Laughlin has emerged as one of the most active special events destinations in the Southwest. So far this year, the resort town on the banks of the Colorado River has hosted several major events and attracted thousands of participants and spectators. Last year, special events attendees made up a large portion of Laughlin’s 5 million visitors.
The 2001 Laughlin special event season began in January with the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, an off-road racing competition through the Mohave Desert. March saw the arrival of the cowboy and cowgirl set, in town for the Seventh Annual Laughlin River Stampede PRCA Rodeo. Nearly $200,000 in prize money was awarded in seven rodeo events. Most recently, Laughlin hosted the 19th Annual Laughlin River Run — perhaps its most high-profile event. More than 50,000 motorcycle enthusiasts rumbled into Laughlin April 25-29 for the West Coast’s largest Harley-Davidson festival. River Run festivities included stunt competitions, custom bike shows, a Harley-Davidson lifestyle tradeshow and a Miss River Run contest.
Laughlin River Days are held on June 2 and 3 this year, featuring the Formula One Professional Racing Outboard Performance (PROP) Tour. High-performance powerboats driven by the top professionals in the sport race across the Colorado River at speeds in excess of 135 miles per hour and maneuver around hairpin turns. This year’s River Days event also features Super Stock Powerboat racing, world champion wakeboard and air-chair demonstrations and a vendor village.
July brings Independence Day and Laughlin’s annual display of fireworks over the Colorado River. The fireworks, scheduled to begin just after dusk, will be produced by the famous Zambelli family and choreographed to music. Local radio stations will simulcast the show and have speakers set up along the river.
On September 15 and 16, watch the top 45 bull riders from around the world converge on Laughlin for the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Laughlin Shoot-Out, one of the most prestigious stops on the PBR Bud Light Cup Tour. The best bull riders in the business will compete in the Laughlin Events Park for top placement in the PBR Championship and to win a share of the more than $100,000 purse.
In late fall, the 2001 event season comes to a close with the Laughlin Team Roping Finals, November 15-18. For the fourth year, hundreds of ropers will head to Laughlin for four days of skillful team roping as competitors use agility, precision and focus to beat the clock and win some of the prize purse. The event takes place at the Laughlin Events Park and is free to the public.
In January, Air Laughlin took to the skies for the first time, making it more convenient than ever for travelers to plan a Laughlin getaway. Direct flights can now be booked between Laughlin and Ontario, Burbank and San Jose, Calif., as well as Phoenix, Ariz.
In addition to an impressive schedule of special events, visitors to Laughlin experience excellent gaming, affordable first-class hotel accommodations, gourmet dining, big-name entertainment and premier shopping. Laughlin also provides easy access to some of the nation’s most scenic retreats, including Grapevine Canyon, Oatman Ghost Town and the London Bridge and English Village in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
For more information on Laughlin, its attractions and special events calendar, call 1-800-4-LAUGHLIN or visit Laughlin’s Web site at visitlaughlin.com.