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Parade organizers ready to kick off Fall Festival

The head of the Pahrump Fall Festival parade committee said there are a few changes this year regarding judging entries.

The parade, the official kickoff to the Fall Festival, is scheduled to begin Saturday at 9 a.m., at the intersection of Highway 160 and Dandelion Street.

The procession will head northbound on the highway to Boot Hill Drive, covering a distance of more than two miles. Traffic on Highway 160 will be blocked off beginning at 8:45 a.m.

The check-in area at Ian Deutch Park and Dandelion Street opens at 7:30 a.m.

For the first time, sizable cash prizes will be bestowed to the top entries on Saturday, said Vernon Van Winkle, parade committee president after a committee meeting on Wednesday.

Van Winkle is the owner of Pahrump’s KPVM Digital 46 television.

“We finalize the staging area and assignments due to the large amount of judged entries this year,” he said. “This is the first year that we are offering a $400 Grand Marshal prize. There’s also a couple of $150 prizes and a $100 prize.”

At least 34 entries will be judged this year.

Van Winkle noted that previous fall festivals occurring during an election year tend to draw more entries from area candidates and incumbents.

“We have a good amount of entries that are coming in because of that,” he said. “We usually have about 107 entries in an election year, but this year, I’m a little surprised because we have about 80. It’s not as many as normal, which is kind of strange.”

Additionally, Van Winkle said extra efforts will be made to ensure an even flow as the procession heads north on Highway 160 from Dandelion Street.

“It requires a lot of adept staging to have a good flow,” he said. “We also need to bring all of the entries together at the precise time so they’ll go down the parade route in an orderly fashion. We’ve got a variety of entries, including people walking with the floats. There’s also semi-trucks, horses and other vehicles.”

The Grand Marshal this year is John Morris, owner of Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch.

Van Winkle said the decision was obvious.

“I elected him as Grand Marshal because of all the contributions he’s made to the community on a continuous basis and the future plans that he has,” he said. “He’s a very busy man so we are fortunate to have him. He’s going to fly in from California and he will choose the Grand Marshal’s Choice Award, which will be the $400 prize.”

Those who cannot make it out to the parade can watch it at home on KPVM Digital 46.

This year the parade will be a tape-delayed broadcast with the first airing at noon.

“Ronda Van Winkle and Janet Errett will provide the parade coverage Saturday morning and they have been doing it together for about 12 years,” Van Winkle said. “Eunette Gentry will be doing street interviews with some of the entries. This is the 19th year that I have done the parade, which was one of the first things I did when I came on the air here in Pahrump back in 1997.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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