Thursday, June 28, 2012

Legends of the West Bike & Car Fest rolls into downtown Carson City Saturday, June 30th!

Downtown Carson City will thrill to the deep-throated vroom of motorcycle engines from 250cc to over 900cc and classic auto engines from 4 cylinder to giant V10s! 

Bike categories include Vintage, Classic, Custom, and Open while car categories include Vintage, Pre ’65, Muscle Car, Street Rod, Low Rider, Rat Rod, New Gen, Open, Truck, Mini Truck (Mid-size), Import, and VW. Both car and bike entries are $25 per vehicle, but you can get a $5 discount with five cans of food for FISH (local charity "Friends In Service Helping").

Kids ages 5 to 15 can enter a pedal car, bicycle, or wagon at no charge – just bring a can of food for FISH.

North Carson Street will be closed from Robinson to Musser Streets, so that all the bikes and cars can be viewed by the public. The annual Police Motor Officer Extreme Training Challenge will take place right here on our own downtown streets. See these highly trained men and women compete for glory in slow motion!

The Arlington Block (across Carson Street from the Carson Nugget Casino) will be part of the action, too! Crafts, food, and beverages will be available all day. 

Activities include: live entertainment, show 'n' shine, raffles, cruise parade, breakfast, awards, and more.
This event is being held on June 30, 2012 under the auspices of the Carson City Downtown Business Association and is managed by Arlington Group Events LLC. 

The Disabled American Veterans, Chapters 1 (Reno), 7 (Carson City), and FISH are the designated charities for this event. Visit for more info and all the entry forms.

Bowling Under the Reno Arch

Missy Parkin practices on the outdoor bowling lanes, which were specially constructed for the U.S. Women's Open Finals held June 27 in downtown Reno.
Kelly Kulick claims her third U.S. Women's Open title under the famed Reno Arch.

Photos by Matthew B. Brown

For one week, the stretch of Virginia Street between Second and Fourth Streets was closed. Reno locals have gotten used to this, especially in the summer, but this time it was for an event unlike the downtown area has seen before—an outdoor bowling stadium.

On June 27, Bowling’s U.S. Women’s Open Finals came to “the unofficial home of bowling” in The Biggest Little City as the five finalists—emerging from a field of more than 200 competitors, from 12 countries—competed for the top title in the sport. According to Bart Burgers, vice president of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America, this is the culmination of 42 games that each competitor played to get here.

From the limited-access stadium seating area, which held 500 spectators, we had an unparalleled view of the four-lane bowling platform built for the event. “The logistics of this were incredible,” Burgers said. “A crew has been working literally around the clock since Sunday (June 24), at 6 a.m., to get this set up. …Building four lanes on a street that’s not level is an engineering marvel.”

At about 7 p.m., the opening ceremonies commenced. First, the five finalists were introduced: Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Stefanie Nation of Grand Prairie, Texas; Shannon O’Keefe of Arlington, Texas; Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, California; and defending champion Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey.

A color guard then brought in the flags of Nevada and the United States, followed by the National Anthem, sung by the Silver Dollar Chorus. The "Star-Spangled Banner" was unexpectedly punctuated by the firing of a fireworks cannon, much to everyone’s surprise, right next to the grandstands. After the chorus was finished, a group of C-130 war planes flew over downtown Reno.

The one-on-one competitions were single-elimination, stepladder games, with Kulick ultimately defeating Parkin in the championship match to earn a purse of $40,000. The outdoor competition posed a number of new obstacles for the competitors: the setting sun shining on the wood and pins caused glares and shadows, the dry desert heat, and the difference in altitude. Just as the first match was starting between Nation and Barnes, the evening winds picked up from the east, which appeared to have an affect on ball movement.

The competitors were in their element, their faces masks of serious focus. The women showed no break in concentration; their focused expressions not even cracking as they gave a fist-pump after a nice strike. The exception being when it was clear they had lost, hearing their opponent’s final score and realizing there was no way to overcome it.

Although she lost in the semifinals to Parkin, O'Keefe was the high-scorer of the tournament with a 182 in her defeat of Nation in Match 2. “This is the most prestigious bowling tournament that we have,” said O’Keefe, before the competition started. “This is the best of the best. To make it this far is pretty awesome.”

The Bowling’s U.S. Women’s Open will air on ESPN2 on Tuesday, July 3 at 8 p.m. Eastern time.


Match 1
Stefanie Nation, Grand Prairie, Texas, def. Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 166-158. (Barnes finishes fifth, earns $10,000.)

Match 2
Shannon O'Keefe, Arlington, Texas, def. Nation, 182-165. (Nation finishes fourth, earns $12,500.)

Match 3
Missy Parkin, Lake Forest, Calif., def. O'Keefe, 150-148. (O'Keefe finishes third, earns $15,000.)

Match 4
Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., def. Parkin, 170-160. (Parkin finishes second, earns $20,000; Kulick finishes first, earns $40,000.)

The five finalists (from left to right: Barnes, Nation, O'Keefe, Parkin, and Kulick) stand with members of the U.S. National Guard and Navy during the opening ceremonies.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gifts of Healing Return to Nevada State Museum

The Gifts of Healing: 1945-1949 exhibit at Nevada State Museum, Carson City displays 21 French travel posters, given as gifts to the United States on board the Merci Train of 1949.
Relics of a forgotten piece of World War II history are on display in Carson City.


