Beatty Nevada annually celebrates its colorful history during Beatty Days at the end of October. It consists of family-style events and entertainment reminiscent of celebrations during Beatty’s early years more than a century ago.The boom and bust cycles that plague mining towns doomed many of Beatty’s contemporaries. Beatty survives because it strives to change with the times. Now a town of about 1,200 residents, Beatty no longer serves the bustling railroads of yesteryear, but it still serves travelers along one of Nevada’s busiest highways. It remains a major tourist portal for nearby Death Valley National Park. Surrounding ranches, settlements and mines depend on Beatty’s businesses.The celebration begins with vendors setting up and the opening of several special displays that run all weekend. Look for a model railroad exhibition in the Beatty Community Center presented by the Las Vegas Garden Railroad Club and a display in the park of antique gas engines and equipment used in farming, mining and the military. Register early for several events and contests, or download registration packets at www.beattynevada.org. Learn more about Beatty’s past with a visit to the Beatty Museum and Historical Society.
Participate in The Tombstone 5K run through town and past the graveyard. After running or cheering the runners, head for the park for the Lions Club pancake breakfast. Later, contestants in two sanctioned chili cook-offs assemble their ingredients and start cooking. The Beatty Days parade is on the main street through town, an old-fashioned event involving kids of all ages and every dog, horse, politician, wheeled conveyance and band instrument in town.
Throughout the weekend, look for Old West shoot-outs in the park and take a horse-drawn wagon ride through town. Bands in both park areas perform following the parade until evening. Stroll over to the lower park on Amargosa Street for the motorcycle show. The Beatty Bed Races pit costumed racers piloting decorated beds against other teams during a hilarious race over a course in the park. Other contests of skill slated for the afternoon include a quick-draw competition and motorcycle games.
A few contests require very little skill, such as the Pickle Liquor Hoot ‘n Holler, Chicken Poo Bingo, the Cherry Stem Tongue Tie and the Root Beer Belching Contest.
The pet parade brings out animal lovers and their leashed pets. Sit in the shade at the park for a high school band concert. Beatty Days competitions conclude with a hot dog eating contest.