Reno/Sparks Area Events October/November/December

October 2012 –

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OUTHOUSE RACES October 6-7, 2012 Virginia City, NV Details: 775-847-4386

Outhouse Races FREE to watch! Take an adventure back in time during historic Virginia City’s World Championship Outhouse Races. This hilarious Comstock tradition pits teams of costumed outhouse racers against each other as one person rides and the remaining team members manage to push, pull or drag the outhouse quickly down the track. The always outrageous outhouse parade on Saturday features Virginia City’s famous “Plungerettes”.

ITALIAN FESTIVAL October 6-7, 2012 Downtown Reno

For the 31st year, the Eldorado Hotel/Casino is sponsoring the Great Italian Festival with a grape stomp, sauce competitions, Italian Buffet, Farmers Market, live entertainment and beverages.

November 2012

TANNER’S MARKETPLACE ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES November 17-18, 2012 Reno Livestock Events Center 1350 N. Wells Ave, Reno Details: 775-747-0905

Antiques & Collectibles, featuring jewelry, vintage clothes, pottery, toys -Something for everyone Free Parking, Admission $3.00 Adults, seniors $2.00, Children under 12 FREE

Hours: Saturday, 9:00 – 4:00 Sunday, 9:00 – 3:00


30th ANNUAL “MAGIC OF SANTA” CHRISTMAS FAIRE November 24& 25, 2012 Livestock Events Center Details: 775-747-0905

At the Reno Livestock Events Center, Exhibit Hall, 1350 North Wells Ave, Reno, NV. Free parking, admission $4.00 (under 10 years old free) Bring a can of food and receive $1.00 off admission Hours: Saturday, 9 AM – 5 PM Sunday, 10 AM – 4 PM

December 2012 –

SPARKS HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS PARADE December 2-3, 2012 Sparks Victorian Square

Presented by Intuit, the annual Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting will be held in Victorian Square. See the tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 on December 2 in front of Saint Mary‘s Amphitheater. The Nevada Opera Youth Chorus will be performing after the tree lighting. The parade starts at noon on Saturday on Victorian Avenue. Look for an appearance by Santa Claus after the parade.

GINGERBREAD SOCIAL December 8, 2012 Virginia City Details: 775-847-0075

Gingerbread social and charity auction at the 4th Ward School.

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Reno Events Center
November 19, 2011

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM




FEATURING Warren Miller’s 62nd Epic Ski/Board Movie “…Like There’s No Tomorrow 

and Huge Snow Industry Trade Show with over 50 Vendors. Come meet the Pros! 

You’ve seen them in the magazines, now come meet them in person!  

Our net proceeds go to Support Bobo’s Kids Scholarship Programs

for the Reno Housing Authority and the Sky Tavern Jr. Ski Program.

Together, we make snow dreams come true, one turn at a time!

Contact Info

Contact: Ticketmaster
Phone: 1-800-745-3000

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Bill Harrah Exhibit

National Automobile Museum
November 4, 2010 – December 31, 2011

9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Legendary Car Collector Bill Harrah Exhibit

Debuts at National Automobile Museum

Nov. 4, 2010 – Dec. 31, 2011

Bill Harrah 1911-1978: Legendary Collector

Changing Exhibits Gallery



The National Automobile Museum, the Harrah Collection, in downtown Reno, Nevada will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Bill Harrah’s birth with a special exhibit telling the story of this legendary collector and gaming industry pioneer. 

Bill Harrah was the founder of the world-famous Harrah’s Automobile Collection, which opened to the public in 1962 and grew to the largest, most significant collection of its time.

Discover Harrah’s passion for automobiles, his mission and the unfortunate turn of events that led to the disbursement of most of his collection.  Learn about the public outcry that saved some of the best automobiles and the movement that created the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection).

The film, the Bill Harrah Story, which details the man and his love for the automobile, is also included with the price of admission.

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The Great Reno Balloon Race September 9 – 11th

The Great Reno Balloon Race is the largest free hot air ballooning event in the Nation. During three days in early September, you can look up into the Reno skies and see a rainbow of hot air balloons soaring about. From its humble beginnings in 1982 with just 20 balloons, The Great Reno Balloon Race has taken flight with more than 100 balloons each year. Taking place just a few miles north of downtown Reno, the event enchants both young and old with its vibrant colors and inspiring music. The Balloon Race has won many awards over the years including ‘Best Special Event in Reno’ and ‘Best Special Event in Northern Nevada.’ With an average of 150,000 spectators attending the event each year, the number of lives touched by the beautiful spectacle continues to rise just like the balloons themselves.

We invite you to explore this section of the Web site to get a taste for what you’ll find at The Great Reno Balloon Race. If you’re looking for an aerial event that will leave you with a sky-high feeling, don’t miss The Great Reno Balloon Race.

