Autumn Greetings Main Street Gardnerville!

Nevada has blessed us with some of the most perfect weather to enjoy the outdoors and soak in some last-minute warmth before winter arrives.  The trees are taking full advantage of the fall warmth to slowly transition from the bright green foliage of summer to the beautiful fiery reds, oranges, and yellows of fall. If you haven’t taken a moment to stroll under their canopies, you must.  It’s their last hurrah before all their leaves fall and they are barren until their new buds come next year in the spring.
Like the trees, we also took full advantage of the perfect weather to capture more moments of making Main Street memories together before we put the Main Street Summer Series to rest until next spring.
Did anyone make it to the Annual Coffin Races and Fall Festival?  Judging from the size of the crowd, you ALL did.  This also means this blog’s readership has grown past the 5 faithful followers! It was the most perfect day and by far the best attended and most successful Fall Festival to date. We want to thank the amazing host-ess with the most-ess Rebecca Kitchen for having us on Mornings on Kolo to share this event with the community. ICYMI you can click here to watch. THANK YOU, REBECCA for this wonderful opportunity! You are incredible.
I can’t even begin to estimate how many attended throughout the day, but by observation alone, there was a steady flow from 8:45 until the event ended at 3. We had over 60 vendors on hand, and our local Carson Valley FFA with their students and petting zoo, the East Fork Gallery with their Annual Scarecrow Building Festival, and face painting went through 160 scarecrow kits!
Our talented local performers: All about Dance and Aerial Arts, Dance Workshop,  Mendiko Euskaldun Cluba Basque Dancers, and Northwest Martial Arts were all fantastic. Monique DeHavilland of Moxy Rukus has organized the local musician lines up for the last few years and did a wonderful job with her line up bringing local music talents Front Porch, Miki Rae, and the Hooligans, and of course Moxy Rukus to the stage.
Our newest feature – the Haunted Hay Ride of mostly true tales of Downtown Gardnerville hosted by the Borges Carriage Rides was a hit.  Dwight and Dianne Borges brought their carriages and crew to give attendees a neat backstage tour of Hellwinkel Barn, Eddy Street, and Courthouse to revisit the old haunts of Main Street.
Despite having last-minute teams drop, the Coffin Races were a huge success for the 8th year. Dance Workshop were the big winners of the best costume for their entry the Cinderfellas, not only could the fellas run, but they could sure dance! The ECV Clampers are always the fan favorites giving them the best Coffin award for 2023, and their shenanigans won them the “Dead Last” prize for this year’s races.
The real battle was between Stor All’s Black Betty pushed by the local 20/30 club and the Main Street Coffin with the Scary-crows.  The 20/30 team was FAST and some of the best competition we have seen in a while. They really brought the heat, but ultimately MSG was able to clinch the win for 2023.
I get a lot of credit for this coffin team, and as there is a perfect recipe for being successful at winning this race and the coffin build, I am just the “driver” and do little to get us across the finish line.  The real champions are my incredible team, my husband Richey Nalder who has supported my fascination with the races since my first one with Anytime Fitness in 2017, father and son might duo Jason and Josh Gurule, this year’s 4th runner Kory Johnson, and our master behind the scenes metal fabricator Casey Dallaire. Those guys deserve all the recognition. And luckily for us we have one more year of riding the winning high.
This event would not have been such a great success without the support of our dedicated volunteers, China Springs youth, our local vendors, musicians, performers,  our amazing sponsors – Harvest Sponsors: Carson Valley Health and Quick Space; Straw Sponsors: Mary Thomas Real Estate; Trophy Sponsor Jacobs Berry Farm, Settelmeyer hay for again providing safety for the crowd (from runaway coffins), and of course our community for attending this event.
This has always been my favorite fundraising event we host each year and with its growing popularity we are able to raise even more money to invest into our downtown through our beautification projects like the hanging flower baskets and public art, and more importantly our Facade Improvement Grant program which is currently being used for 2023 awardees: the Historian Inn’s balcony project that is under remodel as we speak, Re: Style’s exterior paint, a new roof for the historic Cheshire Antique building, and a new exterior sign for A WildFlower Florist.  As I like to say – We put the “fun” in fundraising.  Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the “ribbon cuttings” for these great projects.
Speaking of fundraising, last night we had a perfectly pink end to our Third Thursday Wine Walk series with the “Witch Way to the Wine” Pink theme wine walk.  Downtown looked like it was “hosed down with Pepto Bismal” with witches galore.  Talk about perfect weather for strolling and visiting with our wonderful businesses and neighbors.  Thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to raise additional funds for our Cancer Care centers at Carson Tahoe Hospital and Carson Valley Health.
The Paint the Town Pink for October is our month-long campaign starting with the proclamation read by Douglas County Commissioner Chair Gardner recognizing October 2023 as Breast Cancer Awareness month. From there we Paint the Town Pink with our Pink Flower Bowls along Main Street and pink ribbons along the light posts.  You can still sponsor a Pink Flower Bowl to support this campaign and benefit our local cancer care centers. For more info check out the flyer below.
As part of the Paint the Town Pink campaign, this year we were honored to co-host the inaugural Bubbles and Brunch fundraiser for the Carson Valley Health Cancer Care Center at the Warehouse.  It was a wonderful day spent with the Carson Valey Health Foundation, supporters, survivors, and loved ones holding those lost in memory. Bella Vita Catering outdid themselves with the delicious brunch and Jim Wilsey on acoustic guitar was the perfect touch on the day.
If you missed these events, don’t fret. We have a couple more events before we dive into the Holiday Cheer! (queuing up Mariah Carey) Next Wednesday is the spooktacular last CV Flyte Wind Down Wednesday of the season!  Get those costumes ready for a hauntingly good time with a Halloween-themed WDW.  Your favorite vendors will be on hand with a new twist to the event by featuring some Mutant and Art Cars and music by DJ Sleeper Cell and Marques Skot. There will be trunk or treating for the kids, a costume contest and so much more.  For more information check out the flyer below.
Our Dia de Los Muertos Celebration is quickly approaching! Mark your Calendars for Saturday, November 4th from 11 am-2 pm. We are partnering again with Douglas County Community Services and Carson Valley Arts Council to present the 2nd annual Dia de Los Muertos festival. Come learn about this beautiful cultural celebration and enjoy wonderful authentic food, crafts, Mariachi music, Folkloric, Aztec Dancers, and a 12ft Catrina doll presentation by Latino Arte & Culture of Reno. This event is free to the public and will be held at Heritage Park.  To find out more or how to become a sponsor or vendor – click the flyer below.
I promised myself I would not talk about the holiday season until the leaves drop and November 1st has passed. In the event you want to see what we have in store for the holiday season, read all about Candy Cane Main below!  Spoiler…. This year is going to be AMAZING and a true shopping extravaganza so scroll down for all the details!
Well, that was the long and the long of it.  Thank you, Main Street, for giving us so many more great memories together. We can’t wait to see you over the next couple of weeks on Main.  Until then, remember to support your local businesses, tip generously, and be kind to each other.

See you on 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