healy, of the Nevada Depatment of Wildlife and native Nevadan, and Smokey Bear, the U.S. Forest Service mascot dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of forest fires.
The parade route begins at the intersection of William and Carson streets and ends at the intersection of Stewart and Carson streets. Awards in 35 categories are given including one for best float, best band, best mounted equestrian group, and best historical entry.