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Elko events return following a year of cancellations
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Elko events return following a year of cancellations

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ELKO – After over a year of pandemic caution and limited access to events and social gatherings, things are beginning to look up for residents suffering from “Covid fatigue.” A number of popular events are returning this summer with certain safety limitations. Finally, there is something positive to look forward to.

Here is a summary of recently announced plans, subject to potential changes in regulations:

Cinco de Mayo Parade

The annual Cinco de Mayo Parade will return next month after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Once again we can watch as female dancers flounce their brilliant dresses and the gentlemen keep in step in their sombreros and dark suits. The parade will take place at 11 a.m. May 8 in downtown Elko.

“We have been approved by both the City of Elko and the Nevada Department of Business and Industry to hold this event,” an administrator wrote on their Facebook page. “We are taking entries with no entry fee, thanks to our sponsor Ruby Rose Garden Landscape and Tree Service.”

“We are asking for donations,” said organizer Ben Cortez. “Those funds go toward scholarships and back to the community.”

Folks and businesses interested in being involved in the parade should contact Cortez at 340-6043 or email elkocincodemayo@gmail.com to sign up.

Elko Mining Expo

Up until last year, the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority had hosted 34 annual Elko Mining Expos. The 35th event will run June 7-10.

this is one of the oldest and most respected mining expos held in the United States and draws close to 8,000 people nationally and internationally.

The convention center is asking exhibitors to not bring large quantities of marketing materials or promotional materials because of the pandemic.

Because of Nevada’s restrictions on large public gatherings, the event will be scaled down and masks and social distancing will be required.

“I know some of the changes are not going to be popular; however, we want this event to happen,” said Katie Neddenriep, executive director of the ECVA, in an earlier interview. “I think the industry wants this event to happen and our community from the economic impact [standpoint] wants this to happen.”

“If you look at some of the other industry conferences, you have to have a badge to go anywhere,” Neddenriep said, referring to the MINExpo International in Las Vegas and the SME Annual Conference.

Ruby Roubaix Gravel Fondo

Rotary Club of Elko Desert Sunrise is sponsoring the inaugural Ruby Roubaix (pronounced “Roo Bay”), formerly “Ride Around the Rubies,” on June 19.

“We did not get to do this last year,” said Kerry Aguirre, who handles public relations for the club. “Our sponsors were very gracious to carry this forward.”

Aguirre said they have nearly reached half of their registration goal with local riders and others from California and Idaho signing up.

The event is named after the Paris-Roubaix, a 100-year-old cycling event in France.

The Ruby Roubaix is for both beginners and experienced cyclists. The terrain will include gravel road, dust stretches, asphalt and lightly traveled roads. Participants can either race it or just ride it.

Proceeds from the event will support youth leadership development, exchange programs, local and global community improvement projects, and programs that include healthy behaviors and inspirational service to others.

Visit rubyroubaix.com for registration and other details.

Lamoille Country Fair

The Lamoille Women’s Club is happy to announce that their annual event, the Lamoille Country Fair, is scheduled for Sunday, June 27.

The fair was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

The fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Lamoille Grove and in the clubhouse yard.

According to Pam Osmonson, co-chair of the fair, 60 vendors have already registered and there are 60 more spaces available.

Handmade lemonade is a fair staple and it will still be available. A single-service option will also be provided.

“One thing we are going to do is have ‘Covid lemonade’ which will be a bottle of water with a packet of Crystal Light to avoid hand-squeezed lemons,” said co-chair Kenna Sorenson.

Terrys Pumpin’ and Potties will provide hand wash stations throughout the area and social distancing will be required.

According to Osmonson, booths are enclosed on three sides so each vendor will be separated from others.

Vendors will check in on Saturday prior to the event.

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Sorenson said money raised at this event will be put to good use. The club helps the Committee against Domestic Violence, provides a veteran’s relief fund, and contributes money toward scholarships for women.

Members of the club have been busy making hats for the Huntsman Cancer Institute which they will deliver in March. They are also making baby quilts for the March of Dimes.

National Basque Festival

The National Basque Festival will be a smaller event this year with most of the activities happening at the Basque House.

According to nevadatravel.com, Basque communities throughout the Silver State have been attending the National Basque Festival since 1964. The event is one of the more colorful happenings in the community. Dancers wear blazing white and bright red costumes, visitors consume big bowls of saffron-colored paella, and the “irrintzi” (a celebratory cry) pierces the air during an exhilarating competition.

The event will occur July 3-4, a slightly shorter version than normal. On Saturday there will be a golf tournament and 5k run. Food, dancing and games will follow. The dance will be held at 9 p.m. Saturday evening. The Sunday picnic will include Mass at 11 a.m., lunch at noon and cultural activities at 1 p.m.

“The Basque Club is so excited to host the National Basque Festival,” said club member Kassidy Zaga Arbillaga. “We missed celebrating with the Elko Community in 2020 and are looking forward to seeing everyone in a few short months.”

Schedules and updates will be posted on the Elko Euzkaldunak Club’ Facebook page and at www.elkobasqueclub.com.

“Come enjoy some good food, cold drinks and watch traditional dances and games,” she said.

Art in the Park

Art in the Park will be held July 10-11. As in the past, vendors will showcase artwork and handicrafts.

Last year the event was one of the few that was able to take place because it was outside. More than 70 vendors set up booths.

“We should have about the same number or more this year,” coordinator Tess King said.

Local vendors Deb Finley and Mica Johnson are attending. Finley is a ceramic artist and Johnson makes artisan jewelry.

“We are having some new vendors coming in from Reno,” King said. “There is a new apron vendor who does artwork on aprons. There also may be a handmade licorice seller.”

The Art Club is still looking for an entertainment venue and volunteers. Call 385-1626 for details.

Silver State Stampede

The annual Silver State Stampede, Nevada’s oldest and most respected rodeo, is returning this year. The event will take place July 9-11 at the Elko County Fairgrounds. This will be the 109th year of the rodeo.

The Stampede was a “go” last summer, in part because it is an outdoor event.

The rodeo was begun by G.S. Garcia, a well-known local bit and saddle maker. It is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event.

Everyone loves the mutton busters who will compete all three evenings. Other ranch-related competitions take place with daring moves by both riders and livestock. The “Ring of Fear,” a nerve-racking bull versus human being contest, is often the highlight of the evening.

A dance with live music will be held Friday and Saturday evenings after the rodeo.

Ruby Mountain Balloon Festival

The balloon festival returns this year bigger and better than ever. The event is a colorful and fun time for participants and visitors alike.

This year the event’s 20th anniversary will take place July 23-24 in both Elko and Spring Creek.

Ruby Mountain Hot Air Inc. was founded to plan and organize the Ruby Mountain Balloon Festival. The nonprofit organization is made up of pilots, crews and other balloon enthusiasts.

“As we speak, we have 26 balloons coming to the event,” said President Kristopher Stephenson.

He said the organizing committee made the sad decision last year to cancel for safety reasons. That makes this year ever more special.

“The balloon glow will be at the park, as it always has been,” Stephenson said. “We are going full steam ahead. Of course, everything is still Covid-contingent.”

Stephenson said that this year during media day, all balloons will be launching from town.

The group is always looking for crew members to help with the event. Call Stephenson at 934-3418 or email rmbf.crew@gmail.com.

Elko murals:

This story has been altered on April 19, 2021 to correct for a mistake in reporting the date of the Cinco de Mayo parade.

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