Splendiferous Spring Festivals

NEVADA COVERS THE GAMUT OF CELEBRATORY HAPPENINGS.
BY ERIC CACHINERO

There’s many charming words in Nevada’s arsenal of descriptive adjectives, festive being one of them. So it’s no surprise that the Silver State contains a separate arsenal for its superb spring festivals. Because if staring up at multicolored hot air balloons in Pahrump or discovering the luck of the Irish in Henderson isn’t exciting enough for the average adventurer, then surely gobbling down copious quantities of livestock testicles at the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry in Virginia City fits the bill. Hopefully this list of golden oldies and emerging favorites will pique your interest in finding some festive fun this spring.

SNOWFEST!

North Lake Tahoe Through March 8

Pray for snow! Since 1982, North Lake Tahoe has been celebrating each spring with SnowFest!—10 days and nights of snowy activities and events. Attendees can check out local ski resorts including Diamond Peak, that are offering on-snow related happenings, or participate in the numerous special events, parades, parties, concerts, races, and more that take place in numerous locations throughout North Lake Tahoe. Check out tahoesnowfest.com for a full list of events.

MARDI GRAS VEGAS

Springs Preserve, Las Vegas March 7

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll! Come get your Cajun and Creole on at the Springs Preserve. Mardi Gras Vegas provides live music, Southern cuisine from local Vegas eateries, and a beer garden. This family-friendly event also offers crafts for kids, along with all the sounds, sights, and flavors of the Louisiana Bayou.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN OYSTER FRY

Virginia City March 14

What can be said about the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry that hasn’t been said before? The euphemisms and innuendos surrounding this zany Nevada tradition run deep, but for good reason. The event draws approximately 3,000 people to Virginia City, all waiting to snag a taste of the curious concoctions. Whether you prefer them deep-fried, wrapped in bacon, or molded into a tasty curry, there is certainly no shortage of supply or demand for the globules that give this festival its heart and soul.

In addition to the culinary festivities, the Ball Breaker Saloon Crawl gets into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day by offering crawl-goers one free beer at the main event bar with the purchase of an event cup.

THE SILVER STATE CHILI COOK-OFF

Petrack Park, Pahrump March 7-8

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Get chili and turn up the heat at The Silver State Chili Cook-Off. On Saturday, March 7, head over to Petrack Park for the chili cook-off competition, car show, live entertainment, gunfighters show, raffles, and arts-and-crafts vendors. Chili tastings are $5 for 10 samples, with all proceeds benefitting No to Abuse charity. Cash prizes are given for first-place winners of several chili-cooking categories.

On Sunday, March 8, check out The Silver State Chili Cook-Off Golf Tournament, which takes place at Mountain Falls Golf Club.

HENDERSON St. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

Henderson Events Plaza March 13-15

Nevadans know how to get their Erin go bragh on, and have been doing so at the Henderson St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly 50 years. The three-day event includes festival necessities—carnival, car show, and live entertainment—along with a celebratory parade. This year’s parade theme is ‘love, loyalty, friendship.’

PAHRUMP BALLOON FESTIVAL

Petrack Park, Pahrump
March 20-22

The Pahrump Balloon Festival takes to the skies over Pahrump March 20-22. After a successful inaugural event in 2014, the second annual festival hopes to be even bigger than the last. Attendees can enjoy tethered balloon rides, music and entertainment, great food, and arts and crafts.

CLARK COUNTY FAIR & RODEO

Logandale April 8-12

The Clark County Fair & Rodeo wasn’t always such. It began as the Moapa Valley Fair in 1965, and started out small. Since then, new attractions were added and locations changed, molding the promising fair into what it is today. Approximately 80,000 people attend each spring, filling their fixing for carnival rides, entertainment, crafts, exhibits, a livestock show, pig racing, mutton bustin,’ and, of course, great food.

The fair includes two of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association’s premier rodeo events. The first four days is the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour and the final day features the Wrangler Champions Challenge Rodeo, which brings together the nation’s top 10 contestants in each event.

 

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