Nevada’s Annual Birthday Party is Coming Up
As everyone knows, Nevada has been the greatest state in the union since our founding in 1864, and every year we throw a party for ourselves to celebrate that fact. Seriously though, Nevadans are a proud bunch, which is why we are one of only three states that celebrate our Admission Day, or as the locals know it, Nevada Day. Every October 31 (yes, Halloween) since 1891, Nevadans have thrown the biggest Admission Day party in the country with a dedicated state holiday off work and parties and events all over the state. Let’s look at the history of Nevada’s birthday, and how locals in Carson City, Minden, and the surrounding areas are planning on celebrating their state pride for Nevada Day 2023!
Nevada was rushed into statehood in 1864 during the final years of the civil war under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. It’s often said that the electoral votes from the infant state won Lincoln’s reelection, and the silver taken from Nevada mines funded the Union’s eventual victory, giving rise to our state’s official motto, “Battle Born.”
However, this proud heritage wasn’t celebrated then as fervently as it is now. As Nevada’s population dwindled after the silver rush and many in the national seats of power questioned if Nevada was worthy of statehood at all, a grassroots effort to shore up the state’s internal identity and sense of pride sprang up. One of its grandest culminations was in the first official Nevada Day celebration in 1891, organized by “the young men of Reno” and celebrated by townsfolk, farmers, miners, woodsmen—every citizen of the Silver State at the time.
It wasn’t until 1938 that one of Nevada’s longest standing traditions first took place, the annual Nevada Day Parade in Carson City. The modern-day parade travels down Carson Street in historic downtown Carson City, traveling right past the Nevada State Capitol Building. It’s also evolved to include more than just a simple procession. Visitors can expect a full day of festivities that showcase the best of Nevada history.
Nevada Day 2023
This year’s parade takes place on Saturday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m. in Downtown Carson City. Each year, a theme is chosen for the event and this year’s is “Home Means Nevada” after the lyrics to the state song (you do know the state song, right?).
“We couldn’t believe it hadn’t been chosen as a theme before.” said Nevada Day, Inc. President Bobby Bean. “Our records go back to the 1950s, and in the past 70 years, ‘Home Means Nevada’ has never been selected as a theme.”
And while the parade is perhaps the seminal Nevada Day event, guests will find an entire weekend full of activities meant to celebrate all things Silver State.
Historical East Side Tour
This free, two-mile walking tour of historic Carson City begins at the Capitol steps and continues to the location of the former children’s home, which was also the site of the 1897 Corbett Fitzsimmons heavyweight title fight, with plenty more stops along the way. Call 775-315-7616 for more info.
Nevada Day Pow Wow
The Nevada Day Pow Wow showcases Native American/First Nations dancing and singing, Hand Game Tournament, Horseshoe Tournament, Youth 3on3 Tournament, and Corn Hole Tournament alongside a wide variety of Craft and Food vendors. The Pow Wow is open to the public and held at the MAC Center/Boys & Girls Club in Carson City each year during the Nevada Day weekend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
State and Railroad Museums
Both the Nevada State Museum and the Nevada Railroad Museum will be offering free admission on Nevada Day, with rides on the McKeen Motor Car, Coin Press Operation, and more. Contact the museums for more information.
34th Annual Nevada Day Classic Run/Walk
Costumes are highly encouraged for this classic road course through the streets of west Carson City! Since the inaugural event in 1989, the Nevada Day Classic is an 8K run and a 2-mile run/walk through the beautiful, historic West Side of Carson City. The race precedes the parade later in the morning, and finishes at the main drag with spectators lining the way.
33rd Annual Breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion
The pancake breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion (606 N. Mountain St.) is a long-established Nevada Day tradition. Breakfast takes place from 7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. parade day, with the governor and usually a few local celebrities and dignitaries in attendance. Proceeds go toward a scholarship of $2,000 to a deserving senior from Carson or Dayton High School.
Nevada Day Beard Contest
Things are about to get hairy. With no entry fee and available to anyone with a beard, the Beard Contest takes place on the main stage at McFadden Plaza (3rd St.). Award categories include best overall winner, longest, fullest, reddest, whitest, blackest, best salt and pepper, best groomed, scruffiest, and most bearded community.
50th Annual World Championship Jack Drilling Contest
Hearkening back to Nevada’s mining foundations, the annual jack drilling contest offers men and women the chance to compete for the title of fastest driller. Using only a steel bit and hammer, contestants have 10 minutes to pound the deepest hole possible into a piece of Sierra white granite—a skill that miners once used to drill blasting holes deep into ore faces. The event takes place Saturday at the Carson Mall Parking lot.
Telegraph Square Block Party
Come to Telegraph square from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday the 28th to commemorate the morning’s activities and blow off some steam with friends and fellow Nevadans. Enjoy free live music, plus visit food and drink vendors and nearby businesses.
Nevada Day 2023 promises to be another successful celebration of Nevadan heritage and a longstanding tradition that sets our state apart from the rest. If you’re looking for more information about living, working, and playing in Nevada, contact one of our neighborhood experts today!