Winter is behind us and now is the time to start planning a summer of adventure in Nevada. While Reno and Las Vegas tend to steal the show for entertainment and activity options, rural Nevada is chock full of unique events for those who want to hit the road. From food-based events to celebrations of Nevada history, here is our roundup of what rural Nevada has to offer this summer season.
Winnemucca Basque Festival – June 11-12, 2022
Basque roots run deep in the Great Basin and Winnemucca’s annual Basque Festival is the place to honor that heritage and experience the culture. The weekend features traditional Basque music, dancing, games and, of course, plenty of community-style Basque food options. Don’t forget to have a Picon Punch! For more information, visit: http://www.winnemucca.com/.
Red, White, and Booze – June 25, 2022
Start pre-gaming the official Fourth of July festivities with a patriotic bar crawl through some of Tonopah’s downtown businesses. The official slogan of this event is “Get Star Spangled Hammered this June,” so leave the kiddos at home for this one. The event promises raffle prizes, drinks and loads of fun. For more information, visit https://tonopahmainstreet.com/events.
Eureka Gold Rush Games – June 25-26, 2022
This unique festival in Eureka is a celebration of Nevada’s mining heritage. Competitors will test their skills in 1800s-era mining games. Be the fastest to shovel one ton of rock into an ore cart or to hammer a spike into timber and you’ll win cash prizes and awards. The weekend also includes games for kids, vendors, crafts, food and music. For more information, visit: https://eurekagoldrushgames.com/.
Silver State Stampede – July 8-10, 2022
Head over to Elko to check out the oldest rodeo in Nevada. The Silver State Stampede features traditional roping and riding events with amateur and professional buckaroos from around the region. The three-day event also features a huge Western trade show, food, live music and more. For more information, visit: https://www.silverstatestampede.com/.
Goldfield Days – August 5-7, 2022
Discover why Goldfield was once called the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp” in this fun-filled festival. Goldfield Days includes a grand parade, historic tours, chili cook off, contests and games, poker walk, live music and more. But, the highlight of the festival is the famous Goldfield Land Auction during which you can bid to own a parcel in the almost-ghost town. For more information, visit: http://www.goldfieldnevada.org/events/.
Fallon Cantaloupe Festival – August 26-28, 2022
Fallon is the place to go to celebrate Nevada’s agricultural heritage and, in particular, the region’s history with the famed heirloom variety Hearts of Gold cantaloupe. The Cantaloupe Festival features educational exhibits, live music, a carnival, vendors and, of course, many opportunities to sample cantaloupe. For more information, visit: https://www.falloncantaloupefestival.com/.
World Human Powered Speed Challenge – September 10-17, 2022
Watch the world’s fastest humans try to break current land speed records! The annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge is a fascinating annual event in Battle Mountain. Competitors from around the world race to reach amazing speeds on highly engineered bikes. (The current record is 89.58 mph.) Spectators can watch all the action. The event also includes a Show & Shine with the competitor bikes, drag races and more. You can even bring your own bicycle and test against the pros! For more information, visit: https://landercountytourism.com/whpsc/.
Pine Nut Festival – September 17-18, 2022
The Walker River Paiute Tribe in Schurz hosts this annual event that celebrates the delicious pinyon pine nut and honors indigenous culture. The festival features a parade, games for kids and competitions for adults, vendors and food, talent show and a powwow. But the main event is a special pine nut blessing ceremony featuring indigenous singers from around the country. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/WRPinenutFestivalPowWow/.
White Pine County
Sunset, Stars and Champagne Train – Various dates through September 17, 2022
Watch as the stars emerge over the high desert during this 2.5 hour train ride at the Northern Nevada Railway in Ely. The Sunset, Stars and Champagne Train begins at dusk and winds through the beautiful hills around Steptoe Valley. Adult passengers will get a glass of champagne with ticket fare. Other beverages and snacks will be available for purchase. Runs on Thursdays and Saturdays through the summer months. For more information, visit https://nnry.com/pages/EveningTrain.php.