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We are almost at the halfway point of our yearlong 150th-birthday celebration and still going strong. January and February were chock full of events celebrating our state’s history, people, and culture.
I had the distinct pleasure of kicking off the 30th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko in January. The program was titled “Home Means Nevada,” and what a tribute it was. The evening was particularly special because I had the privilege of introducing Waddie Mitchell as Nevada’s Honorary Poet. Waddie regaled the crowd with his poem, “Dame Nevada,” a beautiful and moving tribute to Nevada’s birthday. To see Mitchell perform the poem, visit the nevada150.org website.
Another fabulous event was First Ladies First, held in Las Vegas and sponsored by Women of Diversity Productions, Inc. This was the inaugural event of Nevada Women’s Legacy – 150 Years of Excellence, and what an afternoon it was. Five of our former First Ladies told stories, answered questions, and entertained a sold-out crowd about life in the Governor’s Mansion and the unique role First Ladies play. Women of Diversity is producing and sponsoring additional events around the state celebrating the important role women have played in our state’s past.
I was honored and fortunate to have the opportunity to work for one of those important Nevada women: the late Barbara Vucanovich. As many of you know, she was the first woman elected to Congress from Nevada, but she achieved extraordinary things even before she even went to Washington, D.C. She was a successful businesswoman and tireless volunteer. First and foremost, she was a wife, mother, and grandmother, and those things always came first. She set the bar high and paved a path for other women to achieve and succeed and was always there to mentor others and lend a helping hand. She definitely goes down in history as one of Nevada’s excellent women.
There are some very interesting upcoming events that will also focus on the history and contributions of women in Nevada. In March, there will be a “History Tea: Celebrating 150 Years of Nevada Women” event held in Carson City; “Women in History: 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage” in Gardnerville; and in Las Vegas at the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort, the Friends of the Fort will throw a birthday party for Helen Stewart.
Be sure to mark your calendars. Also, visit nevada150.org, and check out all the exciting and wonderful programs, forums, concerts, and events being held around the state. There is definitely something for everyone, and this is an anniversary year you don’t want to miss.
Brian K. Krolicki
Chairman—Nevada Commission on Tourism & Nevada 150 Commission