Sunset Park, Las Vegas
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Sunset Park, one of the largest parks in Las Vegas, is located near McCarran International Airport in the southeast part of the valley. The park is bordered by Sunset Road on the north, Eastern Avenue on the west and Warm Springs Road on the south. It is situated in close proximity to the affluent Tomiyasu Lane neighborhood.
Accumulation of the land for the park began in 1909, when it became the Miller Ranch. It later became the Vegas Stock Farm, which trained and raced Thoroughbred racehorses. Clark County, Nevada acquired the property in 1967 and turned it into a park.
Sunset Park Pond
Sunset Park Pond is around 14 acres (57,000 m2) in surface area and 10 to 12 feet (3.7 m) deep. It is home to various species of water fowl and fish.
A distinct feature on the small island in the middle of the pond is a 35-foot moai statue which was carved by Eli Hedley for the Aku Aku restaurant. It was originally located outside the entrance to the Stardust casino on the Las Vegas strip next to the sign for the Polynesian-themed Aku Aku restaurant which opened inside the casino in 1960. The restaurant closed in 1980. In 1983 the local Chilean Association, lead by Paulina Jimeno de Bosch, arranged to move the moai statue to the park. It was first held in an area which was not open to the public, but was later placed on the island in the lake. Local folklore has it that there was another moai statue at Aku Aku, and that it ended up at the Tropicana hotel, only to be removed later. But while photographic history of the Tropicana shows two moais there in the 1990s, they appear substantially different in design with larger, flatter tops and lighter colored, likely false stone. Also, Photos of the Stardust show that while there were two moai ther in 1960, later there is only one. This moai does appear to be the one at Sunset Park.
Fishing is available year-round in the pond. The State of Nevada Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks the pond weekly with rainbow trout from November to March, and with channel catfish monthly from April to October. Other species include bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and largemouth bass.
Sunset Park has volleyball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, fitness tracks and picnic areas.
Events and Entertainment
Las Vegas Renaissance Fair
During the fall, Clark County Parks and Recreation hosts the annual Las Vegas Renaissance Fair in Sunset Park.
Gift of Lights
At the end of every year, Sunset Park hosts a drive-through holiday light show called the Gift of Lights. This practice was discontinued in 2010 when the Gift of Lights was moved to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Great Vegas Festival of Beer
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Sample from our selection of over 200 craft beers. Sample again. And again. Repeat to satisfaction. Enjoy live music all day and fill up on good eats from local restaurants and vendors. It’s all part of this fantastic day that only comes once a year.
- View Neighborhood Newspapers 4/15/2008 article on Sunset Park and Vegas Stock Farm
- SunsetCities.com website on Sunset Park
- Las Vegas Renaissance Fair
- Clark County Parks and Recreation