The public is invited to view gorgeous button displays, purchase buttons from dealers and learn the history behind the buttons from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Nugget’s Rose Ballroom.
A $6 donation at the door is required for entrance, but coupons for $1 off are at businesses around town, as well as in today’s issue of the Sparks Tribune. Children younger than age 16 are admitted for $3, and will be given $1 in “button bucks” to spend.
The theme for the button show this year is Mardi Gras Carnival. Exhibits on French history and French-made buttons will be on display and Western Region Button Association members will be adorned with beads and Mardi Gras garb.
“We will have a MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) table where members can decorate their name tags,” Gil Biggie, show chairperson, said Thursday while she was setting up for the weekend.
The Western Region Button Association was formed less than 10 years ago when Biggie moved to Nevada from New York and saw a need for such a group.
“It’s a fairly new organization because there was nothing out here,” said Biggie, who has been collecting buttons for more than 25 years.
The Western Region Button Association held its first show in 2003 and now boasts 175 members.
“The purpose of the organization was to get people that come from the middle of nowhere together,” Biggie said, adding that there are members in Idaho that drive three hours just to attend club meetings.
So what’s the allure of button collecting? Biggie said it is not just about having a collection, but about learning about history, mythology and fashion.
“Most button collectors are well-traveled and well-educated,” she said.
And button collectors are virtuous people who are a joy to be around, Biggie said.
“I have been selling buttons for 26 years and have never had a buttons stolen or a check bounce,” she said. “… Some of the dearest friendships I have are my button friends.”
Anyone interested in joining the Western Region Button Association should contact Biggie at 775-971-9538.