Gold Rush Days started in 1895 as the “World Celebration” in celebration
of the town's incorporation as a city July 16, 1894, and honored Victor
C. Adams, one of Victor’s original settlers, and the man Victor was
named after. Because mining moved into the area and changed the face of
the town, the celebration was next billed as the “Annual Miners Reunion”
and consisted of a carnival and street parade.
The Miners Reunion continued until 1899 when a fire destroyed most of
downtown Victor and some of the surrounding residential areas. Following
the fire, the next celebration was in 1904. Ringling Brothers was the
featured attraction. They set up their “big top” at the corner of Fourth
Street and Victor Avenue. The famous picture of the tight-wire walker
balancing on the wire above a street full of people is said to have been
taken during this celebration. The population of Victor was
approximately 8,000 people at that time.
The celebration continued uninterrupted until WWI when the celebration
was stopped for two years. After the war, it started up again in 1918.
The main attractions at that time were the hard rock drilling contests
and the timed races of all the fire departments in the district.
After WWII the name changed to Gold Rush Days. During this period,
Lowell Thomas, Governor Ralph Carr and other dignitaries came to ride in
the parade and enjoy the fun with the Victor residents.
Gold Rush Days has continued uninterrupted since it claimed that name
after WWII. The size of the festival has fluctuated from year-to-year.
Some years, rain has been a factor in keeping the crowd small. Other
years, Victor citizens just didn’t feel much like celebrating as they
anxiously awaited news from men who were fighting in yet another war.