Fifty years ago this month, the Clark County Commission authorized the purchase of the Houssels Ranch for the creation of what would become known as Sunset Park.
Now the community is being asked to help celebrate the 50th birthday of Las Vegas' favorite park.
Residents should share their favorite photos, videos and memories on social media using the hashtag #SunsetPark50! And we'll share the best contributions as well as fun trivia, old photos and video on our social media sites. Look for something new every day on Facebook, Twitter and occasionally Instagram at @ClarkCountyNV.
Then on Friday, Jan. 20 at 11 a.m., join our museums administrator, Mark Hall-Patton of Pawn Stars fame, on a historical tour of the regional park. [You'll need to RSVP at (702) 455-8200 to ensure we have enough in-park transportation available for the participants]. The one-hour tour takes place 50 years to the day after the 1967 decision by the Clark County Commission to purchase historic Houssels Ranch.
On Jan. 16, Clark County Television (CCTV) will debut a special 50th anniversary report about the park. The video will air throughout January and February on CCTV and will be available for play on-demand at www.YouTube.com/ClarkCountyNV.
"Sunset Park is the crown jewel of the local park system and consistently ranks as Las Vegas' most popular park in nearly every Best of Las Vegas poll out there," said Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, whose district includes the park. "So many of us have grown up with Sunset Park and have enjoyed the times of our lives there. It is unlike any park in the state. Two-thirds of its 324 acres are developed and its urban amenities are the best in town. Meanwhile, its rural character is an unmistakable part of its charm. It has miles of walking trails, a small lake stocked with fish and the last remaining sand dunes in Las Vegas. Sunset Park is a very special place for all of Las Vegas."
Sunset is the largest and the most distinguished park in the County system. The most recent expansion included adding new playgrounds, a splash pad, walking trails, shaded picnic areas, and open turf areas in the heart of the park. A reservation office has been added to offer fishing, sports equipment and bicycle rentals in a small building that is the last remaining structure from the Houssels Ranch.
Sunset Park, the County's oldest regional park, has repeatedly won awards, such as the Readers' Choice Award for the Best Park in the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Best of Las Vegas poll. Other readers' polls have yielded similar results. This oasis in the desert offers something for everyone including tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, softball fields, a disc golf course, a dog park, walking and jogging trails and more. Group and individual shaded picnic areas attract families and organizations throughout the year. Sunset Park hosts numerous special events, including a Clark County signature event, the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival.
Sunset Park was once home to early ranchers. The Paiute tribe inhabited the site a thousand years ago and greeted visitors who sought to trade seeds, nuts and turquoise. Water continues to flow under the park and surfaces to provide irrigation to the entire west end of it. For more information about the park and activities associated with the anniversary, please visit www.ClarkCountyNV.gov.