Flashback Friday: A Hell-Raising Parade

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.


I'm one of a rare breed of folks, a native Las Vegan. That's Las Vegan, not Vegan. Being born in Las Vegas has endowed me with crazy Vegas skills - must be all the exposure to neon. I'm a human casino GPS, celebrity locator (You never know who you'll meet in a casino elevator, right Richard Branson?) and tip calculator. My mom taught me probability and statistics with decommissioned casino dice. When I walk through a hotel, tourists think I work there. Maybe it's my smile, my purposeful walk or my friendly answers. Maybe it's just the black suit. But whatever the reason, Vegas.com gives me the chance to exercise my Vegas super powers every day. Now if I could just predict when Megabucks would hit... You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.