Nevada Celebrates Her Sesquicentennial: 150 Years of Statehood

The Nevada 150 Commission has planned a series of events, gatherings, exhibits and legacy projects to commemorate Nevada’s Sesquicentennial.

Kara J. Kelley

By executive order of Governor Brian Sandoval, the Nevada 150 Commission has planned a series of events, gatherings, exhibits and legacy projects to commemorate Nevada’s Sesquicentennial, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase the unique contribution of Nevada’s rich culture and history. The yearlong celebration includes official community-based and signature Nevada 150 events, guaranteed to instill pride and inspire all Nevadans to participate in the Sesquicentennial celebration. These events and projects have been strategically designed to connect all communities throughout the state by tapping into the common pride in our shared heritage possessed by all Nevadans.

In October 2013, the Sesquicentennial celebration kicked-off with a number of events designed to build excitement and interest. With more than 150 official and signature events planned through October 2014, there are numerous ways to get involved and share the history, spirit and culture that make Nevada so special. Here’s a snapshot of the plans and how businesses can participate.

The Nevada 150 website (www.nevada150.org) is an informational tool to provide Nevadans with opportunities for engagement. Events, educational information, sponsorship opportunities, the Nevadan Stories blog and more can be found here.

With more than 150 planned events, there are two types of events listed on the Nevada 150 website – signature and official. Signature events, such as the First Ladies First event held in January, are one-time events that take place during the Sesquicentennial year. Official events such as Cowboy Poetry and Nevada Historic Preservation Month are ongoing events that have the Sesquicentennial theme weaved into them. Businesses, organizations and community leaders are encouraged to consider creating an event to showcase Nevada pride; event applications can be found online.

The Sesquicentennial offers Nevadans an opportunity to share memories and stories about the people, places and experiences that make Nevada special to them. This legacy project will live on after the Sesquicentennial as a living history from the Silver State’s exceptional citizens. To read a story or submit your own, visit our Nevadan story blog online.

After the Sesquicentennial year has been celebrated, there are a number of additional legacy projects that will continue on. A few of these projects include the Women’s Legacy Project celebrating 150 years of excellence, the Tonopah Mining Park’s John Livermore medallions, the Nevada Sesquicentennial book, the Sesquicentennial medallions, license plates and the Nevada historic mile markers refurbishment project.

Through social media channels, there are many opportunities to share stories, photos and historic nuggets with Nevadans and beyond. Nevada 150 has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pages. Users should tag posts and photos with #NV150 or #Nevada150.

Working with public and private vendors, Sesquicentennial merchandising has also been created. Examples of these include logo wear and gift items, Sesquicentennial medallions, U.S. Postal 150th Stamp, the Las Vegas Harley-Davidson Nevada 150 Commemorate State Bike and gift items such as watches, whiskey and chocolates. The opportunities are endless.

Many wonderful Nevada companies have supported the Nevada 150 through financial contributions and creative projects making many of the celebrations throughout the year possible.

There has been significant international interest in the celebration as well. The Las Vegas Youth Orchestra is travelling to Germany and Poland for their third triennial overseas concert tour “Overture to Adventure.” Events and activities are being planned with the People’s Republic of China, Canada, Australia and Mexico.

Engagement with Nevada’s business communities help to organically celebrate the Sesquicentennial through employee interaction. This can be done through sharing business and industry history, Nevada history, the Nevadan Stories blog, creating internal events, newsletter stories and by displaying the official Nevada 150 window cling available through the Chamber of Commerce partners.

Kara J. Kelley is the Executive Director of Nevada 150.