By JIM CANFIELD
Moapa Valley Progress
Independence Day in Mesquite saw the community come together to celebrate the founding of this great country. The Eureka Casino Resort continued its tradition of its annual celebration “Rockets Over the Red Mesa” on Wednesday, July 4.
Crowds of people showed up for the event on the Eureka grounds, many wearing the Red White and Blue in some pretty unique ways. Headgear and clothing with streamers and sparkles were evident everywhere.
Hours before the show, people started showing up to claim every available seating area. Once their claims were staked, they then retreated into the comfort of the casino during the heat of the day. Many enjoyed the annual “Great American BBQ buffet” offered by the Eureka.
In an effort to fight the intense heat, the Eureka set-up several huge fans rigged with a misting system. Each fan blew a heavy mist to parts of the seating area with a couple of fans dedicated to the stage where the 32-piece Nevada POPS Orchestra performed.
The Community Charity Village started at 6 pm. This event provides a forum for non-profit local groups to set up a free vendor booth to raise community awareness for their cause. Entities like the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, the Exchange Club of Mesquite and Mesquite Works were there to display their good work in the community.
The groups took advantage of what little shade there was. Even so, the sun appeared to keep a lot of people from visiting the kiosks early on. But the crowds returned as the sun fell lower in the sky.
Even the intense heat failed to keep the people at bay once the show started. As Old Glory was raised, “Rockets Over the Red Mesa 2018” marked the 8th straight year for the Nevada Pops Orchestra. This year, the performance featured Grammy nominated singer Clint Holmes.
The crowd enjoyed the show. The Nevada Pops Orchestra directed by Richard McGee did not disappoint, nor did Clint Holmes.
As the evening darkened however, the anticipation in the crowd for the fireworks display was evident. Experiencing a fireworks display is always great but having it presented while patriotic emotional music accompanies the sky filled with pyrotechnics made the “oohs and ahhs” a little louder and more enthusiastic.
One Eureka staff member said that the resort had expected up to 5,000 people for the event. He also added that the crowd seems to grow a little larger each year.
The attendees certainly appeared to be every bit of that. Not only was the audience sitting in front of the stage. But many spread out across the property, tailgating in the parking lots.
Local attendees expressed how grateful they were for the show. Most said they haven’t missed a performance yet. Also, quite obvious by the parties on patios and backyards, was that the individuals that attended the show are not the only ones benefiting. Many of the locals look forward to having an event like this virtually in their backyard.