CARSON CITY — From sunrise to sunset, the image of this year’s Frontier Days festival will likely last a lifetime for the hundreds of visitors who experienced the charm of the small-town festival.
With a sky frequently dotted by the colorful array of hot air balloons overhead, combined with crowded streets of children playing together while their parents browsed through various vendor booths, the city truly came alive, kicking off the summer season in grand fashion with the hosting of the 42nd annual Carson City festival.
Filled with various contests, parades, and entertainment for all to enjoy throughout the weekend, the western-themed celebration attracted many to the area, such as the Shontere family of St. Johns.
PHOTO GALLERY (BALLOONS)
Having recently returned from a mission trip in Papua New Guinea, Tim Shontere said he and his wife, Courtney, and three children, Elijah, 10, Judah, 8, and Benjamin, 4, couldn’t have had a better time.
“We like it, it’s been unique and fun,” he said. “The kids have really had a great time. Being able to see the marching band, the floats, and especially the candy, it’s been great for the kids.”
Having been out of the country for three years, Courtney Shontere said it was nice to be able to get out and enjoy an authentic American festival.
PHOTO GALLERY (PARADE)
“It’s been a lot of fun, you really get that small-town feel,” she said. “Seeing the flames from the hot air balloons, it scared our youngest, Benjamin, at first, but by they end we were all having a blast.”
The Shontere family made sure to enjoy the living history event, as well as observe chainsaw carver Scott Kuefler create unique wooden sculptures featuring bears and other animals native to Michigan.
This year’s Frontier Days Queen Molly McAlvey, 16, traded in her flute and band uniform for a sash and pink gown this year in the parade as she waved to the many smiling faces sitting curbside along Main Street.
PHOTO GALLERY (FIREWORKS)
“I’ve lived here all my life, I’ve been coming every summer in June for as long as I can remember,” she said. “The balloon launch is always one of my favorite things and seeing the kids this year running up, wanting autographs and photos, it’s been a great festival.”
Festival President Amy Tasker said attendance may have been down this year due to other summer festivals such as the B-93 Birthday Bash, but that didn’t quell the spirit of the hundreds that made it to Carson City.
“Things have gone really well. the weather has been perfect,” she said. “The people in town have been really positive and seeing the balloons go up, seeing them glow last night, it really kicked the festival into high gear.”
With children running from one event to the other, from the mini-tractor pull to the evening balloon glow, Tasker said it was clearly evident that everyone seemed to find something to enjoy at this year’s festival.
PHOTO GALLERY (MISC.)
“We’re really pleased with the turnout this year,” she said. “Especially with the amount of kids, they really seem to be enjoying the activities. The festival has brought a lot of folks into town, and we are extremely lucky to have the sponsorships that we have from our local businesses. People are spending time downtown, experiencing Carson City, and it’s been perfect.”
For hot air balloon pilot Steve Mitchell of Broadview Heights, Ohio, it was his third consecutive year coming to Carson City to fly his balloon and it was the first year that the weather cooperated and was calm enough for he and the 14 other pilots to fly both competitively and for fun.
“This is one of the festivals every year that we really look forward to coming out to,” he said. “It’s a real fun, family event, very relaxed. It’s got that small-town feel that we really enjoy. It’s a blast.”
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