Valley celebrates Independence Day |

Valley celebrates Independence Day

Staff Reports
Alex Elaine, 20, Cassi Cader, 45 and Ashley Lynn, 17all from Minden, ran Gardnerville's Freedom 5K as a family for the first time Saturday.
Sarah Hauck |

As if Independence Day wasn’t enough of a reason to celebrate, Minden and Gardnerville have another reason after being named Best Towns in Nevada Magazine’s Tour Around Nevada.

Each year, Nevada Magazine asks readers to vote for their favorite towns as part of the series. The Towns of Minden and Gardnerville have consistently finished in the top five in previous rounds, however, according to the magazine, “in 2015 these sister towns were the clear front-runners.”

They will be individually recognized Saturday at each of their Fourth of July celebrations.

“It’s fantastic,” said Rachel Hamer, Gardnerville senior secretary. “This is such an awesome little community, and I’m glad other people are recognizing it.”

Minden’s celebration begins at 10 a.m. in Minden Park with presentation of the colors by Douglas County Sheriff’s Explorers being accompanied by bagpipes. Skip Brown will sing the national anthem and Carson Valley Middle School student Ariel Rose will sing Proud to be an American.

The town’s annual bicycle parade starts at 11 a.m., followed by the presentation by Nevada Magazine.

There will be one dry and one wet bounce house for the children, along with complimentary hamburgers, hot dogs, apple pie and ice pops.

“We’re helping to create memories that kids will remember when they come with their kids,” Hamer said of the event. “We’re hoping to continue it forever. For us it’s important to create memories for families. It allows us to maintain that small-town feel.”

Hamer and R.J. Herrera will also be on hand, making balloon animals from dogs to rabbits, flowers to swords.

“My favorite is the rabbits, but I think I do flowers the best,” Hamer said. “We don’t do the fancy ones because of time restraints.”

The Kiwanis Club of Carson Valley is selling water and soda at Minden Park with all proceeds benefiting Ethan McEwen. Minden wraps up at 2 p.m.

For more information, call 782-5976.

Gardnerville kicks off its day with a 5K Freedom Run, Walk 7-10 a.m. in Heritage Park.

Registration for the run, walk is $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event. Veterans and active duty military are free, as a way to say ‘“thank you,” Main Street Gardnerville Program Manager Paula Lochridge.

All runners are asked to wear their best red, white and blue attire.

“We want something for the families to get out and do something healthy and fun together,” Lochridge said. “We like to keep our event active because a lot of people feel guilty as they go through a holiday, enjoying themselves possibly a little too much. It relieves some of that guilt. People said ‘I ran a 5K this morning, I can have an extra hamburger.’”

At 8 a.m. the Yankee Doodle Dash obstacle course for children 12 and younger starts, along with a pancake breakfast by the Carson Valley Lions Club. Breakfast costs $7.

The obstacle course is new this year and is an expansion on the popularity of the inflatables that have been at each previous event.

“We thought we’d give the kids something more to do,” Lochridge said. “They get to actually compete and have fun at the same time.”

Heritage Park Gardens volunteers will be selling garden goodies for donations.

Ted Nagel of Rolling Thunder will be the master of ceremonies, announcing the start of the race with the national anthem.

The Nevada Magazine presentation is at 9:30 a.m.

“It is exciting to be recognized for all the hard work and effort that make Gardnerville and Minden the Best in Nevada,” Gardnerville Town Manager Tom Dallaire said. “We thank those organizations and volunteers of community programs such as Main Street Gardnerville, Active 20/30 Club, GE, the Chamber of Commerce and Douglas County Parks and Recreation – who provide the events that draw people to our community; and we thank town staff for making Gardnerville shine.”

The Carson Valley Pops Orchestra performs at 11:30 a.m.

“We are proud of our local symphony and honored to have them play at Heritage Park once again,” Dallaire said. “They provide a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate our independence as we enjoy hearing all our favorite patriotic songs, and honor the service men and women who serve this great country. The town is providing a shade structure so those who don’t have a pop up tent can stay out of the sun and enjoy the music.”

For more information, visit or call 782-8027.

The Genoa Americana Celebration at the Mormon Station State Historic Park is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

The day will feature five traditional music groups and will conclude with a performance by the Carson Symphony Orchestra.

Blue grass band Center Street starts the day off followed by a children’s parade. Children, dogs, little red wagons and grown-ups in costumes are all invited to join.

Other musical performances include Sierra Silverstrings, Barbershop Express, Suspect Terrane Richard Elloyan and Steve Wade.

At 4 p.m. there will be a raffle drawing for a chance to conduct the Carson City Symphony.

Genoa wraps up the day with the Carson City Symphony and chorus featuring Elloyan.

The Genoa Volunteer Fire Department is selling chicken dinners 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the fire department and there will be water games for children in the stockade 1-4 p.m.

“I think that getting out and enjoying time with others first thing in the morning to beat the hot weather and continue the fun with either listening to the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra or attending the bike parade while enjoying a hamburger or hot dog in Minden, or taking in the Carson Symphony Orchestra with chicken barbecue in Genoa later on in the afternoon – the Carson Valley has events for you and your family to participate in and look forward to enjoying year after year,” Dallaire said.

For Genoa events visit