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Discover 12 unique under-the-radar events to plan for in 2010.
Photo: Bruce Rettig (Human-Powered Speed Challenge)
White Pine Fire and Ice Show
In Nevada, art has been known to take many—often peculiar—forms. Maybe the most unusual (and temporary) are the sculptures at the annual White Pine Fire and Ice Show, which takes place January 16-17 at Cave Lake State Park near Ely. The snow- and ice-sculpting competition, which includes a fireworks show, has been named to the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events in North America list three consecutive years. The fireworks explode at 6 p.m. on January 17, and the town of Ely is hosting a Fireworks Train at 6:30 p.m. the night before. elynevada.net, parks.nv.gov/cl.htm, 775-728-4460
Dam Short Film Festival
For the sixth consecutive year, Boulder City hosts the Dam Short Film Festival, where more than 2,000 people gather to watch and judge 100 short films from around the world. The four-day-festival, February 10-13, is held at Boulder Theatre and Boulder Dam Hotel, both historic sites. The films are shown in “blocks,” which include between four and 12 short films and last from one hour to 75 minutes. Admission is $5 per block or $50 for a four-day pass.
Red Rock Rendezvous
From March 19-21, the country’s largest climbing festival, the Red Rock Rendezvous, returns to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (a short drive west of the Las Vegas Strip). With more than 125 clinics to choose from, climbers of all skill levels will find an activity that suits them. Registration is $99 for Saturday and Sunday, and an additional $80 for the “Into UClimb” day on Friday. Proceeds benefit The Access Fund, a climbing and environmentally focused organization, and other nonprofit organizations.
redrockrendezvous.com, 800-829-2009, 509-340-1151
Sertoma Chili Cook-off & Craft Fair
Fifty of the best chili cooks in the country compete in Minden for a spot in the World Chili Cook-off. Competitors include Nevadans and past world champions who present batches of their finest red chili, green chili, and salsa to be judged. “This is an official cook-off, the big league of chili,” says Don Stockman, who is handling the public relations for this year’s event. “All chili will be prepared on site; there will be absolutely no beans or pasta. It has to be purely meat, chilies, and spices.” The event, April 24-25, includes live music, contests, and 70 vendors. All proceeds are used to help those in need in Carson Valley.
Celebrate Cinco De Mayo weekend in style at the Bully’s Sports Bar and Grill #3 Chihuahua Races in Sparks (Pyramid and McCarran location), where more than 130 petite pooches compete to be Chihuahua champions. The dogs race down 40-foot-long chutes in a best-of-three competition with the winners squaring off in a final-round showdown on Sunday. Admission is free, as is entering a Chihuahua, but all donations support the local SPCA. Come have a beer and cheer for your favorite miniature dog as it competes for the $500 grand prize.
Winnemucca Mule Races, Show, & Draft Horse
Challenge Cowgirls and cowboys of any age will appreciate the Winnemucca Mule Races, June 4-6. Competitors flock from across the country for the first event of the mule-racing season and a weekend of fun for the whole family. Talented mules gallop, leap, and trot through dozens of competitions as spectators cheer them on from the stands. Vendors selling everything from gourmet hot sauces to jewelry and antiques will also be in attendance for all your Western shopping needs.
Snake Valley Festival
Baker, located on U.S. Highway 50 on the Nevada-Utah border, is home to a small festival for a big cause. Every year locals and visitors gather for the festivities that include a home-cooked pancake breakfast, parade, yard sale, film festival, barbecue, dance, cowboy poetry reading, and silent auction. Proceeds from the event, July 23-24, help pay legal costs in the fight to protect the area’s water rights. Nearby Great Basin National Park provides opportunities for hiking and nature viewing.
Discover Jarbidge Days
Celebrate the 101st birthday of one of the most remote towns in America with concerts, barbecues, slide shows, a parade, live music, and historic town tours on August 13-15. Jarbidge is as beautiful as it is remote, and visitors can enjoy undisturbed scenic views as they drive to a town nearly 50 miles from the nearest paved road. “This is the last gold boomtown, where the last stagecoach robbery in the United States happened,” says resident Penny Eggen. “Everything here has been preserved so well, it is an incredible, historical place to explore.”
Human-Powered Speed Challenge
Cyclists and spectators from around the world gather annually on State Route 305 south of Battle Mountain to watch as new land-speed records are set. “Cyclists of all skill levels compete in specially made aerodynamic shells and speed down one of the flattest, smoothest, straightest stretches of road in the world,” Mike Mowett, an event volunteer, says. Spectators are shuttled along the course in a special bus so they can keep up with the action. The top speeds for men (82.8 mph) and women (75.5 mph) were set here. The 2010 event is set for September 13-18.
Bring your own bed or borrow one at the event, but be ready for a wild ride at the Beatty Days’ bed races, October 29-31. The competition includes best bed decoration and a timed ride down the streets of Beatty for a prize. One member of each team wears pajamas and lounges in bed as their teammates push them to victory. Those who aren’t participating in the bed races can enjoy the rest of Beatty Days, which includes an International Chili Society sanctioned cook-off, car show, bike show, mini marathon, historical reenactments, Old-West-style shoot outs, parade, and live music.
Pomegranate Art Festival
Every year the Pomegranate Art Festival attracts nearly 10,000 people to Logandale in the Moapa Valley to celebrate the fruit of the season. Visitors can sample the gem-like fruit whole or as homemade jelly while they peruse the works of local artists. The arts and crafts, which celebrate pomegranates and life in the Southwest, are on sale just in time for holiday shopping. November 5-6 will mark the 15th year the Moapa Valley Art Guild has organized the festival to support local art and artists.
Reno Santa Pub Crawl
On one magical night in December thousands of Santa Clauses descend on the Biggest Little City for eight hours of holiday jubilance. Between 3,000 and 5,000 revelers are expected to attend the annual Reno Santa Pub Crawl on December 11. Participants must be at least 21, and those dressed festively for the occasion participate for free, making it the largest no-charge pub-crawl in the nation. The crawl begins at any one of seven start bars where participating Santas will be given a map to guide them to 40 other participating bars. This is a charity fundraising event, and a portion of proceeds support local Nevada charities.