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Photo: Chris Matthews/NCOT (2013 Nevada Governor’s Conference on Tourism)
The sesquicentennial is well underway, and what fun we’re having! As I wrote in the November/December 2013 issue, we had a tremendously successful kick-off. Our November and December events were as diverse as our state. Hopefully you, your family, and friends had the chance to participate in at least one of them.
From the outstanding watercolor exhibit held at the Wilbur D. May Center in Reno, with our state’s 150th birthday as the focus; to the Las Vegas Great Santa Run, which featured country music starlet Shania Twain as the Grand marshal; to an old-fashioned tree lighting on Maine Street in Fallon; there was something for everyone. I was honored to be the Grand marshal of December’s Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade, a great tradition that embraced our celebration.
The Nevada Governor’s Conference on Tourism was held at the beautiful Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas in early December. I took advantage of this unique opportunity to educate a captive audience about our state’s birthday, including our friends from China, Japan, and Korea.
The next couple months are packed with exciting events. One of our signature events is a special occasion to hear firsthand what life in the Governor’s Mansion was like. If you have the chance to attend “First Ladies First” on January 11, 2014 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, I strongly encourage it. First Lady Kathleen Sandoval will host five former First Ladies in a conversation about their unique roles in Nevada.
Lovelock will host its ninth annual Lovers Aloft Balloon Race during Valentine’s Day weekend. This will be the first of five hot-air balloon races held throughout the state during our sesquicentennial year. The winner of this race series will be announced at the 2014 Nevada Day Parade in Carson City.
One of the most beautiful celebrations of our extraordinary Asian community and culture will be February 8-10 at Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas. For those of you who haven’t attended a Chinese New Year celebration, take your family and experience the rich, exquisite pageantry of the “Las Vegas Festival: Chinese New Year in the Desert.”
Mark your calendar to be in Carson City on March 21, where a mammoth birthday cake will be served to celebrate the day Congress approved Nevada’s Constitution in 1864. The Battle Born Birthday Cake will be a close replica of the centennial cake that was served when Nevada turned 100 in 1964. Our cake will weigh about 1,300 pounds, so bring your friends because there will be plenty for everyone. This fun and tasty occasion will tie our past to our present—and maybe even challenge the 200th-birthday-year organizers to keep up the tradition.
Continue to check our website, nevada150.org, to learn about all the upcoming events and find ways to support Nevada 150. Serving and representing the people of the great State of Nevada is such a privilege—never more so than during this sesquicentennial year. Whether I’m reading to schoolchildren, leading a parade, or serving chili at my annual Nevada Day Chili Feed, I plan to enjoy every facet of the celebration. I hope you do, too.
Brian K. Krolicki
Chairman—Nevada Commission on Tourism & Nevada 150 Commission