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Pahrump Valley Days celebration canceled

It was to be the first major, large-scale public event since the COVID-19 pandemic set in but with the virus continuing to rage across the nation, including right here in Nye County, the inaugural Pahrump Valley Days festival has been officially canceled.

Pahrump Valley Days was the brainchild of Doug Dubin of the VinoJazz Foundation and Hunter DeMarais of Pahrump – Moving Forward. It was planned to take place in conjunction with the Pahrump Valley Junior High and High School Rodeo Club’s upcoming rodeo and though the rodeo club’s event is still a go, the festival fun that was to accompany the rodeo will not take place. The reason? It will undoubtedly come as no surprise to anyone that the festival was called off due to the elevated number of COVID-19 cases in the state and the subsequent restrictions on public gatherings imposed in an attempt to curb the continued spread.

“I’d like to start by thanking the commissioners for all their support, the chief, the town manager, the sheriff, staff, everybody that’s been involved,” Dubin told Nye County commissioners during their meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20. “We will be withdrawing Pahrump Valley Days this year due to everything that is going on.

“We are saddened but we want everyone to know that the VinoJazz Foundation is dedicated to creating events, to get people out in the community when we can get back to normalcy, through safe and secure policy and procedure,” Dubin continued. “And that we truly thank all the vendors and sponsors, and the community, which has gotten behind us on this project. Again, we look forward to the future…”

Pahrump Valley Days was set to include a huge array of fun and activities, ranging from the ever-popular carnival to a barbecue competition to art demonstrations and much, much more. It had been approved for a festival permit in September, 2020, when the community was still hopeful that by the festival dates, Feb. 18-21, the pandemic would have eased. However, that has not happened and the festival has now been scrapped.

DeMarais spoke at the Jan. 20 commission meeting, reminding everyone that just because Pahrump Valley Days was canceled, that did not mean all events taking place that weekend in February were canceled as well.

“One thing to keep in mind, the rodeo is still on,” DeMarais stated. “We’re going to be doing several things with the rodeo, we just need to find out a few pieces of information. And as of last night, we were given a couple of really good ideas, through the sheriff, through Debra Strickland and Frank Carbone (commissioners). We’re looking into the viability of a virtual rodeo where people can actually buy tickets so the money can still go ahead and support the rodeo… We’re also looking at doing a radio-a-thon… Again, we want to make it as viable an operation as possible for the rodeo club, that was one of the main purposes of the Pahrump Valley Days festival. There is still money to be raised.”

For vendors who had already put down money for vendor booth space at the Pahrump Valley Days festival, Dubin said he is reaching out to them to notify them that he will be moving their payments to apply for VinoJazz’s next planned event, the Pahrump Music Festival, set for this May. Those who have already purchased carnival tickets are given the option of either holding on to those until the Pahrump Music Festival or else they can request a refund.

For more information on the Pahrump Valley Junior High and High School Rodeo Club visit www.PVHSRodeo.com. For more information on the upcoming Pahrump Music Festival or VinoJazz Foundation contact Dubin at 775-537-5515 or makemywine@yahoo.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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