Las Vegas Days Parade is a family favorite for locals! This year's parade is set for Saturday May 15th from 10am-Noon, but it will be a little bit different.
Since 1905, the Las Vegas Days Parade (formerly known as Helldorado Parade) celebrates Las Vegas’ history. This FREE event will be a "reverse parade" this year on Third Street in downtown Las Vegas. So what does that mean?
Rather than have the floats drive down the streets for the crowds, the floats will be parked and parade goers will get to drive through to view them. And YOU will be the judges this year and will vote on best overall entry. Just follow the 95-5 The Bull Truck along the route and turn up the Bull as your official soundtrack... we'll be commercial free the entire time from 10am-Noon!
Here's a map of the parade route:
Now, as promised, 10 facts you may not know about Las Vegas Days Parade:
1. The first Las Vegas Days -- formerly known as Helldorado Days -- was staged in 1935 by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge No. 1468 as a fundraiser. The Elks Lodge used the revenue to give back to the community in the form of scholarships.
2. A few years after it began and was a success, the Chamber of Commerce took over marketing the events and advertised it to prospective tourists as a chance to experience the “Old Wild West” and one of the last remaining “Frontier Towns.” However Las Vegas never was the Wild West or a Frontier Town, it was a railroad town, but the lore of the Old West trope brought in tourist dollars.
3. The name of the event “Helldorado Days” (now Las Vegas Days) was borrowed from Tombstone Arizona’s own Helldorado Days that celebrates the founding of Tombstone, and the word “Helldorado” was a play on words of men looking for their “Eldorado” of riches only to find “Helldorado” during the late 1800s search for gold.
4. Originally Las Vegas Days -- formerly known as Helldorado Days -- included four days of events including a carnival, dancers, a best beard contest, costume contests, and a parade.
5. The second and subsequent years of Las Vegas Days – formerly known as Helldorado Days -- included horse shows and rodeos.
6. The parade’s original route was down Freemont Street.
7. It was an annual event from 1935 through the 1960s until the “Old West” marketing gave way to more “sophisticated” tourist draws such as the Sahara, Dunes and Castaways casinos located on the Strip. It eventually faded away and was no longer held by the 1980s/90s.
8. The Elks Lodge resumed Las Vegas Days –formerly known as Helldorado Days -- in 2005 with funding from the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial as part of the city celebrating the 100 year anniversary of its founding.
9. By 2017 the Elks Lodge no longer managed Las Vegas Days – formerly known as Helldorado Days -- and since they owned the name “Helldorado” the event had to be called something else, the Commission decided it would be called “Las Vegas Days.”
10. The Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial continues to fund the Las Vegas Days Parade, which is now managed by the City.