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PAHRUMP FALL FESTIVAL: Why you’ll be seeing ‘Aliens & Cowboys’ around town

The 58th Pahrump Fall Festival kicks off Thursday and Petrack Park will be the scene of much revelry for a full four days, with all sorts of fun for the entire family to enjoy.

“Celebrate fall with this awesome annual tradition,” the town of Pahrump’s tourism website VisitPahrump.com encourages.

An event that regularly attracts thousands of patrons, Fall Festival has fairly humble beginnings. It started in the 1970s as a small-scale event dubbed the Harvest Festival with just a couple hundred attendees, the focus of which was celebrating the start of the autumn season and a barbecue that offered delicious food. Over the years, however, it has grown into what is absolutely the biggest event of the year in Pahrump.

Along the way, the event has changed its name to the Fall Festival and has also changed hands several times, with various organizers taking it on. For the last two years, the town of Pahrump itself has been running the show and officials are excited about their third year hosting one of the most beloved events in Nye County. From the carnival and midway to the vast array of vendors, two nights of rousing rodeo, live entertainment and much more, the Pahrump Fall Festival has something to entice just about anyone.

“This event is brought to you by the town of Pahrump providing free admission to the festival and entertainment. There is a fee for the rodeo and unlimited carnival ride bracelets are available for purchase,” VisitPahrump.com reports.

Rodeo and carnival

“A highlight of the Fall Festival is the rodeo. The first festivals were made up solely of the rodeo and over the years, the festival has evolved into a four-day celebration where the rodeo is still at the center of it all,” the town’s tourism website details.

The rodeo will take place both Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23 at the McCullough Arena. Gates will open at 6 p.m. both days with the show set for 7 p.m. Rodeo guests will be able to watch as cowboys and cowgirls take to the arena for mutton busting, open barrel racing, calf roping, breakaway, bull riding and more.

Rodeo tickets are $10 per person for Friday night, with children five and under free with a paid adult. Seniors 65 years and older also get a companion admitted for free with purchase of a ticket. Saturday’s tickets are also $10 each, with “lap children” free.

“Rides, rides and more rides are another highlight of the festival! Kids and grownups alike come out to enjoy the thrill of riding the latest stomach-twister. Rides include a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel and a boat-load of fast-turning rides for every thrill-seeker. And no carnival would be complete without booths and booths of carnival games and your favorite carnival eats.”

Unlimited ride carnival tickets are good for one full day and cost $35 each.

Arts, crafts, food and horticulture

Another major feature of the Pahrump Fall Festival that attendees will not want to miss is the arts and crafts and food and horticulture exhibits inside the Bob Ruud Community Center. This part of the festival is organized by the Shadow Mountain Quilters, with Joyce Higginbotham leading the effort.

In the Arts and Crafts segment of the exhibit, artists will have the chance to show off their skill in painting, photography, creative writing, beading, clay art, gourd carving, glass work, scrapbooking, card making, jewelry making, woodworking, embroidery, weaving, quilting, knitting and a whole lot more.

With harvest season upon the valley, gardeners from all around town will be able to display the literal fruits of their labors. Preserved foods such as canned goods, jerky, dehydrated fruit, jellies, honey and pickles can be featured, as can confections like breads, cakes, biscuits, cookies, candies and pies. Fresh fruits and vegetables of all kinds, along with herbs, nuts and seeds, are open to the exhibit, as are plants such as potted flowers, cacti and succulents, flower arrangements and cut plant materials.

The arts and crafts and food and horticulture exhibits will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 24 the exhibits are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cowboys and Aliens Parade

“The Fall Festival includes a parade that commemorates the occasion, traveling down Highway 160. Saturday, traffic comes to a stop on Highway 160 as the annual parade travels… for about two miles with over 50 floats. Hundreds stand and cheer on the high school marching band and carnival of floats…” VisitPahrump.com reads.

The theme of this year’s Fall Festival Parade is Cowboys and Aliens, with the Kiwanis Club of Pahrump handling the task of organizing the procession for the first time. Entries will start lining up as early as 6 a.m. and the parade will hit the streets at 9 a.m., with entries moving west on Highway 160 from Dandelion Street all the way to just north of Petrack Park.

The Fall Festival will also include a plethora of entertainment on the main stage, as well as cornhole and horseshoe tournaments, a car show and of course, dozens upon dozens of vendor booths prepared with an assortment of merchandise for attendees to peruse.

Everything begins on Thursday, Sept. 21 with hours of operation from 5 to 10 p.m. On Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23, hours are noon to midnight. Sunday, Sept. 24’s hours are 10 a.m. to around 5 p.m. depending on the crowd.

For a full schedule of the entertainers refer to the Pahrump Valley Times’ annual Fall Festival guide. For more information on the tournaments go to www.VisitPahrump.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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