The mission of the Great Reno Balloon Race is to provide a premier, safe, family-oriented/tourist-attractive, visually dramatic event that celebrates the joy of flight while remaining free to the public


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Street Vibrations Fall Rally September 21-25th

Music, Metal and Motorcycles
At Street Vibrations 17th Annual Event

Street Vibrations Motorcycle Festival is a celebration of music, metal and motorcycles. Street Vibrations offers tours, live entertainment, ride-in shows, stunt shows and more. This event is so big, it rocks at several locations throughout the region. Major event venues are planned at Harley-Davidson Dealership in Reno and in historic Virginia City. Rides to what Mark Twain called “the fairest picture the whole earth affords,” Lake Tahoe — provide unparalleled entertainment. Flirt with Lady Luck during poker walks and runs. It’s HOG heaven! Don’t miss America’s Finest Custom Bike Builder’s Expo to view the latest creations. Check out the Tattoo Expo for body art extraordinaire. The event is open to all motorcycles. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Association.

For 2011, we have reached an agreement with the City of Reno to bring the vendors back to Virginia Street with special reserved parking for our VIP participants on Reno’s main street. Selected factory rigs, tent vendors, open beer sales on the street (no beer gardens), three live entertainment stages, fireworks, motorcycle aerial stunt shows and food vendors will fill the downtown venue. The Reno Ballroom will host the tattoo expo and indoor vendors. Our Sparks venue will be expanded with the addition of more factory rigs, more food and beverage, more tent vendors and more stages for entertainment. And yes, we’ll have vendors and entertainment in Virginia City. Once again, Reno Harley-Davidson will have vendors and entertainment for your enjoyment.


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National Championship Air Races and Air Show September 14 -18th

Five days of racing action. Six classes of aircraft and speeds exceeding 500 mph. It all adds up to the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada. Each race is just one thrilling episode of a weeklong pylon-to-pylon drama filled with excitement at every turn and endings you will never see coming. Legendary champions will make triumphant returns while up-and-coming pilots vie to challenge the rule. The thunderous roar of aircraft will storm across the Reno skies.

Whether you’ve been a loyal air race fan for the better part of two decades or have yet to be reeled in, we invite you to experience the “World’s Fastest Motorsport” first hand in September at the Reno Stead Airport.

Always remember to fly low, fly fast and turn left!


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Free Summer Activities/Fun in Reno

Within an hour’s drive of beautiful Lake Tahoe and other picturesque mountain ranges, the Reno/Sparks area has much to offer.  Outdoor activities such as golf, bike trails, numerous parks, water parks, outdoor markets and much more.  Shopping and gaming facilities are numerous.  Not all activities and attractions cost money.    Wingfield Park is located in downtown Reno near First and West Streets.  Here you can relax in the shade, picnic,  play and cool off in the river,  and watch the kayakers take on the Truckee River.    The Truckee River pathway for biking and walking passes  through th Park, and goes for miles in both directions.   During the summer months, free music concerts are performed at the Park.  Check times and dates at

The Sparks Marina is a large man made lake with a two-mile walking trail and swimming beaches.  In August the WWA Wakeboard World Championships will be held at the Marina and will be free to watch.  The Marina area also features a large/new shopping mall, other smaller shops, and eating establishments.

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is home to local wildlife and has many walking trails, open grass areas and a large kid’s playground, and is located close to the University of Nevada, Reno.

There are many walking and hiking trails ranging from short, easy kid friendly trails to strenuous climbs with the Sierra Nevada mountain range close by.  One hiking area is Galena Creek Park on Mt. Rose Highway.

There are many other free or low cost activities such as:

Rattlesnake Mountain Skate Park, enjoyed by  skateboarders and BMX riders, and rumored to be the largest skate park in the west.

Sierra Safari Zoo

Hot August Nights

Free to children with accompanying paying adults:

Nevada State Railroad Museum, in Carson City

National Automobile Museum, free to age 5 and younger

adapted from article by T. Andrew

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The Virginia & Truckee: Nevada’s Bonanza Railroad

Nevada’s most famous short line is the Virginia & Truckee Railroad which connected Reno with Carson City, Virginia City, and Minden. Operating for 80 years, the V&T was Nevada’s Bonanza Railroad as it hauled valuable Comstock ore to quartz reduction mills located at Silver City and along the Carson River. Today visitors to Virginia City enjoy a ride over nearly three miles of the original line amidst encouraging prospects that rails my soon once again reach the outskirts of Carson City. The name “Virginia & Truckee” is recognized the world over: V&T locomotives and cars have appeared in scores of feature-length motion pictures and the historic equipment is preserved and exhibited in museums in Nevada, California, and as far away as Strasburg, Pennsylvania. The V&T enjoys an international constituency.

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company was organized in Nevada on March 5, 1868. The objective was to connect Comstock ore producing mines with quartz reduction mills and, on the return trip, to bring in needed lumber, mining timbers and cord wood for fuel. Surveyed by local surveyor Isaac E. James, the 21-mile standard gauge line was completed on January 29, 1870 between Carson and Virginia City. A 31-mile extension north from Carson City through Franktown, Washoe City, and Steamboat Springs connected the Comstock with transcontinental rail service at Reno in August of 1872.

