ELY — This August, troves of visitors from all over will flock to the 83rd annual White Pine Fair and Horse Races Western festival in Ely. Eventgoers can expect the same thrills and nod to Western tradition at this jam-packed, three-day event that has taken place for decades.
The weekend-long series of celebrations promises the customs and nostalgia of a true American Western experience. The pinnacle event of the weekend is the White Pine Horse Races, held at White Pine County Fairgrounds Aug. 17-19. Spectators can feel the ground shake from the rumble of about 150 thoroughbred and quarter horses racing around the track and experience the rush of adrenaline from neck-and-neck finishes. Gambling, mouth-watering food and other Old West events make this thrilling weekend a can’t miss.
“This is truly White Pine County’s biggest event, drawing hundreds of volunteers and thousands of fans,” said Jim Bath, chairman of White Pine Horse Races. “Not many towns still have horse racing with parimutuel betting, and I’m proud of our county for keeping these races alive.”
In a parimutuel betting system, the payoff odds for the race are determined by the value of all bets placed rather than by the house, meaning the odds are not finalized until betting is closed.
First established in the 1920s, these exciting races draw thousands of bettors and spectators from all over the country. Race attendees can view race post times Friday, Aug. 17 at 3 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 18 and Sunday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. at the county fairgrounds.
“We are excited to once again bring together our community and visitors for this momentous tradition,” said Ely Mayor Melody VanCamp. “It is always great fun during this time of year. There is something for everyone to enjoy.”
The weekend series of events also features a rodeo, an authentic barbecue, a county fair and a 4-H Livestock Show and Auction, kicking off with a bang on Friday, Aug. 17 and extending through Sunday, Aug. 19.
Additionally, the White Pine Ranch Rodeo will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday Aug. 17 with more rodeo events taking place throughout the weekend. Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the U.S. will converge in Ely to show off their roping skills, cattle doctoring, ranch sorting, steer stopping and bronco riding expertise.
That evening, the Ely Volunteer Fire Department’s Barbecue begins at 5 p.m., serving up tasty beef, lamb and turkey for attendees to enjoy.
The County Fair is another featured event of the weekend, taking place on both Aug. 18 and 19. With exhibits, unique vendor booths, cooking and eating contests and live entertainment, these festivities promise fun for the whole family.
Evening hours are filled with great live music and dancing. The band Good Friends will be jamming from 6:30 p.m. until midnight on Aug. 17 and 18. Meanwhile, the 4-H Livestock Show and Auction will also take place onAug. 18 and 19, giving eventgoers a taste of an authentic Western ag tradition.
“This weekend is really about showcasing the heart and soul of what makes White Pine County special and sharing that with everyone,” said Steve Stork, White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board chairman. “It’s a real honor to be part of this town, and being part of these events really puts that into perspective.”
This three-day western festival takes place in Ely, located on US Highway 50 and Highway 93 which is 240 miles from Las Vegas, 240 miles from Salt Lake City and 320 miles from Reno. To discover more about the horse races weekend visit, https://www.elynevada.net/horse-races/.