Mesquite Days Special: All the Info Ever Needed!

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Celebrating Mesquite’s 30th Mesquite Days
By Stephanie Frehner

It’s been 31 years since Mesquite Incorporated. 31 years of progress, building, triumph and failures. A story that is all too common all across America.City Seal

Initially, with this special section of today’s Mesquite Local News, we were going to point out the important moments that have brought this town to what it is today. When that proved to be nearly impossible due to time and space constraints, we thought of doing a comprehensive history on Mesquite Days alone. With Mesquite Days 1985 being the first celebration of a newborn city, this week marks the 30th year in existence.

Thanks to Virgin Valley Heritage Museum Coordinator, Elspeth Kuta, the MLN was able to dig up numerous tidbits of information on the history of Mesquite Days and some of the people who were part of it through the years. Unfortunately, while our story today may have several holes, we hope to add to this year’s motto, “Celebrating Mesquite’s Heritage Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

The committees and organizations that set everything up for each year’s events have stayed with the same format throughout the years. For most years, mottos were found that often suggested to those who didn’t know Mesquite, that it was the best thing since sliced bread. Mottos such as “A Star on The Horizon” in 1988 to “Nevada’s Rising Star” for 1992 and even “City of Champions” in 1996. 2005’s motto, “A Community Through Unity” signified the residents’ achievement of pushing the adult entertainment store out of business.

Golden West-Mesquite DaysfMany of the years, according to information that could be found, often celebrated new features that Mesquite had built to offer.

For 1986, they celebrated the opening of the Museum and offered a barbeque dinner for just $1. However, one flyer for the event noted that ‘Western Attire Required’ or else a person could risk being thrown into an undesirable pile of questionable substance. Perhaps it was a pile of horse manure or a bucket of slop for the pigs.

In 1987, the city celebrated the new dedication of softball fields. 1989 brought the groundbreaking ceremonies for the current airport’s location and 1990 featured tours of the airport, new library, the welcome station and the museum. At this time, a majority of the events for Mesquite Days were held at Pioneer Memorial Complex, where the softball fields are.Vernon Pollock

1994 saw a local playwright’s production of “Miss Kate,” a Mesquite Musical. Photos and script from this event are available in several binders at the Museum today.

In 1995, the Mesquite Chamber and City Officials decided to combine Mesquite Days with the Virgin Valley Festival so that participation would increase and there would be more activities.

Finally, in 1999, the main addition to the Mesquite Days events was the opening of the Recreation Center on West Old Mill Road. From what was found in the books at the museum, the outdoor pool may have already been there, but the newer building, which is currently utilized year-round by hundreds, was built and opened.VVHS Bake Event

Today, many of the traditions that began in 1985 with the first Mesquite Days celebration are in tact. Bake-offs, carnivals, community events and fun are steadfast components that have remained strong. In the past, there have been fireworks, races, rodeos and other competitions that brought excitement to the community. Where Mesquite Days goes from here is completely up to you – the existing community. With the right donations of time and/or funding, Mesquite Days could turn into something measurable to that of the Clark County Fair, a main event that draws visitors from all over the world because of the variety of events. Finding a balance of what to schedule and when is a key factor in producing its success.

Councilman Rich Green and Mayor Al Litman were on hand for 2014’s Mayor’s Breakfast. Join them again this year, on Saturday at 8 a.m. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Councilman Rich Green and Mayor Al Litman were on hand for 2014’s Mayor’s Breakfast. Join them again this year, on Saturday at 8 a.m. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Mesquite Honor Guard is expected to carry on traditions, kicking off the parade on Saturday Morning as they have for many years. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Mesquite Honor Guard is expected to carry on traditions, kicking off the parade on Saturday Morning as they have for many years. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

2015 Mesquite Days Poster

2015 Mesquite Days Grand Marshall
Special to the MLN

Susan Bennett, the 2015 recipient of the Hearts for the Arts Award, receives the award and a bouquet of flowers from Mesquite Mayor, Al Litman in February. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

Susan Bennett, the 2015 recipient of the Hearts for the Arts Award, receives the award and a bouquet of flowers from Mesquite Mayor, Al Litman in February. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

Mrs. Susan Bennett will be honored as the 2015 Mesquite Days Parade Grand Marshall.

Susan came to Mesquite in 1986 with a degree in Theatre, Journalism and English from Utah State and taught all three for twenty years at local schools. During that time, she directed one hundred plays and musicals. She was often assisted by her husband, the late Sherman Bennett as the musical director and Pat Reber as choreographer.

Susan started doing theatre in the old High School Facility, which is now the Mesquite Community Theater. In 1992, Susan helped organize the Mesquite Arts Council to bring a variety of professional entertainment to our valley.

In 2008, Susan organized Mesquite Kids on Stage with her daughter-in-law Jenny Bennett and Pat Reber.

Over the years, Susan has organized many community benefits to enable the art community to respond to personal and community needs and in 2009 Susan served as a founding member and first secretary of the Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation.

Jayne Kendrick Mesq DaysSusan and Sherman were honored as Mesquite’s Distinguished Citizens of the Year in 2005 and Susan was named Woman of the Year by Virgin Valley Family Services in 2008.

Susan was very involved in high school athletics, as her husband was the athletic director, tournament director and assistant baseball coach. Susan supported the athletic program by being a member of the athletic booster club and writing stories about the many athletic activities at the school. For this reason, she and her husband were inducted into the Virgin Valley High School Hall of Fame.Seigel Suites-MES Days Spec

This past February, Susan was the 2015 Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation honoree for her many contributions to the Arts community over the years.

After directing plays for the past 55 years, Susan will appear in a play for the first time. She will have a roll-on part in the play “Fly Willie” presented this Mesquite Days weekend at the Community Theater.

Carnival fun will begin at 5 p.m. today at the soccer field on the West side of the Mesquite Recreation Center at 100 W. Old Mill Rd. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Carnival fun will begin at 5 p.m. today at the soccer field on the West side of the Mesquite Recreation Center at 100 W. Old Mill Rd. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Carnival fun will begin at 5 p.m. today at the soccer field on the West side of the Mesquite Recreation Center at 100 W. Old Mill Rd. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Carnival fun will begin at 5 p.m. today at the soccer field on the West side of the Mesquite Recreation Center at 100 W. Old Mill Rd. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Mesquite Days Entertainment Schedule 
Each event held at Recreation Center Field Stage, 100 W. Old Mill Road

Thursday, April 30:Guns & Guitars-Mesquite DaysBld
6 p.m.: Music
7 p.m.: Zumbathon Event – Combine fitness through dance for a fun, effective and burning workout.

Friday, May 1:
5 p.m.: Music
6 p.m.: On Beat Dance Studio Performance
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.: Steve Lungrin

Saturday, May 2:
5 – 7 p.m.: Glennis Jones
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.: Karaoke by Stephanie Frehner & Stateline Casino

Mesquite_Madness_Co_Ed_Softball_TournamentVVVapor Mesq Days 4.30.15

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