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Town to keep Pahrump Fall Festival in-house

After being forced to forgo the Pahrump Fall Festival in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, town and county officials promised the local community that this year’s event would be even bigger and better and they are quite excited to see the beloved community event return for 2021.

Following a discussion by the Nye County Commission early this week, it has also been decided that the festival will continue under the organization of the town itself into the future, a move that will hopefully ensure that the event remains a strong, stable and successful endeavor in the years to come.

Enthusiastic outlook

“I can tell you, there are already up to 125 vendors already on line, so they are already moving forward. They are working with NDOT for the parade… and music, I believe you guys already have music, starting to set up for who is going to be here. I think this is a yes!” Nye County Commissioner Frank Carbone enthused during the board’s Tuesday, Aug. 17 meeting.

Commissioner Leo Blundo said he too was optimistic about how everything was coming together for the event, remarking, “We’re going to have one hell of a Fall Festival this year!”

He said he felt the item regarding keeping it as a town-sponsored event might be a bit premature, however, noting that he felt it would be more appropriate for such question to come before the board after the event has concluded. Despite this, Blundo expressed his belief that it would be a wonderful event, remarking, “The way it’s looking right now, I think we’re on the right step, the right foot and the right direction for the Fall Festival, so keep up the great work.”

Nye County Manager Tim Sutton also jumped in to inform the board that even if they were to approve the agenda item that morning, the topic could always be revisited again following the festival.

“This takes a lot of effort from staff, but they would have to do the effort anyway,” commission chair Debra Strickland stated. “We still have to have the sheriff, the fire department, buildings and grounds, all of these people who work for the county or the town of Pahrump, they all have to be involved anyway. So why not be the managing partner in that and make sure it’s done well? I would definitely support it moving forward…”

She then turned to the subject of funding, asking how that aspect of the festival was going.

Nye County Comptroller Savannah Rucker said there was a $50,000 start-up budget provided for this year’s event and remarked that year over year, the festival typically generates about $20,000 to $25,000 in profit, though that revenue would likely be eaten up with the cost of staff time.

“That’s the funny thing about this, we’re still going to use the staff time,” Strickland reiterated. “I mean, it doesn’t matter if we are running it or not, we still have to put in the time so at least the town is making up for that in some fees.”

Commissioner Donna Cox also chimed in, recalling times past when the event had been with various other entities, noting that each time that had occurred, the event eventually was handed back to the town.

“This has come back to us many times. I think we ought to just keep it forever,” Cox stated. “This was started originally not to make a profit… We always had people who came in here and wanted to make a profit on it, they thought, ‘Oh, this will be a big profit-maker and we’ll take it over.’ Well, then it always ends up coming back because they find out it’s not a big profit-maker.”

Cox then made the motion that the town of Pahrump continue to keep the Pahrump Fall Festival as an in-house event until a decision otherwise is made. That motion was seconded by Carbone and passed with all in favor.

Event details

The Pahrump Fall Festival is scheduled to take place Thursday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 26 at Petrack Park and there will be all kinds of fun and activities for the community to enjoy. This year’s festival theme is “Stars and Stripes” and town staff noted that the event will be focused on thanking area first responders for all they do for the community, especially for the work they have undertaken throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

General admission to the event is free, although certain aspects, including the carnival and rodeo, will require ticket purchases. Advance carnival tickets are $30 for an all-day bracelet but there is also the opportunity for purchasing “mega passes” for $125. These mega passes come with five all-day carnival bracelets, 25 game and food credits and a festival cup that includes one fill-up which can be refilled for just $2 per cup at any of the carnival stands. Rodeo tickets are $10 each.

Other features of the event, such as the entertainment that will grace the main stage throughout all four days, along with the arts and crafts exhibits, car show, games and annual parade will all be free for attendees.

This year’s event is also set to include a brand new attraction, a fireworks show, one of the items that town and county officials decided to work into the event as a means of making the 2021 Fall Festival one of the very best events the town has ever seen. Town officials have also stated that there will be a hot air balloon presence at the event, another new feature that will undoubtedly attract many.

There are several deadlines that those who wish to participate in the event should be aware of.

Those desiring to have a vendor booth at the Fall Festival must have their applications submitted by Aug. 31, along with their payment and insurance. Booths cost $200 each for regular vendors and $50 each for nonprofits.

Parade entry applications will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. Participation costs $30 for non-judged and $40 for judged entries.

Anyone who would like to be an entertainer at the festival or a sponsor for the event can contact town of Pahrump Executive Assistant Alex Crow at acrow@pahrumpnv.org or by calling 775-253-1697.

For more information visit www.visitpahrump.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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