weather icon Clear

Virus deadly to Beatty events

Among the victims of COVID-19 are Beatty’s two biggest events of the year—the Fourth of July celebration in the park and Beatty Days in October.

Beatty has become known for a great traditional Fourth of July, sponsored by the Beatty Volunteer Fire Department. People have gathered in Cottonwood Park each year for a day of three-legged races, sack races, egg tosses, watermelon eating contests, and other fun, capped in the evening by an impressive fireworks display.

The celebration has been largely supported by the sale of raffle tickets, and, aside from the dangers of large gatherings during the pandemic, the lack of raffle sponsorships is one of the reasons for the cancellation. Beatty Fire Chief Mike Harmon explained that businesses have been so affected by the lockdown that they are not in a position supply prizes for the raffle.

Even though events in the park are canceled, the plan is for the full fireworks show to go on as usual in the evening. If social distancing guidelines have not been loosened by that time, people are encouraged to watch them from home or from their cars.

Beatty Days, a three-day event scheduled for the last week of October, has also been canceled by its sponsor, the Beatty Chamber of Commerce.

Upon hearing about the Beatty Days cancellation via Facebook, some Beatty residents were understanding, while others were critical of the decision, arguing that it was premature.

Beatty Chamber of Commerce President Ann Marchand reacted to the criticism by saying, “I appreciate the fact that they love Beatty Days and want it to happen,” and went on to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

The need to cancel was partly driven by economics. The Chamber of Commerce spends about $20,000 on the event each year. This includes such things as advertising, printing, renting of stages, hiring performers, having T-shirts and other memorabilia made, paying sanction fees for the the chili cook-off, and more.

“We don’t even know if festivals will be permitted by October,” said Marchand, adding that the chamber could not afford to lay out all that money and then have the event canceled later or have it so poorly attended that it was a huge financial loss.

She also said that with the CDC not approving big events, it would be impossible to purchase event insurance.

The chamber has also been informed that, because of revenue shortfalls, the Nevada Division of Tourism does not anticipate being able to give out any advertising grants this year, which amounts to a $38,000 loss for the chamber.

Marchand was also concerned for the people who set up booths and food stalls at Beatty Days every year. “I’d hate to see our vendors buy a lot of product to sell at Beatty Days, and then have to cancel at the last minute.”

The biggest concern was public health. So far Beatty has only had one confirmed case of COVID-19, and a large number of out-of-town visitors crowded together in the park might cause an outbreak.

She also pointed out the possible long-term damage to the reputation of the event and the town if Beatty Days was held and things went wrong.

“If you have an event, and a lot of people get sick and die, that is what people are going to remember. They’ll say, ‘Remember what happened last year? Do you really want to attend?’”

Beatty is not the only community facing the problem. “I’ve been on a lot of conference calls,” says Marchand, “and most towns are canceling their events.”

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Eight Republicans, six Democrats battling for Nevada’s Congressional District 4 nomination

Editor’s Note: The Pahrump Valley Times had a misprinted page in its 2020 Special Election section on Friday, May 22. Four candidates from Nevada’s Congressional District 4 were affected by this incident (Also, see note to readers from the Times on A1 in this edition). This writing only includes the lost content and doesn’t reflect the original writing in full.

Leslie Street paving to commence tomorrow in Pahrump

Pahrump Valley motorists who regularly travel along Leslie Street might want to consider another route this Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29, as the repaving project for the stretch of Leslie Street between Basin Avenue and Irene Street is set to take place over the next two days.

Beatty High School sends off seniors drive-thru style

“Pomp and Circumstance” played, and the Beatty High School Class of 2020 gathered at the school’s football field to receive diplomas. It was a typical high school graduation ceremony. Except it wasn’t.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, May 23 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $9 million.

Sisolak announces Phase 2 of reopening to start Friday

On a day when Gov. Steve Sisolak had to cancel an in-person press conference because of possible exposure to COVID-19, he announced that the state is ready to move into Phase 2 of the “Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery” reopening plan starting Friday and reiterated that June 4 is the target date for reopening casinos.

DMV staff preparing for offices to reopen

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is preparing to reopen after shutting down March 16, but a reopening date has not been set. All full-service DMV offices remain closed.

HHS delivering funds to expand COVID-19 testing

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday it is delivering $11 billion in new funding to support testing for COVID-19.

Nye County tax sale goes to online format

The Nye County treasurer’s office will hold its first online tax-defaulted property sale on auction website Bid4Assets.com beginning May 31.

Nevada Health Link enrolls 6,000 during special period

The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange announced Tuesday that Nevada Health Link enrolled 6,017 Nevadans during its limited-time Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period that ended May 15.