Would you pay $46,532 for jeans? Levi's did.
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Tourism officials in Nevada are planning a festival in Reno next fall to celebrate the city as the birthplace of what became modern blue jeans.
Jacob Davis created riveted denim jeans in 1871 in a downtown Reno tailor shop. Two years later, he and Levi Strauss & Co. patented the pants with the rivets to the corners and pockets that made them the sturdy favorites of miners, loggers and cowboys, because they didn't wear out like regular pants.
The festival next year will be Oct. 2-4. It will celebrate the iconic trousers' impact on popular culture. Plans include concerts, fashion shows, a retail marketplace and a mini-festival of films that were milestones in the history of blue jeans, such as James Dean's "Rebel Without a Cause."
It also will include scholarly presentations on the "Jeaneology" of the pants.
"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, CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, using a pun.
Interest in Davis' role in the birth of jeans grew in 2001 when the San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. purchased what it said was the oldest known jeans in the world. It was a pair dating back to an 1880s mining town in Nevada, which 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 until a resident telephoned him with the story. He started doing research to see if there was a way to use jeans to help promote the region.
He said next October's event will help fill a void in the tourism calendar just before the Sierra ski season opens and after a string of popular special events including the National Championship Air Races.
Critical thinking challenge: How is Chris Baums quote a pun?