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New annual event will celebrate Reno as birthplace of blue jeans

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor's Authority or RSCVA has announced it's planning a new annual event for the region celebrating the fact that blue jeans were invented in the Biggest Little City. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss attended the recent press conference to learn more.

Back in 1871, Jacob Davis, a tailor in downtown Reno, created denim jeans by adding copper rivets to key points of strain, like pocket corners. The invention was an immediate success among miners, loggers, and other men working tough jobs. Within a couple years, Davis joined with Levi Strauss to patent what has become an iconic fashion piece.

Chris Baum with the RSCVA says the new three-day festival celebrating the birthplace of blue jeans will kick off early next October with activities like concerts and fashion shows, but there will also be a historical component.

"We're going to ask the corporate historian at Levi Strauss and Company to come over and do a presentation and hopefully bring over the oldest existing pair of blue jeans, which I believe are from the late 1870s," he says. "It's very hard to find old blue jeans. They were worn as work wear for much of their life, and who keeps old jeans once they're worn out?"

This is not the first event the RSCVA has produced, but it's been several years since the organization has taken on an active hosting role.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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