Would you pay $46,532 for jeans? Levi's did.
An unusual festival is planned next fall. It will celebrate Reno as the birthplace of blue jeans.
Jacob Davis created riveted denim jeans in 1871. That was in a Reno tailor shop. Two years later, he and Levi Strauss & Co. patented the pants. They're the ones with the rivets to the corners and pockets. Miners, loggers and cowboys loved them. That's because they didn't wear out like regular pants.
The festival next year will be held Oct. 2-4.
"Those of us fortunate to live and work in Reno-Tahoe USA now like to brag, 'We have copper rivets in our genes,'" said Chris Baum. He is head of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. He used a pun to emphasize the importance of jeans.
Interest in Davis' role in the birth of the jeans grew in 2001. That's when Levi Strauss & Co. purchased a special pair. The pants dated to an 1880s mining town in Nevada. They sold at auction for $46,532.
Baum became boss of the RSCVA in 2012. He said he had never heard of Reno's connection to Levi's. Then someone phoned him with the story. He started doing research. He wanted to see if there was a way to use jeans to help promote the region.
He said next October's event comes at a good time. It is right before the Sierra ski season opens.