Plenty of fun at Carson Valley Days |

Plenty of fun at Carson Valley Days

by Bill Alan McClain

It’s that time of year again – time to celebrate the community we live in and the people who are our neighbors. It’s the 90th Annual Carson Valley Days 2000 Celebration, June 9-11.

For almost a century, it’s been one of the largest celebrations of the year. There will be days of food, music, arts and crafts, parade and rodeo action and so much more. Carson Valley Days is fun for the whole family, with something for everyone and this year promises to be even bigger and better than years past!

This year’s Carson Valley Days 2000 theme is “A tribute to the Basque Culture.” The Carson Valley Active 20/30 Club #85, the service club which organizes and produces Carson Valley Days, selects a theme each year to draw attention and pay tribute to some aspect of the community we call home. This year the club elected to honor the many members of the Basque community for their contributions and rich heritage in the Carson Valley.

Carson Valley Days festivities begin Friday night June 9, at the French Bar on Highway 395 in Gardnerville. A local DJ will be set-up at 9 p.m. in the back parking lot of The French Bar playing all of today’s hottest music including country, rock and dance hits and taking requests. The Carson Valley Active 20/30 Club will be on-hand selling “locally famous” tacos from their “Taco Hell” booth. The 20/30 Club will have raffle tickets and official Carson Valley Days shirts available as well. And of course, the beer will be cold and almost endless, as will all beverages served by Renee and her crew at The French. Get there early, as this is truly the kickoff party for Carson Valley Days.

On Saturday, the day’s events begin at 5 a.m. with the Minden Rotary Club’s first Annual Hot Air Balloon Race and Dawn Patrol. The balloons will launch from the field directly across from Lampe Park in Gardnerville. In addition to the spectacular sites of these incredible balloons, champagne and other drinks will be available upon their return. For more information, contact Gary Peterson of the Minden Rotary Club at 782-7987.

The annual Carson Valley Days Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 10. Staging will be in the south parking lot of Douglas High School with the parade traveling down County Line Road, past Minden Park, and from Esmeralda Street onto Highway 395 South to Lampe Park in Gardnerville. The parade will feature many different categories, with awards to be given out at Lampe Park. Entries into the parade are still possible by contacting the Carson Valley 20/30 club at 782-5274. Entries will also be accepted the day of the parade beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the south parking lot at Douglas High School. All parade entrants are encouraged to be at the staging area no later than 8:30 a.m.

Lampe Park comes alive on Saturday and Sunday during Carson Valley Days. Beginning at 8 a.m. both days, the Carson Valley Days Softball Tournament will be played in the ball fields. And again this year, the park will be buzzing with an array of artisans, food and drink vendors, community organizations, and fun for the whole family. Following the parade, Lampe Park is where the heart of the Carson Valley Days celebration takes place – music, tug-o-war, games for the kids, a back-hoe rodeo and so much more. On Saturday at 1 p.m., the annual arm-wrestling competition takes place on the main stage in the center of the park, with sign-ups beginning early on Saturday. On Sunday morning, the Carson Valley Lions present the annual pancake breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. Then Sunday afternoon around 4 p.m., the 20/30 Club will draw the winning names for more than 100 raffle prizes, and the winner will be announced for the 2000 Quad Racer also to be raffled. Tickets are available for either raffle from any 20/30 club member or by calling 782-5274. Bring the entire family and an appetite for food, fun and great shopping all day Saturday and Sunday to Lampe Park.

If you like rodeo action, make plans now for Saturday and Sunday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds for the annual Carson Valley Days Rodeo. The action gets under way Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon. And what would a rodeo be without a rodeo dance? Saturday night at 9 p.m., the events center at the fairgrounds will be shakin’ as DJ’s from McClain’s Mobile Music & DJ Service turn out the hottest country music and a lot more. There will be a dance contest with prizes for first, second, and third place.

The Carson Valley Active 20/30 Club #85 is a service club for men, ages 21-39 and is dedicated to assisting the youth of Douglas County, both financially and through activities. For more information about the organization or to get involved, contact the 20/30 club at 782-5274.

All weekend long, beginning Friday through Sunday June 11, the Carson Valley is where the action is during the 90th annual Carson Valley Days 2000.