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Nevada Territory Wild West Fair

New Name for the Nevada State Fair in Reno

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Nevada State Fair, Reno, Nevada, NV Nevada Territory Wild West Fair

Ferris wheel light the evening sky at the Nevada State Fair, Reno, Nevada.

Photo © Stan White
Updated September 19, 2013

So far (as of 2013), the Nevada State Fair remains a relic. Whether or not it is ever revived remains to be seen.

No Fair in 2011 - Fundraising efforts came up short and there will be no Nevada State Fair / Nevada Territory Wild West Fair in 2011. Nevada's longest running event, held every year since 1874, is going under due to debt and lack of enough current funding to carry on. Here is the announcement... "The Board of Directors for the Nevada State Fair met on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011, and came to a decision that was difficult to make but was sadly inevitable to do. For the first time in the history of the fair (since 1874), there will not be a state fair this year, ending a 136 year run that established itself as being the longest running event in Nevada."

After running since 1864 as the Nevada State Fair, the event will be the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair starting in 2010. The idea is to return to Nevada's pioneering history, as explained on the fair website... "In the interest of recognizing the importance of teaching our Nevada children the significance of our roots, and the need to embody the entire state in an annual celebration which symbolizes the pride of being 'Battle Born,' the Nevada State Fair Board of Directors has unanimously adopted the idea of evolving the fair into a statewide heritage event that honors and recognizes the rich histories and lasting legacies of the pioneer men and women who first founded the Silver State during the mid 1800s."

Besides freshening things up, fair directors are looking to capitalize on tourism and the ongoing fascination with everything Wild West. New attractions and venues are set to include the Great American Wild West Show, the Great Basin Native American Gathering, the Comstock Civil War Re-Enactors, a Mining Camp, Western Frontier Town, Railroad Yard, mountain men encampment, stage coach rides, Old Mexico, and lots more. Be sure to check the fair schedule as some of these may not be ready for the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair inaugural run.

Fans of the old-style Nevada State Fair will find all the traditional livestock events and 4-H kids from all over Nevada. There will be a carnival midway and all those fun rides for kids and adults who like to act like kids. The Showcase of Agriculture, livestock shows demolition derby, and famous Wiener Dog Races will all be there to keep this the fun event it's always been.

Enjoying the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair

The Nevada Territory Wild West Fair is held at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, 1350 N. Wells Avenue in Reno. The 2010 Fair runs from August 25th through August 29th. This venue is also the site of the Reno Rodeo, Western States Wild Horse and Burro Expo, and numerous other events.

Find out what's happening and when with the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair daily events schedule (not available at this writing, but I'll add a link when it is). There are some special admission deals to check out for 2010, including discount coupons available from Port of Subs shops. Parking is free every day and there's free admission on opening night. All Grand Stand events are free with paid admission (except box seats). All entertainment and shows are free with admission (except carnival and pony rides).

Opening Night at the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair

Remember the TV show The Virginian? James Drury, the star of that series, will be the 2010 Grand Marshall and be there to cut the ribbon and officially open the first Nevada Territory Wild West Fair. Check the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair website for details.

Nevada Territory Wild West Fair Tickets & Hours

You can purchase tickets online, from numerous locations around the area, and at the gate. Beginning August 1, discount admission and ride tickets will be available at local Port of Subs shops. Regular admission for those 11 to 64 is $10. Admission is free for children 10 and under, and for adults 65 and over. Parking is free every day. The main fair information number is (775) 688-5767.

A highlight of the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair is the Wiener Dog Races. To enter your dachshund, download the Wiener Dog Races entry form. The 2010 race is on Sunday, August 29th.

Nevada Territory Wild West Fair hours:

  • Wed., 8/25: Opens 5 p.m., inside closes 10 p.m., outside closes 11 p.m.
  • Thurs., 8/26: Opens 5 p.m., inside closes 10 p.m., outside closes 11 p.m.
  • Fri., 8/27: Opens 12 noon, inside closes 11 p.m., outside closes midnight.
  • Sat., 8/28: Opens 12 noon, inside closes 11 p.m., outside closes midnight.
  • Sun., 8/29: Opens 12 noon, inside closes 9 p.m., outside closes 10 p.m.

Links to More Nevada Territory Wild West Fair Information

  • Entertainment Lineup
  • Fair Attractions
  • Competition Guide
  • Contact Information
  • Great American Wild West Show Video

Nevada State Fair History

Up until the 2010 inauguration of the Nevada Territory Wild West Fair, the basic scene at the Nevada State Fair didn't change that much since the first event in 1874. It was held south of the small city of Reno, near what is now the bustling intersection of Plumb Lane and S. Virginia Street. It was, and still is, part of the main route connecting Reno with Carson City and Virginia City. You will still find a major emphasis on Nevada agriculture, livestock, and a big dose of musical entertainment. The music is a bit more contemporary than the Winnemucca Brass Band, but the idea remains the same and the atmosphere is friendly, down home, and fun for the whole family. Source: Nevada Territory Wild West Fair

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