A small but enthusiastic crowd gathered downtown Saturday in the crisp morning air as the capital city's Silver & Snowflakes celebration spilled over from the Friday night tree-lighting ceremony.
Getting things started was a Santa Parade up Carson Street during which Santa waved from a red convertible and led the way to Telegraph Square, where he gathered youngsters around his knee to take requests and distribute candy canes.
Lori Fields brought three granddaughters to enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa and cookies offered by Santa's elves.
"We just followed the parade down here," Fields said.
Sydney Fields, 10, was eager to get involved in the fun.
"We came to see the parade and do some fun things, because my mom had to go to a meeting today," Sydney said.
Her 7-year-old sister, Kyra Fields, said she was excited about the holidays.
"I'm excited about Christmas because I get lots of presents," Kyra said.
And their 5-year-old cousin, Grace Fields, had very specific expectations.
"I'm going to ask Santa for a baking oven," Grace said. "It's pink and white and cooks pretzels and chocolate chip cookies, and it runs onbatteries."
This was the first year the evening tree-lighting activities continued to the next day, and Maxine Nietz, event coordinator for the Arlington Group Events LLC, said she was delighted by the opportunity to offer an extra day to the celebration.
"This is a brand new experience for Carson City, and it lets us really showcase our downtown," Nietz said.
"I tried to do my homework putting this all together. It was sad that the governor couldn't be there to light the trees, but Mayor (Bob) Crowell did a great job," she said.
"I worked with members of the (Downtown Business Association) - they were keen to have this happen - and the chamber's Young Business Professionals, who were thrilled with this, too," she said.
The afternoon included Corey Clown, face-painting, ice-skating at the Arlington Square Ice Rink, music by The Tributes, horse-drawn carriage rides by Hoofbeats, and a craft table staffed by Kidding Around Preschool where youngsters could draw and create decorations, ornaments or holiday cards, with a special opportunity to create cards for servicemen.
Winners also were announced for the three categories of the annual Kit Carson Trail Art Contest. The theme this year was "An Abundance of Snow People." First -place winners received $50 and a 10-skate pass to the ice rink, second-place winners won $25 and a skate pass, and third-place winners took home $15 and a skate pass.
Winners from each category were:
• Kindergarten-third grade, presented by Tonya Laney, human resources director for the Carson Nugget: Ethne Myler, first place; Samantha Snyder, second; and Journee Johnson, third.
• Fourth-sixth grade, presented by Amber Sady, youth librarian at the Carson City Library: Kerstin Law, first; Hannah Hope Hodorowicz, second; and Rakshita Giri, third.
• Seventh-12th grade, presented by Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean: Erika Murray, first; AnnJi Hodorowicz, second; and Noe Barba, third.