The 79th annual Nevada Day Parade was held in Carson City on October 28th, 2017.
I have been in the parade many times in the past, but this year, I got to ride in front as the Grand Marshal.
There was a big Burning Man presence in this year’s parade. More than a dozen art cars and a huge sculpture: The Mind of DaVinci by artist Mischell Riley, which was later permanently installed in front of the Carson City Community Center. This was the first piece of Burning Man art purchased by Carson City.
Additional Burning Man dignitaries in the parade included founder Will Roger Peterson and Maria Partridge, Artist Advocate and a member of Reno’s Art and Culture Commission.
Carson City, the capital of Nevada, has embraced the art and culture of Burning Man. I feel that my role as Grand Marshal is the culmination of outreach efforts for Burning Man that began in 2001 with the Silver Seed Tour of America, when I drove an old RV across the U.S. in an effort to reconnect Burning Man participants with each other in various regions of the country.
My next outreach was April, 2002, when I put together the first Burning Man information booth at Reno Earth Day. To explain what Burning Man was, I created this 1-page handout, which explained the art, culture and leave no trace principles of Burning Man.
The Burning Man information booth was a presence at Reno Earth Day for several years. In 2005 and 2006, I took the Burning Man information booth to the Frontier Days Festival in Lovelock.
The shade structure covering was a piece of used billboard vinyl. Two chairs and a table were always arranged so that anyone could just walk in, have a conversation, and look closely at the 8’x4′ display board, covered with Burning Man photos. In back was a large banner which read: “BURNING MAN – Nevada’s Newest Frontier”
In 2004, I entered the first Burning Man art car in the Nevada Day Parade. This 40′ long rocket car, built by David Best, had banners on each side which read: “BURNING MAN – the wildest ride in NEVADA”
I drove “The Catmobile”, built by Tom Kennedy, in the 2005 Nevada Day Parade. The banner hanging on the tail read: “BURNING MAN – perrrr-fectly Nevada”
In 2006, I brought “The Neverwas Haul” to the Nevada Day Parade. The size and height made it one of the most challenging entries in the parade’s history. It was taller than the traffic lights.
The theme for the 2007 parade was “Mysteries of Nevada”. Following a banner that read: “BURNING MAN Nevada’s Outer Limits” I led several Burning Man art cars thru the parade route.
We fit the theme well.
Each year that I entered a Burning Man art car, we won an award. After 2007, the owners of Burning Man art cars began to enter the parade as independent entries.
The “USS Nevada” is a regular favorite, as is “Controlled Burn”.
Every year, there is an active group of burners participating in the parade.
As Grand Marshall in 2017, I proudly rode in the back of my old Dodge pickup:
Welcome Home Nevada