Helldorado Days galloped into Las Vegas in 1934 as an effort by the Elks Lodge to boost our post-Hoover Dam-building economy. Through the years, it held fast to its Old West style; even when it returned from a seven-year hiatus in 2005, it was all about hats and hooves. But as with all things cultural, the old world is now filtered—literally—through the new, and visitors have a compulsion to digitally document an event’s most like-worthy moments and share them on the Internet. Here are suggestions on how to commemorate your visit to this year’s celebration Downtown through May 18. (Remember: If you don’t take pictures, it’s like you weren’t even there.)
1 Cozy up to a Whiskerino contestant on May 16. It’s not every day you find so many well-groomed lip brooms in one place. Best Instagram filter: 1977, as an homage to an era when ‘staches reigned supreme.
2 Take a group selfie on Pink Night. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink on May 15 when proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation. Filter: Valencia, because it’s universally flattering.
3 Snap a round of mutton-bustin’. You don’t want to miss the adorable sheep-riding action. Filter: Walden. The brightness makes wool look whiter.
4 Show off your rodeo outfit in front of Symphony Park’s “Pipe Dream.” This year’s location is adjacent to The Smith Center, and the boots you borrowed look darn good on you. Filter: #NoFilter needed.
5 Get a close-up of the carnival attractions. All-day access costs $25, but artsy photos are free. Filter: Sutro. The dark tone gives the impression that you actually waited in line for hours.
6 Catch a cowboy in mid-air at Fiesta Del Charro. The Mexican rodeo tradition makes its Helldorado debut May 18. Filter: Hefe. Spelled “jefe,” it’s Spanish for “boss.”
7 Switch to video mode and capture 15 seconds of the parade May 17. Filter: Toaster. The yellow wash makes everything look dusty. The Wild West would want it that way.
100 S. Grand Central Pkwy, 5 p.m.-midnight May 14-17; 2 p.m.-8 p.m. May 18, ElksHelldorado.com.