Visitors driving down the main Reno thoroughfare of Virginia Street and Highway 395 into Carson City this holiday season may notice a few little visitors from the North Pole along the road.
Several thousand school children and one man have built hundreds of willow branch reindeer covered in holiday lights, and have placed them around businesses and landmarks that run along the 40 mile long corridor from Reno into Carson City. Since 1998, local artist William “Willow Bill” Goulardt has been teaching children how to build these little reindeer, and now over five Nevada counties and 16,000 children are part of the Willow Reindeer project.
Willow Bill’s goal with this project is to bring learning, creating, craftsmanship and passion to local school children as well as help attract attention to local businesses.
“The bottom line is,” said Willow Bill “There’s 16,000 kids and a crazy artist trying to help the Mom and Pop shops along 395.”
You can see the Willow Reindeer at several businesses and landmarks including the Steamboat Hot Springs, the Nevada State Museum, Nevada Lynn Emporium, Heidi’s in Carson City and the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
Photo courtesy of [Around Carson]