It’s 1945, and World War II has just ended. France is in shambles, having been devastated by the German invasion and fighting across its countryside. Then, a train bearing gifts of friendship and healing arrives from America, the 700 boxcars loaded with food, clothing, supplies, and other items that would be of use to the war-torn French people.

In response to the Friendship Train, the French sent a train of their own in early 1949—called the Merci Train—bearing thank-you gifts to the people of the United States. The train had 49 cars, one for each state in the union at the time (Washington D.C. and Hawaii shared a car), and provided a look into the lives and indomitable spirit of the post-war French and the gratitude felt towards their allies.

The Nevada State Museum, Carson City has recently opened an exhibit featuring artifacts that were on board the Merci Train’s car bound for Nevada. The exhibit, Gifts of Healing: 1945-1949, features 21 hand-painted travel posters of various areas in France such as Normandy, Paris, Dauphiné, Provence, and the Ile de France. The posters were commissioned by the Société Nationale des chemins de fer Français (the National Society of French Railways) as a way to encourage post-war travel.

Also included in the exhibit are pieces of a more personal nature: medals of soldiers from both World Wars, books, a cherished set of toy soldiers sent by a 10-year-old-boy, dolls, and family heirlooms. These cherished items were sent, with a personal letter beginning “To my American friend,” by French citizens in hopes that they would find a home with those who helped them in their hour of need.

Monsieur Trocme, the French delegate who presented the Merci Train car to Nevada, had this to say in 1949: “The car and its contents bring this message from the French people. We thank you, friends of Nevada, for the help you have given us. We cannot give you material goods commensurate with what you have given us, but we can show our gratitude in this manner.” This quote originally appeared in the story, “French Show Gratitude by Merci Train Gifts to Nevada,” in the June-September 1949 issue of Nevada Highways and Parks (now Nevada Magazine).

The posters and about 200 other assorted artifacts, including a one-of-a-kind wedding dress made in Lyon specifically for the Nevada car, are a testament to the friendship and gratitude expressed by France to America. The emotion within the exhibit is palpable and awe inspiring when considering what the French, who already had so little, were willing to give away to say, “Thank you.”

The Gifts of Healing exhibit will remain in the museum until mid-August, when it will come down briefly in preparation for the Carson City Mint Coin Show, August 24-25. It will be put back on display indefinitely starting in September. More information about the Merci Train, plus other exhibits at the Nevada State Museum, can be found at

A short drive from the Nevada State Museum, at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, sits the actual Merci Train boxcar (see photo below) that was sent to Nevada; a perfect accompaniment to visiting the exhibit of artifacts.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Carson City Railroad Museum Hosts Celebration

Five days of train festivities conclude on Independence Day.

History comes to life at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City during a five-day celebration of Independence Day, June 30-July 4.

Visitors can ride a train pulled by steam locomotive No. 25 on Saturday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 3 and photograph significant cars — on outdoor display for this special event — including the fully restored McKeen motor car. On the Fourth of July, the rare McKeen will operate on the rails offering passengers rides all day.

In addition, the historic and visually stunning 1875 wood-burning steam locomotive Inyo (pictured) will operate at the museum for classic photos Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Train rides are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The museum’s interpretive center and museum store will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for visitors to enjoy before or after their train trips. Outdoor exhibits are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Daily all-inclusive museum admission and unlimited ride tickets for adults are $12 for Saturday through Tuesday, $16 on Wednesday; tickets for ages 12 to 17 are $5 Saturday through Tuesday, $10 on Wednesday; tickets for ages 4 to 11 are $3 Saturday through Tuesday; $5 on Wednesday. Admission and rides are always free for children age 3 and younger.

For more information, call 775-687-6953, or visit the Nevada State Railroad Museum website at See more photos on Flickr.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Carson City Airport Open House Event - Capital Wings - June 16, 2012

Community event is free to the public and includes fly-bys, 
plane/helicopter demonstrations, and more.
The Carson City Airport announced the schedule of its annual Capital Wings Open House. The event is being held on Saturday, June 16, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Open House takes place at the Carson City Airport, 2600 College Parkway. More than 4,000 visitors attended in 2011, and this year’s event, which is free to the public, is expected to be even more exciting and popular. Activities include fly-bys, plane and helicopter demonstrations, plane and hot-air balloon rides, food and beverages in a day filled with family activities.

The event kicks off at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast provided by Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Fly-bys begin at 9:30 a.m. and include sky divers and an exhilarating field of planes: P51 Mustang, Army Lakota, War Birds, T6 Texan, AH-1 Cobra Helicopter, T33 Shooting Star, F86 Sabre Jet, OV-10 Bronco, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and more.

Planes and helicopters will also be landing at the airport for public viewing. The full host of events includes hot-air balloon and plane rides, a bouncy house, face painting, paper airplane contests, various craft, food and drink vendors, as well as performances from local dance, tumbling, and martial arts studios. Visitors can also shoot a machine gun (simulated) and operate radio controlled plane models.

“Last year was such a tremendous success that we are even more excited to host this year’s Capital Wings Open House. The exhibits and activities are a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to experience the thrill of aviation in a safe, fun, family environment,” says Tim Rowe, Carson City Airport’s general manager.

The purpose of the Carson City Airport Open House is to raise community awareness of the importance of aviation for Carson City and Nevada’s economy. The economic impact of the airport to the local community is estimated at more than $30 million annually.

Carson City Airport is conveniently located three miles northeast of downtown Carson City, 30 miles from downtown Reno, 13 miles from Virginia City, and only 20 miles from South Lake Tahoe. For more information on the Carson City Airport Open House, visit or call 775-841-2255.