While summer vacations may be over, there are still plenty of activities and beautiful places to experience in Cerca country.
Saturday and Sept. 1, Mesquite: Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ. This barbecue competition features the Mesquite BBQ Championship and the Backyard BBQ Cook-off. Teams from across the nation will compete for $40,000 in cash and prizes. CasaBlanca. 888-711-4653. www.mesquitebbqchampionship.com.
Friday through Sept. 2, Pioche: Annual Labor Day Celebration. The town’s largest event of the year features mining events, 10K Fun Run, fishing derby, chili cook-off, electric light parade and children’s events. 775-962-5848. www.piochenevada.com.
Sept. 4 and 8, Zion National Park, Utah: Zion Narrows Service Project. Join a naturalist to discover the world famous Zion Narrows. This seven-mile hike will include discussion of the geology, plants and wildlife of the area and a short service project while in the canyon. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. 800-635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
Sept. 6-8, Reno: Great Reno Balloon Race. Watch some of the nation’s top balloonists compete in events such as the Bed Head competition, Glow Shows and Dawn Patrol. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. 775-826-1181. www.renoballoon.com.
Sept. 6-8, Virginia City: Virginia City International Camel Races. The camel races are just one part of this extraordinary event. Ostrich and emu races, specialty acts and daily parade. Silverland Camel Arena. 888-695-0888. www.visitvirginiacitynv.com.
Sept. 7, Panaca: Las Vegas Astronomical Society Fall Star Party. Join the members of the Las Vegas Astronomical Society for astronomy presentations and viewing of the night sky. Cathedral Gorge State Park. 702-728-4460. www.parks.nv.gov.
Sept. 8, Lake Tahoe: Tour De Tahoe-Bike Big Blue. This annual bike ride consists of an 800-foot climb to an overlook of Emerald Bay and a 1,000-foot climb to Spooner Junction. Other events include a boat cruise, 35-mile fun ride and a 72-mile ride around the lake. 800-565-2704. www.bikethewest.com.
Sept. 22-28, U.S. Highway 50: One Awesome Tour Bike Ride Across Nevada, otherwise known as OATBRAN. This fully supported tour travels 420 miles over five days from Lake Tahoe to Great Basin National Park along America’s Loneliest Road. 800-565-2704. www.bikethewest.com.
Sept. 25-29, Kingman, Ariz.: 29th annual Andy Devine Days and PRCA Rodeo. Celebrate Kingman’s hometown hero with a parade and rodeo Sept. 28 at the Mohave County Fairgrounds. 928-757-7919. www.kingmantourism.org.
Sept. 25-29, Reno, Sparks and Virginia City: Street Vibrations Fall Rally. This motorcycle event takes place in various venues and features tours, concerts, ride-in shows, parade, poker run and plenty of entertainment. 775-329-7469. www.road-shows.com.
Sept. 26-29, Laughlin: Roddin’ on the River. This annual event is sponsored by the River Cruizers’ Car Club and features street rods, muscle cars, trucks, classic and specialty vehicles. Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort. 800-227-3849. www.visitlaughlin.com.
Sept. 27, Zion National Park, Utah: The Mammals of Zion. This workshop will educate participants about the behavior and environment of the diverse wildlife found in the park, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain lion and ringtails. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. 800-635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
Sept. 27-28, Escalante, Utah: Escalante Canyons Working Art Festival. This annual event includes a Plein Air painting competition, fine arts and craft exhibition, lectures, exhibits, walking tours and cowboy poetry. www.everettruessdays.org. 760-424-6401.
Sept. 28, various locations: Annual National Public Lands Day. The nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort needs your help to improve and enhance America’s public lands. Jobs range from building trails and bridges, planting trees to general cleanup. www.publiclandsday.org.
Sept. 28-29, Genoa: Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire. Now in its 93rd year, this festival brings in tens of thousands of visitors to this town of fewer than 300 people. Shop the more than 300 arts and craft vendors, enjoy live entertainment and plenty of food. 775-782-8696. www.genoanv.com.