Fall is a great time to explore a wide variety of family-friendly activities in rural Nevada. Whether you live north, south, or somewhere in between, the cool October weather makes road trips much more comfortable than in summertime, and small towns across the state celebrate the season with festivals, races, and a whole lot more. Here’s a brief sampling of some of the places you might want to visit in October.
Beatty Days Festival
Beatty, October 27-29
Located about 115 miles northwest of Las Vegas on US 95, Beatty celebrates its founding and its heritage each year with a three-day festival on the Nevada Day weekend. The fun includes a chili cook-off, a classic car show, an old-fashioned town parade, and three days of food and music. Visitors to Beatty can also try a number of interesting side trips, including the ghost town of Rhyolite and the nearby Goldwell Open Air Museum.
28th Annual World Championship Outhouse Races
Virginia City, October 7-8
The Virginia City outhouse races are a tradition dating back to the time angry residents marched to City Hall to protest new ordinances outlawing outdoor toilets. Each year, teams of three costumed racers challenge each other on Avenue C, Virginia City’s main street. One person rides, and the remaining team members push, pull or drag the decorated outhouse down the street until the winner finally crosses the toilet-paper finish line. The Parade of Outhouses begins Saturday at noon, with races immediately following. Admission is free, and there’s plenty of time before and after to visit Virginia City’s historic main street and patronize a variety of food booths and souvenir shops.
Slaughterhouse Lane Coffin and Zombie Stretcher Races
Heritage Park, Gardnerville, October 14
In the “spirit” of unique October races, Gardnerville is getting ready for Halloween by sponsoring the third annual Slaughterhouse Lane Coffin Races, in which teams of four runners push a homemade coffin down the street with a passenger inside (shown in the photo above). New this year is a special division for racers ages 15 and under called the Zombie Stretcher Races. Costumed teams of four racers (one for each stretcher handle) race down the street carrying a stretcher occupied by a zombie mannequin. After these “lively” events, schedule some time to visit the stores, antique shops and restaurants along Gardnerville’s historic Main Street.
Ely Ghost Train
Ely, October 7-28
On Friday evenings in October, it’s said that ghosts and goblins come alive and haunt the Ghost Train of Old Ely. Passengers on the steam locomotive ride the Nevada Northern Railway’s original mainline toward the old Ruth Mine through dark tunnels and past haunted ghost towns. Community volunteers dressed as other-worldly hitchhikers suddenly appear on the train to add a bit of excitement to the ride. Tickets to the Ghost Train tend to sell out, so visitors are encouraged to get tickets early. The town of Ely is just a short drive from Great Basin National Park and Lehman Caves, so consider adding a day trip to Nevada’s only national park to your itinerary.
Nevada State Bank©, with branches in 20 communities across the state, encourages you to explore Nevada’s wide-open spaces and small towns. For more information about family-friendly activities this fall, visit the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s website at travelnevada.com.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.
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