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Valley rings in Independence Day

Pahrump observed Independence Day in grand fashion with no less than three patriotic events last weekend attracting hundreds of visitors to area venues.

The entire celebration got underway at the Calvada Eye Friday morning with the annual July 4 parade procession.

Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen, who emceed the event, said three local organizations were recognized and won awards for their respective floats according to the judging committee.

At least two of the winners represented the Town of Pahrump’s old west feel and tradition.

The local Water Stone Bunch won the Judges Choice while the Pahrump Gunfighters earned the Most Enthusiastic trophy.

Both organizations got the attention of the judges and the crowd by firing their guns around the parade route while donning late 19th century regalia.

Meanwhile, the Pahrump Valley Republican Women and the Nye County Republican Central Committee (NCRCC) were selected as the Most Patriotic this year.

“I thought it was another great event for the residents of the community,” the commissioner said. “This all began about seven years ago, with VFW 10054 Commander Tom Vick along with myself and Commissioner Butch Borasky. This year the turnout was good with about 35 entrants and 100 participants, counting everyone on floats. One local business, Dance Impressions, had three trailers full of kids in the parade. The VFW prepared the pancake and sausage breakfast where all had a great time, and I’d also like to give thanks to the sheriff’s auxiliary as well as the county and town’s fire and rescue,” he said.

Following the 9 a.m. parade, many families went directly to Petrack Park for the annual Liberty Festival produced by the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Vice President Dina Erdag-Williamson said she was impressed with the overall turnout this year, especially the numbers of families who chose to attend along with roughly 40 vendors.

“I thought it all went very smoothly. Because the chamber is in-between CEOs right now, the chamber board and staff all stepped up to take a portion of the tasks. After speaking with the vendors, I was glad to know they were all pleased with the turnout and the profits that they made,” she said.

The vice president also said though the chamber’s main task was coordinating vendors and organizing the festival, several area sponsors played key roles in bringing the festival back again this year.

Nathan Adelson Hospice, Valley Electric Association and the offices of Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys rounded out the sponsorship field.

The latter donated a sponsorship booth to Pahrump’s No To Abuse agency, a not-for-profit organization that provides supportive services to children, women, and men in Nye County affected by domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Local resident Reva Braun has attended many July 4 celebrations over the years at Petrack Park. She said this year’s observances did not disappoint.

“It was fantastic. I think everybody had a good time and it was well organized. It seemed the people and families felt safe and it was just a great event for our town,” she said.

Pyrotechnic specialist John O’Brien of Zambelli Fireworks and his crew were responsible for the nighttime fireworks display this year. He said a lot of work went into planning the show.

“We search the world all over for artists and people who know how to put together a great show. I’ve been with Zambelli Fireworks for about 25 years. We can actually simulate the fireworks on the (computer) screen to look at duration and timing. We spend thousands of dollars in software because it makes our job easier and the public really enjoys the shows,” he said.

The Pahrump Nugget also hosted an Independence Day celebration. Nugget officials thought the weekend events were so nice, they figured it was worth doing it twice.

General Manager Jeremy Jenson said the property held a bonus fireworks show on July 5.

“It was our Summer Celebration and we had family activities going on all day. We had the bouncy house for the kids and live music for the older set. We also had hot dog and watermelon eating contests in different classes. It’s a lot of fun because all of the families come out. We just wanted to do this separate from the events at the park and it was our largest fireworks show ever. We were really excited about it and I’m glad everyone appeared to have had a great time with us,” he said.

Local resident Cora Bishop attended both firework shows.

She said she had no problem with an additional show on Saturday evening.

“The Pahrump Nugget always does a good job putting on their show every year and it was fantastic as usual. I’ve seen some of the shows in Las Vegas, but Pahrump’s shows are just as good because the finales are quite fantastic,” she said.

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