Nevada Day is coming. Here’s how to celebrate

Nevada Day is coming. Here’s how to celebrate

The Nevada State Railroad Museum takes you on a trip through Nevada’s history and culture with Nevada Day train rides in Boulder City. (Wikimedia)

By Aleza Freeman

October 24, 2023

Nevada became the 36th state in the United States on October 31, 1864. It’s an accomplishment worthy of celebration, commemorated in cities throughout the Silver State, on the last Friday of October every year.

Parades. Train Rides. Chilli Cookoffs. Drilling contests. These are just some of the many ways our great state celebrates its big day. From educational events to marching bands, there’s plenty to do and see on Nevada Day and all weekend long.

Carson City

Balloon Launch
When: 8 a.m. Oct. 28
Where: Carson Street near the Carson Mall
Cost: Free

Heads up as RE/MAX and the Great Reno Balloon Race kick off a full day of Nevada Day activities in Carson City. Balloons float through the sky for about an hour, from Fairview to downtown Carson Street. 

Nevada Day Parade
When: 10 a.m., Oct. 28
Where: From William and N. Carson Streets to the intersection of Stewart and S. Carson Streets
Cost: Free

A military fly-over signals the start of the parade, featuring marching bands, floats, equestrian groups, historical displays, Burning Man art cars, and more. Grand Marshals for this year’s event are the hosts of PBS Reno’s travel-adventure series Wild Nevada, Chris Orr and Dave Santina.  

World Championship Single-Jack Rock Drill Competition
When: 11 a.m., Oct. 28
Where: Carson Mall parking lot on Carson Street
Cost: Free

With a nod to the Comstock miners of the Old West, watch as male and female contestants drill deep and fast into a 4,320-pound piece of Sierra White Granite for a World Champion title. The deepest hole wins.

Nevada Day Beard Contest
When: 2 p.m., Oct. 28
Where: McFadden Plaza
Cost: Free

Compete for bragging rights including best, longest, fullest, reddest, whitest, blackest, best salt and pepper, best groomed, scruffiest, and most bearded community. Anyone with a beard can compete.

Post Parade Celebration
When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 28
Where: Telegraph Square (Telegraph & Curry Streets)
Cost: Free

This is a Nevada Day celebration to end all other Nevada Day celebrations. Enjoy free live music, food and drink vendors, kids events and shopping.

Nevada State Museum
When: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, Oct. 27 & 28
Where: 600 N. Carson Street
Cost: Free admission

Check out the museum plus more including minting demonstrations, interpretive talks, and vouchers for half-ounce .999 fine silver planchets. During the parade, enjoy hot chocolate and baked goods.

Nevada State Railroad Museum
When:  9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 27 & 28
Where: 2180 South Carson Street
Cost: Free; $4 and up to ride the motor car

Take a ride on a restored Virginia and Truckee McKeen Motor Car from the early 1900s. Built with a gas engine, there were only about 150 of these motor cars in existence, used at various US railroads. The 15-minute rides take place between 10  a.m. and 2 p.m.

Nevada Day Treasure Hunt
When: Ongoing through Oct. 31 or until the medallion is found
Where: A secret location
Cost: Free

Take part in this time-honored tradition by deciphering daily clues on the hunt for buried treasure. Find it before Oct. 31 to win $1,000.

Governor’s Mansion
When: 2 pm. to 4 p.m, Oct. 28
Where: 606 N. Mountain St.
Cost: Free

Tour the Governor’s Mansion, including upstairs, led by docents in period clothing. You may even meet the Governor and first lady.

Band Concert
When: 2 p.m., Oct. 28
Where: Amphitheater in the Legislative Mall
Cost: Free

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and tap your toes to patriotic and Halloween favorites, played by The Capital City Community Band. Fun for the whole family. 

Post Nevada Day Trash Mob
When: 8 a.m., Oct. 29
Where: Meet at the parking lot at 3rd Street and Curry Street
Cost: Free
Info: (775) 882-2600.

Nevada Day in Carson City was lots of fun but now it’s time to clean up! Come lend a hand.


35th annual Nevada Day Parade in Elko
When: 11 a.m., Oct. 28
Where: Starting at Crystal Theater and Ending at 11th Street
Cost: Free

Pay tribute to the Silver State at the 35th annual Nevada Day Parade in Elko. This year’s theme is Gateway to Adventure with Grand Marshal Janet Pearce Petersen, a fifth-generation Nevadan and professional historian. The parade will be held in memory of its original founders, Rose Conner and Don Tanner.

Las Vegas

Community Celebration hosted by the Mob Museum
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 28
Where: Mob Museum Outdoor Event Plaza in Downtown Las Vegas
Cost: Free; buy-one-get-one-free museum admission with Nevada ID

It’s fun for the whole family with live music, games, giveaways, trick-or-treating, interactive activities, arts and crafts, food and drinks. Kids can hop on a fire truck or ambulance and hone their forensic investigation skills with the LVMPD CSI Explorers. Adults can help save lives by donating blood. Costumes are welcome.

Nevada Day at the Springs Preserve
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 27
Where: Springs Preserve
Cost: Free for Nevada residents, including free admission to Nevada State Museum

Celebrate and expand your state knowledge with hands-on activities including arts and crafts, gold-panning and garden explorations, and a trivia contest. Explore life and culture in Nevada at the Silver State Stories speaker series.

Area15 Nevada Day Tricks and Treats
When: Noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 28
Where: Area15
Cost: Free

Expect tricks and treats for the whole family at the Area15 entertainment complex on Nevada Day. Candy included. Costumes encouraged.

Red Rock Canyon Nevada Day
When: 9 a,m, to noon, Oct. 27
Where: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Cost: Free with park entry

Stop by the Visitors Center of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and learn everything you ever wanted to know about Nevada.

Boulder City

Nevada State Railroad Museum
When: Trains depart at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m., Oct. 28 & 29
Where: 601 Yucca Street, Boulder City
Cost: Free for children aged 17 and younger.; Adult tickets are $10.

All aboard! The Nevada State Railroad Museum takes you on a trip through Nevada’s history and culture with Nevada Day train rides in Boulder City.

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

Related Stories
Share This