Celebrating the great outdoors | RecordCourier.com

Celebrating the great outdoors

Always a crowd favorite, the Sierra Stompers' Jay Drees puts his F350 on top of Bryan Wiedenhaefer and Gage Black's vehicle during last year's parade.
Brad Coman/R-C File Photo

It has been 80 years since the Carson Valley Active 20-30 Club, Kiwanis and Rotarian clubs revived Carson Valley Days.

First celebrated June 11, 1910, the event brought train and car loads of people to the new town of Minden, where they had an opportunity to witness Carson Valley hospitality in person.

Over the years some big changes have been made in the event. For many of the early years, it was observed with a dance instead of the big picnic and speeches.

Hundreds of automobiles and thousands of people attended the opening of the Minden Inn on June 11, 1917.

While there were subsequent celebrations, it would be June 11, 1938, before Carson Valley Day returned in all its glory.

“The idea of rebirth of Carson Valley Day, purely local in character, was conceived by members of the 20-30 Club,” wrote R-C Publisher Bert Selkirk, who was one of the celebration’s original publicists.

World War II put a damper on the celebration, but in 1946, it returned with the parade that has been a staple ever since.

It has been Carson Valley Days since 1954, and it took most of the form it has today by 1960.

Some entertainment such as the beard contest, spraying shaving cream, firehose fights and throwing candy at spectators have gone by the wayside.

Friday is the Gardnerville block party, and Saturday will see Highway 395 close at a hangover-shattering 8 a.m. for the annual parade.

Lampe Park will be hopping with the carnival, live music, sporting events and games over the weekend.

Some folks in the news business fear the term booster, but when it comes to Carson Valley Days we are unabashed supporters of Douglas County’s oldest and biggest celebration.