Nobody beats the Death Valley 49ers when it comes to staging festivals that masquerade as encampments. This year’s encampment at the biggest and driest national park in the coterminous U.S. is slated for November 4-8.
The Death Valley ‘49ers organization, an all-volunteer NGO, hosts special events celebrating Death Valley history and strives to increase public awareness of Death Valley National Park and its resources. The group’s biggest and best known special event is the Death Valley ‘49ers Encampment, which is held in the park each November to commemorate the California-bound pioneer wagon parties of 1849-50. This year’s encampment is extra-special because it’s the 60th in the series.
Although labeled as an encampment, this family fun extravaganza has the trappings of a family-fun festival similar to events produced in many rural communities throughout the United States. The schedule of events for this year’s encampment includes all of the following activities and attractions:
• Art Show and Art Auctions
• Author’s breakfast (featuring Steve Greene’s Death Valley Book of Knowledge)
• Book Signing (at Furnace Creek store)
• Cowboy Poetry
• Contests (pioneer costumes, talent, wheelbarrow race, fiddle & pickin’, gold panning, horseshoes)
• Golf Tournament
• Gospel Sing
• Hootenanny Breakfast
• Pampered Pets
• Patio Talks
• Photography & Craft Show
• Southwest Lapidary & Craft Show
• Video & Slide Presentations
• Wagon Train & Trail Riders (arriving from Spanish Trail)
• 4X4 Tours
Small wonder the Death Valley 49ers encampment is a highlight attraction at the park every year.
Although the encampment doesn’t officially begin until November 4th, pre-encampment activities get underway at the park on Sunday, November 1st. For more information, visit this site.