Primarily controlled by William Ralston, Darius O. Mills and William Sharon on behalf of the Union Mill & Mining Company and the Bank of California, the Virginia & Truckee was efficiently managed by General Superintendent Henry M. Yerington and immediately became a paying success. The completion of the V&T permitted the further development of Comstock mines by allowing the economical reduction of lower grade ores through reduced freight rates to the mills and by increasing the essential supply of lumber, mining timbers, and cord wood for fuel. In addition, well-appointed passenger service to Carson and Virginia City was a by-product of the short line’s connection with transcontinental rails at Reno.

For nearly twenty years the V&T was a major political and economic factor in the growth and development of Western Nevada and Eastern California. During the late 1870s, V&T stockholders divided handsome dividends in excess of $100,000 monthly. Additional financial returns provided the capital for nearly 40 other V&T-affiliated concerns. The 300-mile Carson & Colorado Railroad was built from Mound House, Nevada, to Keeler, California, and was operated by principals of the V&T from 1880 to 1900. V&T dividends funded the establishment of Hawthorne, Nevada, the Hawthorne Water Works, lumbering operations at Lake Tahoe and Southern Nevada, the Columbus Wagon Road to Bodie, a large soda plant at Keeler, and dozens of mining ventures at Aurora, Bodie, Hawthorne, Candelaria, Belleville, Columbus, and Cerro Gordo.

Headquartered at Carson City, a massive complex of railroad shops were erected under the direction of Abraham Curry. The shops were proclaimed by the Central Pacific to be equal to or better than their great locomotive and car building facilities at Sacramento. From these shops poured nearly every conceivable type of essential machinery for communities throughout Nevada, Eastern California, and even Mexico. For decades the Virginia & Truckee was hailed as the wealthiest short line railroad in the world!

With revenues derived from the twentieth century Tonopah boom, a new Virginia & Truckee Railway Company was incorporated in Nevada on June 24, 1905 to purchase the predecessor company and to construct a 15-mile branch south from Carson City to Minden. This branch offered transportation facilities to a growing agricultural and grazing district and resulted in substantial new revenue to the railway until such time as a surface highway was constructed between Reno, Carson City, and Minden in the years 1921-1922. Known today as U.S. Highway 395, the concrete highway completely paralleled the V&T between Reno and Minden and ultimately was the cause of the railway’s red ink operations beginning in 1923. Prior to that time, the V&T was the only efficient means of transportation for freight and passengers between these communities.

During the period 1932-1937, Ogden L. Mills, one of the major stockholders, loaned the railway nearly $95,000 to balance operating deficits until the line was forced to enter voluntary Federal receivership on April 27, 1938. Solid corporate status was not established again until January 18, 1946, under the financial direction of former V&T Auditor Gordon A. Sampson. Starting in 1937, the railroad began selling capital assets to meet monthly working capital obligations. The disappearance of Comstock traffic and the caving of several wood-lined tunnels ushered in the closing of the Carson-Virginia City line in 1938. The rails were removed and sold in late 1941. The resulting $52,000 revenue was again applied as working capital on routine maintenance which had been deferred for over a decade. Additional working capital also came from selling old V&T locomotives and cars to Hollywood studios for use in motion pictures.

For the twenty year period from 1928-1947, the V&T had a net income deficit of $440,605.75 by U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission accounting practices. As early as 1932, officials of the V&T seriously considered total abandonment of the railway in the face of annually mounting loses.

After 80 years of continuous operation, the Virginia & Truckee finally succumbed to the increasing competition of highway truck traffic. The Bonanza short line’s last official revenue train operated on May 31, 1950 between Reno, Carson City, and Minden. Following the local sale of the railway’s structures and properties, the rails between Reno and Minden were finally removed and the famous V&T became but a legend.

By Stephen E. Drew

(Stephen Drew has been researching the V&T for more than four decades. For the past 30 years, he has been Chief Curator of the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento.)

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Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews & Blues Festival

Downtown Reno
June 24, 2011 – June 25, 2011

Fire up the grills, tap the kegs and crank up the tunes for Reno’s best summer kick-off party!  Virginia Street will be rockin’ with 2 stages of live blues entertainment, amazing food and more than 40 microbrews from around the world . . . . over 100 specialty beers to sample!  Of course, we also feature some local favorites, including the Eldorado’s custom beers made right here at The Brew Brothers.

Don’t forget to bring a big appetite!  Food booths will line Virginia Street serving savory dishes, including everything from American favorites hot off the grill to tacos and Korean Barbecue. The Eldorado‘s award-winning food will be also featured, including Gregg’s Q Pit and Geno’s N.Y. Steak Flatbread stand! 

Contact Info

Visit Web Site
Phone: 775-786-5700


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