Virginia City Labor Day Parade
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Almost anything that happens in Virginia City is a tradition and the Labor Day Parade is no exception to that. But for how long has it been a tradition? I wanted to know that and entered the Visitor Center on C Street, certain I would learn the answer there.

A tall gentleman in a Union soldier’s uniform did a quick journey back in time. “Last year we celebrated the city’s 150th birthday, so it was founded in 1859,” he calculated and announced the result, “that’s how long we have been doing this parade.”

With all due respect to facts – the first Labor Day Parade ever took place in New York City in 1882 -  his answer is absolutely correct in this town that is the celebrated cradle of Mark Twain’s journalistic fidelity. People who are uncomfortable with that were poorly advised to travel here.

Tourist destinations all over the world claim to be different, Virginia City can prove it. The Labor Day Parade is an excellent example. Most parades have a beginning and an end, with the participants parading between the spectators and never again be seen afterwards.

Here, spectators and participants begin to mingle early in the morning, interrupt that for a brief period of traditional separation to qualify for parade status, and then continue to mingle until the cows come home. It’s just so much more enjoyable. And it’s permanent; almost. The same people who populated C Street in 19th century fashions during the parade can be encountered wearing the same garb again


However, the parade does have a number of extra treats that are not seen here during the rest of the year. The Caballo del Bail, a Mexican Dancing Horse, for example. Almost everybody has heard about it, at Virginia City’s Labor Day Parade it can actually be seen.

Pirates, whose natural habitat is at sea level, thriving at an elevation of 6200 feet above that, without any loss of barbarianism or whatever else is charming about them.

Motorized candy throwers. It may not sound much, but to those who love candy it’s very important.

And, of course, Dynamite Jim, who blasted his way into the spectators’ hearts with his irresistible charm and his fake dynamite sticks. We will always have a candle burning for you, Jim.

All of a sudden it wasn’t really important any more for how long the Labor Day Parade has been a Virginia City tradition. More important seems the question, will there be another one?

Yep, next year!

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