Sometimes you just need to sit back and watch life perform its art of storytelling.

― Parth

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Welcome to sweet summertime, Main Street Gardnerville!

School is out, vacation mode is set, the days are long, and the nights are short. These are the magical days of summer, where we spend more time outside than in and gather together to catch up, soak up some sunshine by the lake, sit by a fire pit, share stories, and find laughter that always feels a little lighter this time of year—the careless, lazy days of summer.

Yesterday was the summer solstice, and we had a rare opportunity to celebrate the FIRST official day of summer downtown with a thousand of our closest friends, family, and neighbors at our “Sip, Sip, HURRAY” Sport-themed Third Thursday Wine Walk.

Going into the event, I was concerned that it may not be well attended due to downtown construction. (In case you didn’t notice, we are missing half our highway.) That did not deter the close to 500 registered Wine Walkers who attended our fundraising event last night!

Once again, I was reminded of how special and supportive our community is. The current state of the downtown highway repave project has taken its toll on our local merchants and businesses, so having the opportunity, like last night, for the community to come together and visit with and support our local businesses is imperative. And luckily for us, you understood the assignment and showed up to support them. THANK YOU!

We are nearing the final phases of the NDOT 395 Reconstruction Project, and as it seems like we have been under construction FOR-EV-ER, the magnitude of the project and how much progress Sierra Nevada Construction and the Nevada Department of Transportation continue to make is impressive and deserves some praise. YES, we are down to two lanes, and YES, we have lost access to a lot of our businesses, BUT .. they are removing a 100-year-old original concrete roadbed from our downtown. That means you can see layers of our town that have not been exposed in over 100 years. Like I said, impressive.

We appreciate Sierra Nevada Construction and the Nevada Department of Transportation’s continued efforts to communicate the current project status and ever-changing road closures through the mile-long active construction site. Thanks to their efforts, we can continue to share the most up-to-date information on our website and social media regarding the progress and affected areas of the active construction zone, as well as alternate routes and parking hubs so that you can continue accessing your favorite spots downtown.

Nevada Department of Transportation has established text alerts sent daily to your phone. You can receive it by texting “Downtown” to 1-866-540-8466

This is a one-in-twenty (ish) year project, and when it’s all said and done, we will have some beautiful new asphalt to carry us through our beautiful downtown. We are almost there—the end is near, I promise.

In the meantime, if traffic is getting you down, ditch the car and take advantage of the Martin Slough Trail that will lead you on a stroll down Main Street. You can visit some of your favorite businesses and discover new favorites while you’re here. It is an entirely different experience, and you will discover new things you may not have noticed existed. It’s worth it, trust me. Ditch the car.

If we aren’t paving our roads, we are PAINTING them. You heard that right: our “Stop and Smell the Flowers” Ezell Street Asphalt Art Street Mural is underway! We had a fantastic turnout at the first “Fill in the Mural” community paint night before the Town of Gardnerville’s Movies in the Park at Heritage Park last Friday, June 14th. Artists from all ages and skill levels came to help paint the piece and accomplished a great deal thanks to our lead artists and all those volunteers who have earned their titles as artists.

I have said this before, and I am saying it again: it is truly remarkable to watch the process of art manifesting into existence. Our incredibly talented lead artists, Sherri and Eric Majors, along with the guidance and support of our community and Main Street Gardnerville volunteers, helped to shape this project from a pipedream idea into a reality. As a person of many words (all the words), it is hard to find the right ones to describe the feeling of watching an imaginary concept be placed onto paper and then into a large-scale, colorful, tangible piece of art. It’s phenomenal.

This project is so fun, but we still have some work and need your help! Mark your calendars for the next Community Paint Night on July 19th at 5:30 pm before the Town of Gardnerville Movies in the Park featuring the Super Mario Bros. Movie. For more information, check out the link below and our Public Art Page to learn all about this project.

Heritage Park is becoming the happening place downtown. We launched our inaugural CV Days 5k Classic Fun Run/Walk from Heritage Park on Saturday, June 8th, on Carson Valley Days. We had a great turnout for our first run, with 186 registered runners making their way through the Martin Slough Trail onto Highway 395 and along the parade route. The CV Days 5k Classic was the first race of the three-race series in our “We Run This Town” 5k race series. Registering and completing all three runs in this series will give you a limited edition ” I Run This Town” tee shirt. These runs/walks are great! There are many endorphins and smiling, happy people in one place, plus a chance at a limited edition tee shirt. Sign me up!

The next race in the series is our ever-popular Freedom 5k Run for the Wreath Fun Run/Walk, held on the 4th of July at Heritage Park. It’s the most patriotic 5k on this side of the mountains. We have prizes for first, second, and third place, PLUS the best patriotic attire. I can’t think of a better way to kick off your Freedom Festivities and hot dog eating than a quick little jaunt downtown. You have two weeks to register before prices go up the day of, so RUN, don’t walk, and sign up today.

We have some exciting news brewing here on Main Street Gardnerville. We recently closed our 2024 Façade Improvement Grant cycle and have some incredible projects headed to Main Street in the coming weeks and months! Congratulations to our winners: Manoukian Building (the former hospital built in 1914 and location of All State Insurance) for their historic preservation-based project and Javelin Ventures for the first of many improvements to the old Country Carousel space and Richford Hotel (Original structure from 1906). We will see some fresh paint at the Country Carousel and the creation of a third space outdoor seating area at the Richford Hotel.

The total amount of improvements is projected at $84,180.00. Thanks to the tremendous support and investment from Douglas County’s Economic Vitality Program, Douglas County Community Services through its TOTTS, and our Main Street Gardnerville fundraising, we awarded a combined total of $35,000 to these lucky awardees in this reimbursable grant program. These are your Main Street dollars at work. Every Wine Walk, fundraising event, and donation is helping to improve our downtown. We couldn’t do it without you. THANK YOU!

Speaking of thanks and gratitude, thank you to our Flower Sub-committee and the Town of Gardnerville for the flawless execution of hanging our annual Hanging Flower Baskets and delivering Adopt a Pots to businesses. The Hanging Flower Basket program is one of our longest-running beautification projects, made possible thanks to our incredible Flower Sub-committee. Under their guidance, the Douglas High School FFA, Smith Valley High School FFA, and China Springs Youth Camp, future farmers plant and cultivate our flowers through the spring. It is a combined effort, and the results are the beautiful iconic baskets that grace our Main Street each year. Kudos to everyone for another thriving Main Street in Bloom.  If you are interested in helping to support this program, click on the link below for more information on how to sponsor.

Well, Main Street, you made it to the end. It was incredible seeing you downtown last night. It was an entire vibe of happy people that was so fun to be a part of, and we are very thankful for the continued Main Street memories we are making together.

Please continue to support your downtown merchants and businesses so we can ensure they remain and thrive through this disruption and can continue to give us places to gather downtown. Support local, tip generously, and, as always, be kind to each other.

Until next time, Main Street!


Jen Nalder, Program Director
Main Street Gardnerville
Main Street Gardnerville is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to revitalize downtown Gardnerville utilizing design, organization, promotion & district vitality to develop a unique identity and preserve the historic nature of our community.