Panaca held its Founder’s Day Ball May 3, a part of the many celebrations around the state for Nevada’s sesquicentennial. Chairman of the Founder’s Day Ball Committee Mindy Anderson Schimbeck estimated more than 700 residents and friends in attendance. The celebration was originally supposed to focus primarily on Panaca’s sesquicentennial, but it turned into a state sesquicentennial event, sharing the history of the entire county.
Schimbeck, who also runs multiple dance teams for the youth of the county, worked for more than months with school children for choreography to present during the floor show. Each town portrayed a different aspect of Lincoln County culture. Pioche elementary students dressed as miners and danced to “Hi-ho,” from Snow White. Panaca’s elementary group represented the agriculture theme dancing to, “My tractor goes chug-chug.” Caliente elementary students represented the train industry, dancing to, “I’ve been working on the railroad,” and “Locomotion.” Pahranagat Valley elementary performed square dancing to, “The big mountain dance.”
Along with the dancing entertainment, three solo dance performances were given by Shayla Mathews, Asia Frehner and Sydney Anderson. Anderson and Lizzy Gloeckner also performed a duet routine. The show choir from the Lincoln County High School as well as the members from Little Off Broadway both performed musical numbers. Youth groups from the Church of Latter Day Saints and Catholic churches also performed squared dances for the crowd. High school students William Culverwell, Cameron Frehner, Craig Roundy and Kendall Thomas even joined as an a cappella quartet.
The theme, “Journey through the past,” encouraged many old-fashioned outfits and western apparel from all attendants, young to old. The celebration started at 7 p.m. Sounds of Midlife Crisis, a band from Las Vegas, had participants dancing to swing, rock and country. Pete Peterson, Panaca resident and member of the town board knew one of the band members from school. The music was highly praised by many, and Schimbeck reported the teens danced the rest of the night.
Moments & Milestones photographer Janine Woodworth was available and added to the historic theme providing older rustic photos.
Debbie Bradfield, member of the sesquicentennial committee said, “It turned out to be a huge community event. It was so neat to see dads dancing with their daughters.”
Schimbeck said many people that attended asked that it turn into an annual occurrence.
Many residents volunteered to help with the event. Bart Anderson performed as the Master of Ceremonies, and the Panaca Sesquicentennial Committee contributed a lot towards the celebration and refreshments. Schimbeck also praised her committee for all their efforts, complimenting Larissa Frehner, Robin Heaton, Anna Gloeckner, Judy Bleak and Lara Heiselbetz. Special thanks was also given to Jessica Mathews and Vanessa Plunkett.
As we near Panaca’s official 150th birthday, we wait in anticipation to see how grand the celebration will be for residents in Lincoln County.