In the beginning….Back in 1959 a Virginia City newspaperman named Bob Richards, (who was the editor of The Territorial Enterprise at the time), wrote a fictitious account of legendary camel races of a century ago. One year later in 1960, he announced that on the 100th anniversary of the first camel to arrive courtesy of the U.S. Army (who first brought camels to the arid American West and consequently to the Comstock where they were used to transport salt for the reduction of ore and to carry general supplies to the growing Boomtown), Virginia City would play host and challenge those far and near to an annual event that would test the riding skills of anyone willing and able to stay mounted from a starting point to a finish line.
During that first year, Bob was challenged by the San Francisco Chronicle, The Phoenix Gazette, and the Indio Chamber of Commerce. Camels that year were leased from the San Francisco Zoo and the first race was held on C St. (the main drag of town). The winner of the very first Camel Race was noted movie director, John Huston, who piloted the camel sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle. By 1962, the Camel Races were an established annual event and ostriches were added to the racing field. In 1987, the Camel Races were moved to its current home, which is at the bottom of an old quarry just behind the modern Silverland Inn & Suites on E St.
Over the past 52 years, tens of thousands of spectators from around the globe have come to witness this annual tradition. Scores of jockeys from across the world have traveled far and wide to try their hand at riding in and winning these races. Currently, the field of jockeys comes from a registry of over 200 members of the International Order of Camel Jockeys who partake every year in this popular event! The Camel Races have been covered by press and news organizations around the world, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and even on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 2010.
DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO BE A PART OF HISTORY AND GET YOUR ADVANCE TICKETS NOW!!
Dates: (Fri-Sun) Sept. 7th – 9th, 2012
Location: Just behind the Silverland Inn & Suites on E St.
Race Times: (all daily race events last approximately 3 hours with a 30 minute intermission at halftime)
Sun ~ 12PM
Ticket Prices: (all tickets are General Admission)
Adults ~ $12
Active Duty Military, Seniors 62 or over, Kids 5 – 12 ~ $8 (Kids 4 and under FREE)
Family Pack (2 adult tickets and 2 kids tickets) ~ $30
VIP tickets ~ $40 (includes access to the VIP Hospitality Tent with lots of shaded tables, a delicious BBQ buffet, and one alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage)
You may also charge by phone at (888) 695-0888
Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office on the day(s) of show, as available.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE A VENDOR AT THE CAMEL RACES, CONTACT OUR CO-PRODUCING PARTNER ROAD SHOWS, INC., at (775) 329-7469, or BY CLICKING HERE
Download the vendor application here: 2012.vendor.Camel.Races
SPONSOR PACKAGES ~ If you would like to be a sponsor of the event, a camel, or even ride a camel at the races as a sponsor….you can do so!
Click here to download the sponsorship packages sheet sponsor packages
Click here to download the sponsor application form sponsor application
WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF THIS HISTORIC EVENT!
There will be VIP parking available adjacent to the arena for a fee of $10 per car. Parking will also be available on or near the property of the Silverland Inn & Suites for $5 per car. Other parking is available throughout town on a first come first served basis. Some parking lots are privately owned and managed and may charge a small fee as well. There is an RV park available nearby and you can contact them at (800) 889-1240 or by visiting www.vcrvpark.com.
There are a wide variety of lodging options in Virginia City, from quaint Bed & Breakfasts, to Haunted and Historic Hotels, Drive Up Motels, and Modern Rooms and Suites. Contact the Virginia City Visitors center at (775) 847-7500 or click here for lodging properties.
NO PETS OF ANY KIND ARE ALLOWED AT THE CAMEL RACES! PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS IN YOUR CAR OR YOU WILL BE CITED AND POTENTIALLY FACE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND REMOVAL OF YOUR PET BY THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES! Even though Virginia City is at 6000+ foot elevation, it DOES get hot this time of year! Thank you!
ADA (handicapped) access:
There is a limited number of ADA access viewing areas, but they ARE available on a first come first served basis.
NOTE: The Camel Arena is in a rugged, historic, and rustic terrain with a lot of dust, rocks, uneven surfaces, steep inclines, and minimal natural shade. It’s an arena cut out from an old mining quarry. Enter the facility at your own risk. We will take every precaution and assist you in any way we can to make your visit and camel races experience an enjoyable, memorable, and safe one.
EMT’s are always on duty at the arena, and there are plenty of restroom facilities as well as cold beverage and festival food stands on site.
There will be a media center set up at the Virginia City Visitors Center in the heart of town on C St. (corner of Taylor and C at the only flashing traffic light in town). Here you will find your press credentials, have access to fax, basic business machines, internet, maps, brochures, and other local information. The number there is (775) 847-7500.