Favio the fish will fly in the Nevada Day Parade

In the Nevada Day Parade, a fish will fly.

Casino Fandango's blue fish, Favio, will float down Carson Street, carefully ducking overhead power and telephone lines.

"To our knowledge it's the only time a custom balloon has been entered in the parade," said Kimberly Macaluso, office manager for Nevada Day events.

Four Fandango employees will hold the lines of the 15-foot tall, 6-foot wide urethane fish filled with 1,500 cubic feet of helium. Casino General Manager Steve Forester said the balloon is being made by the Arizona Balloon Co. in Glendale, Ariz.

"It cost $5,000 to have it made and we'll use it for special events," he said. "We hope to make it a tradition for the Nevada Day Parade."

In five or six spots along the parade route, Favio's handlers will have to hunker him down as low as 16 feet to clear the lowest wire.

Forester, who ran the parade route last year handing out beaded necklaces, said about 11 casino employees will be giving out 5,000 necklaces this year.

"We've been wanting to do a balloon since we opened the place," he said. "I thought Nevada Day would be a good day to finally pull the trigger."

And when the weather is good, Favio will fly over the casino on South Carson Street for special events.

Carson City's Nevada Day Parade and celebrations is among the oldest ongoing parade activities held in the Silver State, and, with Hawaii and West Virginia, is one of three admission day celebrations in the country.

Regarding the inaugural parade in 1938, the Daily Appeal claimed the event was "Nevada's largest and best admission day celebration in the history of the state."

Celebrating Nevada Day in Carson City is a long time-honored tradition, but the history on commemorating our statehood predates the 1938 parade by more than 60 years.

The first observance of Nevada's admission to the Union in 1864 appears to have been initiated on the Comstock by the Pacific Coast Pioneer society in the 1870s. Journalist Alfred Doten of the Gold Hill News mentions a "grand celebration" in 1873 in his diaries.

The Pioneer society held a sumptuous banquet on Oct. 31, 1889, in honor of Nevada's 25th anniversary as the 36th state. There may have been other commemorative events outside the Comstock but the state of Nevada did not officially recognize its birthday until two years later.

n Nevada State Archivist Guy Rocha contributed to this report.


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