Once a year people from around the globe gather in Virginia City, Nevada, to gaze upon the age-old tradition of racing camels and ostriches through the desert. If watching non-native animals gallop, sprint and dart about the Nevadan landscape weren’t enough, imagine a scenario in which both the riders and the animals are untrained for such an event. Such is the tradition of the Virginia City Camel Races. The race was said to have started 50 years ago when Bob Richards, the editor of the Territorial Enterprise, a local paper, ran a story about camel races in Virginia City that was a little more than the humorous imaginings of a reporter/jokester. After the San Francisco Chronicle mistook the story as truthful news, Richards began working to make the event a reality. And it was in that manner that one of the highlights of the end-of-summer season was born. In addition to the camel and ostrich racing that the event is known for, there are also food vendors, musical entertainment and 100 free camel rides for children attending the races. The event ran from Friday, Sept. 11, through Sunday, Sept. 13. Sunday provided free camel rides for 100 children that attended the event with their family sponsored by Dolan Auto Group. Visitors are also encouraged to walk through the town of Virginia City after their day at the races. The town is filled with quaint gift shops, saloons and museums as well as various historic buildings reminiscent of the times when the city was a booming mining town located on the journey from Denver, Colorado, to San Francisco, California
Alexa Solis can be reached at alexasolis.sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @thealexasolis.