LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas is marking its Wild West heritage with a multi-venue festival including a parade, pro rodeo, carnival, and whisker-growing contest, charity golf and poker tournaments, an art show and a trail ride.

Helldorado Days weekend events began Thursday in downtown Las Vegas.

Organizers say they hope to draw 30,000 people to a Saturday evening Helldorado Parade on Fourth Street.

The Whiskerino Contest is Friday evening.

The event began in the 1930s to attract Boulder Dam workers 30 miles to Las Vegas. The first parade was in 1935. The first rodeo was in 1944.

The event ended in 1999 as a money-loser, but was revived in 2005 during the Las Vegas centennial celebration.

Event director Duane LaDuke says proceeds benefit charities including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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