This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Pacific Railways Act, which was signed and put into motion on July 1, 1862. This authorized construction for the Transcontinental Railroad, which of course joined the Eastern and Western United States for the first time by rail. To honor this historic event, the Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City will be setting up a magnificent 19th Century Railroad camp, complete with 100 feet of track , and a real operating handcar! We will also re-enact President Lincoln signing the bill into law at the campsite on Saturday afternoon!
There are many shows, exhibits, and attractions to see at the Carson City Rendezvous. You’ll want to bring the whole family for this unique, one of a kind celebration of living history.
While you’re there you can also browse through an array of crafters, vendor booths, and mercantiles while you enjoy a wide variety of delicious foods, beverages, and confections!
AT THE RENDEZVOUS YOU’LL SEE….(for details on a specific event, click on the title below if it’s in red)
Civil War Re-enactments and Military Camps: Uniformed soldiers and artillerymen of both blue and gray are dressed and ready for battle on the Big Field. Historic military camps and civilian villages featuring authentic sutlers, chaplain, field hospital, and more.
Mountain Men: Men and women depict frontier life of early Nevada settlers who pioneered their way across the west in the pre-Territorial days of the Silver State. Authentic campsites, teepees, lodges, and weaponry of the day will all be on display.
Gunfights: There’s nothing more thrilling than to see a fun and lively take of the Old West’s rugged banditos and rough riders who also made it across the west to find fame and fortune in the new world. You’ll see fun and exciting shows from some of the area’s most talented and colorful folks who ever strapped on a six shooter!
Musical Entertainment: Some of the finest Western performers anywhere will appear at the 2012 Carson City Rendezvous, some of them are returning favorites including Tom Hiatt, trick roper Karen Quest, Chris Bayer, Cowboy Poet Tony Argento, and Sourdough Slim!
Opening Ceremonies: Saturday morning at 10am in the big field. See all of the Rendezvous participants and encampments in one ceremonious pageant. The Brookfield Choraliers will sing, then lead us with the Pledge of Allegiance. Concluding the ceremony The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will swear in dozens of new U.S. Citizens!
Native American Village: The traditional Native American culture of Nevada comes to life as dancers and drummers captivate you with an array of music, color, and symbolic representations of a rich and storied history. Come browse the Native American traders, listen to storytelling, and much more.
Traditional Traders and Sutlers: Some of the most authentic goods of the day are offered up to the general public by traditional traders who look and act every much the part of a merchant you’d meet in the high desert in the mid 19th Century! You won’t find a mall or shopping center anywhere like this!
Pony Express: The Pony Express is alive and well in Nevada and you’ll get a chance to learn how this method of mail and message delivery was so vital in the growth of our nation. Meet members of the Nevada Pony Express, see how a mochilla exchange was done, and even get a letter delivered to you via the Pony Express!
TNT Stagelines: This is one of the highlights of the event….a ride in a real authentic stagecoach! Hop aboard and experience the thrill of modern day transportation, circa 1880! This is a ride you won’t soon forget and an opportunity that is rare, if available at all, anywhere in the country.
Civil War Ball: One of the most popular and widely attended events of the era. Come to the Pony Express Pavillion (the large covered building on the park grounds ~ corner of Hwy 50 and Saliman Rd.) on Saturday at 9PM for a traditional Civil War Ball, complete with period ball attire, a dance master, and all of the traditional dances of the day.
Kids Coloring Contest: Every year the Rendezvous invites children to compete in a fun coloring contest for prizes. Kids can color their sheets at the Railroad Camp and the winners of the contest will be announced from the main stage Sunday afternoon. Our artist was busy drawing up this year’s picture to be colored, but it will be modeled after this year’s theme which is the railroad.
Dutch Oven Cooking: The Northern Sierra Dutch Oven Group will be serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the event where you’ll be able to sample delicious down-home recipes made in traditional cast iron pots! Their encampment is located right next to the Railroad Camp!
Friends Of The Nevada State Railroad Museum: Come try your hand at operating a real hand car on 100 feet of railroad track and see what life was like in a 19th Century Railroad camp! Learn about the early railroad days of Nevada and get information about one of Carson City’s most cherished museums!