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Wild West Extravaganza takes over Petrack Park in Pahrump

Nevada is known as a bastion of the Old West where many of the traditions of the past are still celebrated with gusto and each year, the town of Pahrump plays host to an event dedicated to reviving that past, the Wild West Extravaganza.

Established two decades ago as a simple trail ride, the Wild West Extravaganza celebrated its 20th year in the valley this past weekend.

Taking place at Petrack Park from Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 8, the event offered patrons an array of fun and excitement. There was a little something for just about everyone to enjoy, with everything from melodramas by the Shadow Mountain Community Players and performances by the Pahrump Gunfighters to dancing, vendors, animals, raffles, an art exhibit arranged by the Pahrump Artists and Artisans, country music, a car show and more.

“In 2001, this event started with the Pony Express trail ride,” longtime Pahrump resident Debra Strickland, who is also a member of the Nye County Commission, detailed of the event’s history. “The chamber of commerce came to me and said, ‘Hey, Debra, we know you’re into horses and all. Do you think you could put on a reenactment of a Pony Express event? I said sure, I have no idea what I am doing but let’s do it!”

Strickland said the very first trail ride took place with about 24 riders in total and covered 36 miles from the McCullough Arena in Pahrump to the Longstreet Casino in Amargosa. Since that time, the Wild West Extravaganza has certainly seen some transformation. Today, it takes the shape of a full-on festival in the heart of town that regularly attracts large crowds from all around the area.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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