Pioneer Day in Panaca started off July 20 as it usually does: with a bang. Dynamite explosions were heard throughout the town, shaking windows and alerting everyone within the community that fun was soon to be had. Though, technically, the celebrations had already begun the day before, with the first day of the craft fair, the outdoor movie night showing of “Captain Marvel” and the “Lincoln County’s Got Talent” show.
Saturday was jam-packed with adventures for one and all, starting with the 5K run to Cathedral Gorge and the flag ceremony held by Boy Scout Troop 514. Then the Panaca First Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hosted a breakfast made up of eggs, hash browns, sausage patties and pancakes, attended by hundreds of hungry people.
Beginning in the morning and running throughout the day, the museum on main street was open to the public. This museum catalogs the many events that helped shaped Panaca, as well as the county as a whole, with artifacts that date back to the days of the pioneers that shaped the valley and made this small part of Eastern Nevada their home.
The second day of the craft fair also fell on Saturday, with a wide variety of goods being sold out of the gym connected to the Neldon C Mathews auditorium, ranging from Lula Rowe clothing to homemade sweets.
For children, the day was particularly full of adventure. From 9 a.m. onward, the kid races on the Panaca elementary school’s lawn kept going at full speed, while the money scramble later in the day filled kids’ pockets with change (usually fated to end up exchanged at the Panaca Market for candy and chips).
Back at the Neldon C Mathews auditorium, “How to Train Your Dragon” was shown on the big screen to dozens of happy moviegoers. In the gym across the road, a volleyball tournament was held, while floats lined up along 5th Street in preparation for the parade.
The parade itself was held in the late afternoon, with floats from Lincoln County’s Got Talent, the various families in town and the Loving Care animal society and thrift store.
This year Pete Getker was honored as the grand marshal. Getker has worked with Easter Seals, developed a title company business, worked to help young women and was the first woman appointed justice of the peace for Lincoln County.
As the fire engines roared down the road, signaling the end of the parade, some people began to disperse in preparation for the fireworks show later that night, while others wandered over to the dinner held, once again, by the Panaca First Ward. While the menu was noticeably different from previous years, the hot dogs and hamburgers were well received by most everyone. Back at the high school gym, a small Nerf battle was put on by Anderson Foam Wars, which ended just before the amazing fireworks display. With explosions of light and sound, the Pioneer Day Celebration ended just as excitingly as it began.