Last weekend, there were more than enough events to offer something for everyone.
Beginning with the Family Fun Night on Wednesday, April 29, where hundreds of families enjoyed a night of pig and chicken chasing, games, contests and some good food, the City of Mesquite and its staff delivered a night of nearly free fun.
“This is just amazing,” Councilwoman Cindi Delaney said of the crowds Wednesday night. “It is so nice to see all of the families here take part in something so good.”
Other organizations and businesses in the community came together to make it all possible, as well, including the Mesquite Toes, who had several booths of games for the kids to enjoy. There were bouncy houses, eating contests, a dunk tank and much more that brought joy to those who attended.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, the night wrapped up with a Tug-O-War competition that seemed too good to be true. The rope didn’t just have to cross a line for the victors of the competition, but the opposing team had to be brought to a four-foot-deep mud pit created by City Staff earlier in the day. At the end of the day, it was hard to keep the kids out of it in between competitions. And the match of the night? Easy. That was the match between Mesquite Athletic and Leisure Services Interim Director Nick Montoya and his staff against other City of Mesquite staff, including Councilwoman Delaney. Who won? Let’s just say that Montoya was in need of a good shower after the event. For video and photos of the events, check out the Facebook page for Mesquite Local News.
The next day, Thursday, brought the 30th annual Mesquite Days, a tradition that has evolved and changed in many ways since it began in 1985. While attendance was a little light on Thursday and Friday, Saturday was bombarded by the community, increasing in numbers that easily passed recent years. With live entertainment in the evenings on the main stage, and plenty of vendor booths and rides, the atmosphere was perfect to enjoy the beautiful Mesquite weather.
Friday also premiered the Virgin Valley Theatre and 2Nielsens Productions’ of Fly Willie with a red carpet event and valet service at the theatre. Over 17 actors who had been rehearsing since March performed for the community. A portion of their proceeds were donated to the Wounded Warriors Project that the Eureka Casino & Resort sponsors.
Saturday also had many other events around Mesquite, including the Mayor’s Pancake breakfast which included nearly 500 pancakes, 175 participants and raising $320 for the Chamber of Commerce. The parade that began afterwards included floats and vehicles that typically appear in both the Mesquite Days Parade as well as the Veterans Day Parade.
Other events in the area included the Beaver Dam Jam, which had moved its dates up a month to avoid the hot summer heat of June. The busy-ness of Mesquite didn’t hamper their numbers, however, as many set up camp and listened to live music for three days.
The CasaBlanca also held their Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ competition, which brought in 41 teams from all over the United States. The winning team of Simply Marvelous BBQ out of Carpentaria, Calif. and head chef Steph Franklin took away $14,000 in prize money and the Grand Champion title.
Later in the day on Saturday, the Virgin Valley High School Marketing team and Football Coach Yori Ludvigson raised over $2000 for Icing Smiles, a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. The ‘Desserts in the Desert’ event was held at the Eureka Casino Grand Canyon Room and offered demonstrations, decorating and auction items.
“It was a great success,” said Ludvigson. “It started out as an idea for my business class and it turned out quite well. I look forward to doing it again next year.”
Another charity event on Saturday was for the Kids for Sports Foundation, who held their annual May Winefest at The Terrace Restaurant at Wolf Creek Golf Course. This year, the event raised nearly $5,000 through 85 attendees to benefit local kids who want to participate in organized sports but may be unable to due to financial barriers. So far, since KFS kicked off earlier this year, they have helped two members of the VVHS Swim team and all seven members of the VVHS Boys Golf Team, who were able to get full uniforms (shirts, jackets, shorts) for the first time ever. In the past, the team was only given one shirt for the season. The foundation also provided grants to the VVHS Swim Team that qualified for Regionals and will be approving a grant fro a child to participate in the Manta Rays Swim Program at the Mesquite Recreation Center this summer. If that wasn’t enough, they also sponsored a team with the Virgin Valley Little League.
The Winefest sold out just two weeks before the event, showing its popularity. “We want to give a big thank-you to Southern Wine and Spirits who provided the wine and wine servers for the evening,” said Kathy Bussman. “Along with the wine, Southern Wine and Spirits also donated items for the raffle. The response from the community was amazing! We received more raffle items and silent auction items than in any of our previous fundraisers. Kids for Sports Foundation is so thankful for generosity of the community and local residents that helped make this a huge success.”
Weekend-long events wrapped up Sunday, including the carnival, which closed at 5 p.m. and prepared to head out of town for another event. All in all it was perfect timing, as a storm rolled in for Monday.
This year’s Mesquite Days will be one for the books, as it saw the best turnout and the most positive feedback in quite a few years. For more photos of the week’s events, check the MLN’s Facebook page.