Gardnerville lights up night sky |

Gardnerville lights up night sky

by Caryn Haller
A fireworks display is enjoyed by all Thursday evening in Heritage Park.
Brad Coman |

Once again Gardnerville made Santa’s nice list with its annual Christmas Kickoff.

Hundreds of people packed Heritage Park on Thursday night to enjoy free hot chocolate, cobbler, carolers and fireworks.

“Gardnerville is on the nice list because everybody here always treats people with respect and dignity,” Santa said.

Mcmahon brothers, Landon, 5, and Mason, 4, couldn’t wait to tell Santa their Christmas wish list.

“I’m going to ask him for a Pokemon, Pikachu,” Landon said. “He has an electric volt.”

“I’m going to ask for a Ninja Turtle because they fight bad guys,” Mason added.

The boys’ mother, Natasha, said they have been good this year.

“They are so excited. They’ve waited all year for this,” she said. “This is amazing. We’re going to the parade, too. It’s awesome small towns can get together and do this.”

As the first to sit on Santa’s lap, Raiden Barnes, 7, asked for a Nerf gun and Legos.

“We like to get that old-time feel,” Raiden’s mother, Jessie said, “and the sense of community and everybody getting together and celebrating. It’s nice to see the kids all excited and running around.”

Gardnerville employee Ryan Clark kept an eye on the 10 Dutch ovens bubbling with vanilla blueberry and chocolate cherry cobblers.

“I’ve been doing it for nine years,” Clark said. “The key to a good cobbler is love. We want to give back to the community.”

Kathy and Clifford Ransom stayed warm around one of the fire pits blazing in the park. The couple have lived in Gardnerville for 25 years and had never been to the Christmas Kickoff.

“We’re busy,” Kathy said. “We really like it. I like the fire. It’s like camping out.”

Kathy also said she had a special request for Santa this year.

“I asked Santa for a smaller butt and a bigger paycheck,” she joked, “and not to mix them up this year.”

After having a chance to sip some hot chocalate and eat a bowl of cobbler, Town Manager Tom Dallaire started the countdown to the gazebo’s lightshow. This year’s show was synchronized to the song “Amazing Grace.”

The show runs 5-10 p.m. nightly. It can be heard by tuning the car radio to 89.9 FM.

Following the light show, all eyes turned to the sky as the eight-minute fireworks show exploded with red, green, yellow, silver and gold fireworks.

“I love your fireworks,” Carson City resident Olivia Lloyd said. “It’s wonderful. December fireworks; you can’t beat it.”

As Aurora Schafer, 10, watched the fireworks show, each colorful burst caused her excitement level to grow.

“They’re awesome,” she said. “They’re my favorite color, blue.”

As the crowd dispursed, Dallaire was greeted and thanked by residents for another successful kickoff.

“It went great,” he said. “There were more people here than ever before. We ran out of cobbler.”

Maggie Killough won the free trash service for a year from the town. Dallaire said residents can still take the survey online until January.

Minden and Genoa held their tree lightings on Friday night. The annual Parade of Lights was Saturday.

Donations for next year’s fireworks show can also be made online or at the town office.

For more information, call 782-8027.