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Don’t Miss the Longest Running Civic Event in Las Vegas

Las Vegas might initially overwhelm the senses with its surreal skyline and over the top attractions, but beyond the bright lights, the city offers something for everyone. Travelers will have no trouble finding a variety of things to do whether it's seeing neon signs from the city’s past at the Neon Museum and Boneyard or rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon. Las Vegas is the ideal spot for an activity filled Southern Nevada getaway.


The Las Vegas Elks Helldorado Days is the longest running civic event in Las Vegas, beginning in 1934. It will take place May 11-14 at various venues across Las Vegas including the Las Vegas Village, Neon Museum, Highland Falls Golf Course, Eclipse Theatre, and more. The event celebrates the frontier history of Las Vegas through a variety of fun events including concerts, movies, art show, golf tournament, parties, rodeo, carnival, and more. A Professional Bull Riding (PBR) sanctioned event called the Last Cowboy Standing will take place on May 13-14, featuring more than 40 professional riders. On May 13, Helldorado Days will  feature a parade through Downtown featuring floats, marching bands, and more. Proceeds from the event benefit the Las Vegas Elks, who in turn donate money and time to a variety of charitable causes in the community. We got the opportunity to interview Beverly Salhanick, Helldorado Chair, to talk about this celebration of Las Vegas history.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

BJS: The Las Vegas Elks Helldorado Days event has been running since 1934. It is the longest-running civic event in Las Vegas, celebrating the rich frontier history of the city while raising money for Elks charities.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

BJS: The event attracts more than 5,000 participants each year.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

BJS: There is, literally, something for everyone! The multitude of events we hold allows people of all ages to participate. There are events for art lovers, history lovers, movie lovers, beard enthusiasts and, of course, rodeo and bull riding fans. At the rodeo, children can participate in mutton bustin’, which is a crowd favorite each year.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

BJS: This event is unique because of its long history, the sheer diversity of events, and diversity of participants. There’s nothing like it anywhere in the country, regarding the history and variety of things to do.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

BJS: Please visit our website to see the full event calendar.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

BJS: Guests include some of the top PRCA cowboys as well as PBR bull riders. And because this is Las Vegas, you never know who you might see at these events!


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

BJS: Dining in Las Vegas is always a treat. Downtown is booming, and with that growth, several incredible new restaurants serving a delicious variety of cuisines have opened within the past few years.


RAL: What is the environment like?

BJS: Las Vegas Elks Helldorado Days operates across a variety of venues throughout the month from the parade in the streets through downtown Las Vegas to the main arena and fairgrounds at the Las Vegas Village, where the PCRA rodeo and corresponding events take place.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

BJS: There are some great boutique lodging options in or near downtown Las Vegas, including some of the older hotels that have recently refurbished their properties. They’re available at several different price points.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

BJS: Because this event is a fundraiser for Elks charities, the group has been able to return millions of dollars to the community in the form of charitable donations to many different non-profits serving Southern Nevada, many of which are dedicated to the needs of children, veterans, and educational programs. The events drive business to our local sponsors.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

BJS: Anyone who has a love of Western history, Las Vegas, the construction of Hoover Dam, cowboys, Western art and family-friendly fun would enjoy Las Vegas Elks Helldorado Days. Elks Helldorado provides travelers with a great overall experience. The rodeo allows visitors and locals to see top PRCA and PBR competitors in an intimate setting, and at a lower price than National Finals Rodeo events (also held in Las Vegas). It all supports the community in many ways and is good, old-fashioned fun.

For more information about the Las Vegas Elks Helldorado Days, please visit the event website.