VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. - Fourth of July is less than a week away and many of you will be heading to Sparks or Lake Tahoe to celebrate, but have you considered Virginia City? It's known for it's elaborate fireworks show, but it needs your help to keep the celebration free for all.
In its hey day, the Comstock set the standard for Fourth of July Fun, and in recent years they have renewed that red, white and blue tradition. It's an all-day celebration that was resurrected about 50 years ago, but big events cost big money, and that can be hard for any tiny tourist town.
"It's a piece of history. This is a ghost town, but it's not forgotten. There's history in every store, there's history on the pavement," Mikala McPartlan, a Virginia City local said.
A history that will be commemorated by a parade, a gun show and what's an independence day without fireworks?
"[Fireworks] go off in the middle of town so we're on a hillside, obviously, you can see them, they're right in your face," Deny Dotson, Virginia City tourism director said. "You get an echo off the mountain and that's something you can't duplicate anywhere else."
This year, the lack of funding puts all of the show-stoppers in jeopardy.
"It's always a little nerve-wracking when you have expenses like we have to put on a free firework show," Dotson said.
The cost of the entire celebration runs about $30,000 and $15,000 of it goes toward the fireworks display. Because the event is completely free, the city relies solely on donations and sponsors. With the celebration just less than a week away, they're barely halfway to their goal.
"Every year we get a little nervous coming onto the fourth," Dotson said. "I think we're blessed each year that we make it close enough to make it pay for them."
It's a struggle to continue the strong tradition that locals say, goes unparalleled.
"Virginia city is the place to be on the fourth of July, I guarantee it," Stinky, V.C. local said.
There are donation jars in every store throughout the town where community members can donate to the fireworks display, the grand finale to the celebration.
If you aren't able to get to Virginia City before the Fourth of July and would still like to donate, call the visitor center at 775-847-7500.
List of events:
9 a.m. – Booth opens selling raffle tickets, wine walk tickets and event t-shirts
11 a.m. – Devil’s Gate Gunfighters comedy show at C and Union Streets
12 p.m. – Parade begins, expected to last approximately an hour and a half
1 p.m. – Red White and YOU Wine Walk begins, continues until 6 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – Larry Elliott, as Uncle Sam, performs music and stories 6 p.m. – Free concert, Second Amendment Celebration Concert in Delta Parking lot
7 p.m. – Raffle and live auction
7:45 p.m. – Second Amendment Celebration Concert continues After Dark – Fireworks Spectacular