Flashback Friday: A Hell-Raising Parade

Posted by on May 15th, 2009 and filed under Featured, Xtra News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Helldorado Parade 1953In honor of the 75th Annual Helldorado Days we take a look back at the 1953 celebration with this picture of the Clark County Sheriff’s posse riding down Fremont Street under the watchful eye of Vegas Vic. The procession was part of the annual Helldorado parade. This year’s Helldorado parade is Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Helldorado Days was founded in 1934 by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks as a way to keep tourists visiting downtown Las Vegas when the construction of the Hoover Dam was entering its final phases. In 1944, Helldorado Days added a rodeo to the festivities. In 1946, the annual parade was a backdrop to the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans movie “Heldorado”  in which Rogers plays a Nevada State Ranger Captain in charge of the Rangers Reclamation Service and attends the Heldorado Frontier Festival (The movie studio was required to use only one “L” in “Helldorado” to avoid indecency).

Helldorado Days continued for more than 50 years until the entire celebration was put on hold for financial reasons in 1997. It returned in 2005 as part of the city’s centennial celebrations. The Helldorado rodeo returned this year. This year’s Helldorado Days run through the weekend and events include:

Friday, May 15

  • Whiskerino Contest Finale, 4:45 p.m.
  • Carnival, 5 p.m.-midnight
  • PRCA Rodeo, 7-9 p.m.
  • John Encino Band, 8 to 11 p.m.
  • T.J. Weaver Band, 8 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, May 16

  • Helldorado Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament, 9 a.m.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Donut-Eating Contest Finale, 5 p.m.
  • Parade, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Fireworks Show, 9 p.m.
  • Carnival, noon-midnight
  • PRCA Rodeo, 9-11 p.m.
  • John Encino Band, 8 to 11 p.m.
  • T.J. Weaver Band, 8 to 11 p.m.

Sunday, May 17

  • Carnival, noon-11 p.m.
  • PRCA Rodeo, 7-9 p.m.
  • Hazard County Rebels, 8 to 11 p.m.

Jennifer Whitehair

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Jennifer grew up believing everyone had slot machines in their convenience stores and celebrated Oct. 31 (Nevada day) with a day off from school. Jennifer has a background in journalism and worked as a reporter for newspapers in both Northern and Southern Nevada, before joining Vegas.com in 1996. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and other publications. She covers every part of Las Vegas for Vegas.com and loves tracking down vanishing pieces of historic and vintage Vegas. You can find her on Google+ and Twitter.

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