Death Valley 49ers

Each year, a unique group called the Death Valley ‘49ers has an annual five-day encampment in Death Valley, filling the local campgrounds like Sunset, Texas, and Furnace Creek, as well as the area motels. Word in the wind has it that in past years, upwards of 5,000 Death Valley enthusiasts have attended during the five-day festivities.

These get-togethers are held in Death Valley National Park during the month of November, and the 2009 encampment will mark 60 years of wild fun and celebration for members. History comes alive at these events.

Some of their activities include: art show, costume contest, cowboy poetry, coyote howl, gospel sing, photography contest, wood carving contest, needle work contest, parade, hootenanny breakfast, horseshoe contest, wagon train enactment, pampered pet show, wheelbarrow race, golf tournament, numerous talented entertainers, quilt raffle,  and vehicle tours.

Membership is open to all, and includes two membership buttons, window decal, yearly keepsake publication, encampment guide, and a subscription to the semi-annual Death Valley News. Membership cost for a couple is currently $35 per year, or a lifelong membership can be obtained for a one-time fee of $500. Other membership types, such as for a corporation, may be purchased.

Folks can join the 49ers right on the spot at the encampment, as membership booths are available at key locations. Donations can also be made to the student scholarship fund.

The group is based out of Amargosa Valley, Nevada. From their website comes this knowledge:

The Death Valley ’49ers was organized in 1949 as part of the Centennial Celebration of the State of California. It is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that seeks to expand public awareness of Death Valley and its natural resources. The mission of the ’49ers is to foster appreciation of Death Valley, preserve its history, with special recognition to the wagon train of 1849, and to provide scholarships for students in the Death Valley region.

The 2009 festivities will be held from Wednesday, November 4th through Sunday, November 8th. Come on down to North America’s lowest land and be happily entertained for five days! Click HERE to learn a whole lot more.

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