On May 26, 1863, at 4 p.m., six men made camp in Alder Gulch, Montana. Four went prospecting up a mountain stream, and two stayed to picket the horses and tend camp. They ended up prospecting one of the richest gold deposits in North America. The first territorial capital, Virginia City became a prominent city and home to the Montana Vigilantes.

This summer, V.C. is celebrating 150 years of cultural heritage with events and activities through Labor Day. Memorial Day weekend kicks off the festivities from May 24 – 26.

On Friday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m., the Elling House will host a poster signing and art show for the artist who designed the 150th commemorative poster, Kathleen Arvila-Scott of Butte. Following the reception, the Virginia City Preservation Alliance will, Nuggets in Time, a new history book. Refreshments will be served.

On Saturday, May 25, the annual Spring Horseback Poker ride registration is at the Bale of Hay Saloon from 8:30-10 a.m. There are prizes for the top three hands.

The Virginia City Season Opening Parade, starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, will celebrate the year of 1863. All entries must be non-motorized and participants are encouraged to dress in period clothing. The first 50 children will receive train tickets.

On Sunday May 26, there will be a historical performance of the discovery of gold in Alder Gulch by the Nevada City Living History performers, at 2 p.m. in Elks Park. Learn about the events leading up to the discovery, travels by Fairwether and his party looking for gold on the Yellowstone, their encounter with the Rattlesnake and the Crow Indians, the retreat back to Bannack and the discovery of gold.

More at virginiacity.com.