(Brett McGinness | Reno Gazette-Journal) – Gov. Brian Sandoval, Dr. Joe Crowley and Sparks Mayor Geno Martini were scheduled to take home Shaft Awards on the first night of Sheep Dip 52 at the Nugget Celebrity Showroom Friday night.
The two-night event, which satirizes Northern Nevada’s newsmakers through song, dance, videos, puppetry and one-liners, has been an annual event in Reno-Sparks since 1965. The highlight of the evening is the distribution of Shaft Awards, dubious honors given to politicians and prominent figures for their role in the previous year’s more infamous events.
Sheep Dip organizers selected Sandoval to receive the Shaft Award for two education initiatives he championed through the Legislature last year: the tax increase to fund schools, and the school voucher program that has come under legal challenge. Sandoval was also due to appear in a video to kick off the event; the state’s chief executive has appeared in 51 of the 52 Sheep Dip performances to date.
Crowley’s brief three-day term as president of a Sierra Wellness Medical Marijuana Dispensary earned him what Sheep Dip organizers call a “friendly” shaft award. The City of Sparks, meanwhile, was selected for their award for seeking a permit to trap and kill nuisance beavers plaguing the city’s waterways. The plan was ultimately scrapped after community outcry.
Additional nominees for this year’s Shaft Award included Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve and Washoe County School District Superintendent Traci Davis.