Pahrump will host its first gay pride festival this month.
Yes, that Pahrump. The sleepy community 60 miles west of Las Vegas known for its retirees and horse lovers.
"We're going to bring fabulous to Pahrump," said Ernie Yuen, president of the Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE Inc.
The idea for the event, planned for Aug. 19-20, came from the folks at Saddle West hotel and casino, who were looking to attract a new clientele.
"I told them I don't know if it's a good idea," said Daniel Grevich, chairman of Pahrump PRIDE, adding that the town of about 36,500 is "a little backwards."
Upon reflection, though, Grevich -- who recently moved to Pahrump from Las Vegas -- became "suspicious it may be" a good idea.
"There's no gay bars, no gay publications" in the town, he said. "There's no way for anybody to connect. So I thought as long as they (the casino) didn't have high expectations, let's give it a try."
Organizers thought it might be a nice lead-in for the annual Las Vegas PRIDE festival, to be held this year Sept. 16-17. That event, which draws thousands, includes a nighttime parade through downtown Las Vegas.
Because the large-scale Las Vegas event requires lots of planning, organizers wanted to keep the Pahrump affair simple -- maybe just a pool party.
"But with the gays, it's never simple," Yuen said.
The Pahrump event grew to include a dance party, two drag shows and "drag queen bingo."
"It seems to be growing into a big party," Grevich said.
The town briefly posted a flier about the event on its website, but took it down until a new "tourism" link from the site is completed, a town official said.
The flier's removal had nothing to do with a couple of complaints about the posting, the official said.
While it was up, officials received a couple of "silly, backwards comments" about the event, Grevich said.
Those are to be expected, said Tanya Carson, who predicted most of her fellow Pahrump residents wouldn't have a problem with a Pride event.
"I don't think there'll be much opposition," she said. "If you're not for it, you don't have to be there.
"I think it's time for the town to open up. We're stuck. We don't grow."
Likewise, Charles and Nancy Donato said that they have "no problem with it" and that they're friends with gay people in Pahrump.
Still, Charles Donato added, "Is the community ready for it? It's mixed."
"Not everybody's open to the lifestyle," he said. "Then there's people like ourselves who figure people are people."
Wayne Hornstein has lived in Pahrump for more than 30 years and remembers some "wild and woolly" days when the Saddle West was more for "dancin' and drinkin' " than gambling. While there are some issues, such as gay marriage, he doesn't support, he said there's no reason to fuss over a party.
"I'm not homosexual, so I don't care one way or another," he said. "I don't know that there's many here, and if they are, it's not too open."
William Kohbarger, Pahrump town manager, said the event is more than welcome in the community.
"Tourism's tourism," he said. "The businesses will welcome them. There's probably a few individuals who will not, let's be real. But the money's green and spends the same everywhere."
Yuen said that while Pahrump "is way out there in no man's land," the town is ready for an event that caters to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
"Even if only 40 people show up, at least we did something for them," he said.