Virginia City becomes camel headquarters with the return of the annual favorite, the 55th International Camel and Ostrich Races Sept. 5 – 7, 2014.
Amateur jockeys attempt to ride galloping camels, squirrely ostriches and bolting zebras in an entertaining Comstock tradition known for amusing audiences in what got its start as a spoof in 1959. At that time, The Territorial Enterprise editor Bob Richards published the results of a fictional camel race.
While Virginia City locals took it tongue-in-cheek, the wire services picked up the story and it went national. The following year, Richards was challenged by the San Francisco Chronicle, who had taken the article seriously, to race. As legend has it, they leased camels from the San Francisco Zoo then raced down C Street, the town’s main drag.
WHERE: Virginia City, Nev., Silverland Stables
WHEN: Sept. 5 – 7, 2014
Gates open at 10 a.m., races run noon to 2:30 p.m. daily
Camel Hump to C Street 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6
Friday, Sept. 5 – Flashback Friday docents in period costumes
Saturday, Sept. 6 – Derby Hat Day; attendees are encouraged to wear their best hats
Sunday, Sept. 7 – The Discovery Museum Kids Day at the races
• Adults $12 Friday or Sunday; $15 Saturday
• Premium seating $15 Friday or Sunday ; $18 Saturday
• Kids 4 and under are FREE
• Family pack includes four tickets, $40 Friday or Sunday; $50 Saturday
For more information on purchasing tickets or parking for the 55th annual International Camel & Ostrich Races, visit VCCamelRaces.com or call the Virginia City Tourism Commission (VCTC) at 775-847-7500.
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