Kite flying, rummage sale kick off Dangberg Summer Festival |

Kite flying, rummage sale kick off Dangberg Summer Festival

Colton Roush, 9, enjoys the Something in the Wind kite flying weekend at the Dangberg Home Ranch in Minden on Saturday, May 17, 2019.
Provided/Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch

MINDEN, Nev. – Family fun, lively bands, Chautauqua, historians, and more return to Dangberg Historic Park beginning in May, with more than 30 events announced for the Dangberg Summer Festival schedule.

“We are looking forward to another exciting season of bringing premium programming to the public in one of Nevada’s most beautiful venues,” said Kim Harris, the park’s events manager.

A returning favorite event is the Kite Weekend on Saturday-Sunday, May 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. Cameron and Reina Kauffman of will bring their assortment of big and beautiful kites, kites for high wind, and kites for no wind. This event is free for everyone.

“We are always happy to let the public try our kites and we just really enjoy sharing our passion,” said Cameron Kauffman.  “Everyone is also welcome to bring their own kites, and we’ll suggest flying tips and tricks to anyone who asks.”

Joining the event this year is PBS Reno Kids Club, with a booth on Saturday, May 13.  Activities planned for children include decorating their own pair of small binoculars and a scavenger hunt that includes a reward of a Curious George Flies a Kite book. Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch, the non-profit that operates the park, is also giving free, basic kites to children, while supplies last.

That same weekend, Friends of Dangberg will hold Scatter’s Attic, a fundraising rummage sale. The sale opens at 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14, and closes at 2 p.m. Anyone wishing to donate gently used or unused household goods for re-sell is welcome to bring them to the park by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.

The festival will again feature six concerts, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Granna starts things off June 8, performing traditional Celtic music. Also returning to the Home Ranch later in the summer are favorites Old West Trio, The Catahoula Mardi Gras Party Band, and Carolyn Dolan & Big Red. Appearing new this season is First Take featuring Rick Metz, playing vocal jazz from the great American song book. Concert tickets are $20 for 17 years and older, and free for 16 years and younger.

Favorite Chautauquans will appear throughout the Summer Festival performing a series of intriguing historical figures.  A special Chautauqua event on Saturday, June 17, at 1 p.m. is first, with award-winning Chautauquan Mary Ann Jung portraying Rosie the Riveter, honoring America’s World War II home front heroes.

Also appearing on the Home Ranch stage are Civil War nurse Clara Barton, portrayed by Susan Marie Frontczak; record-setting test pilot Chuck Yeager, by Doug Mishler; and convicted Salem “witch” Mary Perkins Bradbury, by Kim Harris; along with several other ticketed performances on selected Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the June 17 event and all of the evening Chautauquas are $15 for 17 and older, and free for 16 and younger.

Chautauquans will also appear at the park in a new series of free events on selected Friday mornings.  These include portrayals of Rancher and politician Fred Dangberg, Jr., by Mike Hall; Nevada journalist Nellie Mighels Davis by DebiLynn Smith; and, Lora Josephine Knight, the builder of Vikingsholm Castle at Lake Tahoe, by Guinevere Hobdy, to name just a few.

For those interested in learning to be a Chautauquan, or honing their skills, a workshop on the topic will be conducted on Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. until noon. The workshop is open to ages 14 years and older, and will include a presentation on the history and influence of the origins of the Chautauqua movement by Debbe Nye, as well as interactive instruction by award winning actress and Smithsonian scholar Mary Ann Jung. Jung has appeared on CNN, Today Show, and Good Morning America, and portrays several nationally known historic figures. The workshop fee is $50, and includes entry to all ticketed Chautauquas in 2023. Advance registration is required.

This season’s Chautauqua programs are all funded in part by a generous grant from Nevada Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities.

For over ten years the park has been a place where scholars have shared their research, and favorite speakers and authors return this season with presentations on various subjects. Dr. Michael Fischer returns to speak on the origins of the Basque hotel, and Wendell Huffman will present “Wood for the Comstock” again, by popular demand.

Returning authors will share their current work. The first is Mark McLaughlin, speaking on his book, Snowbound! on Saturday, June 24, at 10 a.m. Later this season, Karen Dustman will speak on her newest biography, King of the Comstock South. New authors will be featured as well, including Clare Frank, author of Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire, and local historian Linda Reid, share her Carson Valley family history, A Window in Time. Several other local authors are scheduled as well. All speaker and author presentations are free for everyone.

Space in the performance tent is limited, and advance purchase of concert and Chautauqua tickets is recommended. Tickets will be available beginning June 1, with a ticketing link at Members of Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch are eligible for discounted admission and early access to tickets, as a thank-you for their charitable donation to the nonprofit Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch. More information, including a donation form, is at

Visitors should bring their own lawn chair or other seating for all events, and only genuine service animals are allowed. Guests are welcome to bring snacks and libations, as no food or beverages will be available. All events take place outdoors under a large tent.

For more information about visiting the park, including guided tours, visit

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