RENO, NV - As Nevada celebrates its 150th birthday, Governor Sandoval celebrates with his 4th Annual Governor's Banquet.
People who grew up here and who have lived here for a while take pride in calling Nevada home. Tuesday night, proud Nevadans share their memories and why they love the silver state.
"Home Means Nevada" is a song Nevadans learn growing up and hold dear to their hearts.
"It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it," said Governor Sandoval. That's because home means Nevada to Governor Sandoval, who grew up here. "Frankly, I'm going to be sad when Friday comes and goes," he added.
As we get closer to Nevada's Sesquicentennial, the Governor reminds us to take a moment and reflect on how far we've come these last 150 years.
"I was looking back at some of the old pictures and remembered when I was in Carson City in 1964 during its 100th birthday, so it's been very good for me.
Nevada is also home to Sparks Mayor Geno Martini, who was born and raised in Sparks.
"Going to school at Sparks High, going to the University of Nevada, things like that, just living in Sparks my whole life and being the Mayor has been a highlight, of course," he said. "Every thing that has happened, I've loved."
East coast transplant Karen Gysen remembers why she moved out to where the sun always shines 23 years ago.
"Getting married three years ago here and getting to be a part of the whole environment in Virginia City and kind of reliving history and being a part of the Living Legends," she said.
As we start looking forward to the next 150 years, leaders in the state are hoping businesses will stay in the heart of the golden west.
"I think we're on the right path," said Mayor Martini. "We're bringing Tesla and other businesses--I think that's good for our future and we need to keep going that way."
So whether you were uprooted or home grown, for some, home will always mean Nevada.
"I plan on staying here the rest of my life," Gysen said.
There are a lot of birthday celebrations this week for Nevada's Sesquicentennial, including the annual Nevada Day Parade in Carson City Saturday and a new addition this year: an attempt to break a world record with Nevada Sings Thursday.
For more information on those events, click the "Nevada 150" link to the right.
The 4th annual Governor's Banquet, begun in 2011 to raise money for victims of the Reno Air Races crash and Carson City IHOP shooting, raised money for the Boys and Girls Club of Nevada.