2015 Fall Festival
Thursday, September 24 - Sunday, September 27
More than 50 years have passed since the first festival and the tradition continues. The festival started out as a simple harvest festival where just a couple hundred people came out to have some fun, share the harvest and eat some good Barbeque.
According to the Pahrump Valley Gazette, Pahrump had its first Harvest Festival in 1964 on Sept. 5. Bob Ruud donated a side of beef and they barbequed it where the old Cotton Pickin Saloon once stood. Charlotte Floyd said there were no funds for the first one and only 300 people showed up. People brought their animals and crop yield to the festival and then would cap off the celebration with some rodeo events that pitted local men and women in a friendly competition.
Over the years the celebration has taken on a whole new meaning with a different way of celebrating.
The one day of celebrating has long been transformed. Today, the festival starts on a Thursday and last for four days ending on a Sunday. There still is no charge for admission to the festival itself or the entertainment. The rodeo does charge a modest fee.
What would be a celebration without a parade? The Parade still goes down Highway 160. On the Saturday the town stops to admire the Festival parade. Traffic comes to a stop on Highway 160 as the annual parade travels down the highway for about 2 miles with over 50 floats. Hundreds stand and watch the high school marching band and the various floats slowly march down the town’s main highway.
Rides, rides and more rides are another highlight of the festival, at least for the kids. The kids come out to enjoy the thrill of riding the latest stomach twister. The rides include a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel and a boat load of fast turning rides that make you lurch and twist out of your seat. Finally the carnival rides would not be complete without all the usual carnival games and carnival food. For the local kids, the fall festival is the highlight of the year.
The festival would not be a festival without the rodeo. The first festivals were nothing but a rodeo. Today, the highlight of the fall festival remains the rodeo. Years have changed the shape of the festival but the rodeo still remains a major portion of it. For two nights, a major Western rodeo comes to town bringing old time entertainment. At the heart of the rodeo, experience the thrill of bull riding, team roping and of course the rodeo clowns.
Over a hundred vendors gather at the Pahrump festival. Many of the vendors sell food and beer while others cater to arts and crafts. Some Vendors offer new gadgets while still others cater to our souls.
In addition to the commercial vendors, the festival also has the 4-H booths, being some of the most popular each year. 4-H usually has animal experts talk about their favorite breed of goat, chicken or even rabbit and horse. They also bring their own brand of entertainment which consists of Chicken Poop bingo. The bingo raises money for 4-H camp during the summer.
During the evenings, after you have gone to rodeo send the kids to the rides. Then sit and relax on the park grass, enjoy your favorite beverage and listen to some country or rock music. Entertainment last through midnight, every night with the exception of the last night of the festival.
The parade is Saturday at 9 am. Highway 160 closes at 8am along the parade route - Highway 160 at Dandelion (start) to Basin (finish).
Carnival tickets are $30 at the gate. Carnival and vendor hours are Thursday 5pm-midnight; Friday 11am-midnight; Saturday 11am-midnight & Sunday 11am-5pm.
Rodeo tickets are $10 and only occurs on Sept. 25 and 26. Friday only - children under 10 can get in for free with one adult, and adults 65 or older can buy one ticket and get one guest free. Special offer tickets must be purchased at the gate Friday night.
Rodeo Gates open at 6:30 p.m., rodeo starts at 7 p.m.