As we emerge from a long winter, our thoughts turn to warm, summer days spent outdoors with family, friends and like-minded folks looking for a good time.
Similarly, many long-running summer events and festivals that have weathered the storm of a pandemic and an uncertain future are hoping to reclaim the crowd sizes of past years.
This is the first year in a while that feels like things are returning to “normal.” So if you feel like celebrating after a long winter (or pandemic), here’s a roundup of some of the events going on in the Reno-Tahoe region that will help you plan to make this summer one of the best ever.
ARTOWN: The 28thannual, citywide arts festival features concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions, children’s arts programs and many other free and ticketed events throughout the month of July. Artown kicks off on Saturday, July 1, with its annual Discover the Arts interactive children’s programs and arts activities beginning at 4:30 p.m. at McKinley Arts & Culture Center, 925 Riverside Drive, followed by the opening night parade led by MarchFourth, who will head down Riverside Drive starting at 6:15 p.m. The parade will end at Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave., when Grammy Award-winning band Ranky Tanky takes the Wingfield Amphitheater stage at 7:30 p.m. The opening event and concert is free. Call 775-322-1538, or visit artown.org.
AMERICAN CENTURY CELEBRITY GOLF TOURNAMENT: More than 80 sports stars and Hollywood actors, comedians and entertainers will participate in the three-day, 54-hole golf tournament, which includes a $600,000 purse, with $125,000 going to the winner, plus a charity component for local and national non-profits. The event gets under way with practice rounds on Wednesday and Thursday, July 12-13, followed by competitive play on Friday-Sunday, July 14-16, at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, 180 Lake Parkway, Stateline. Tickets for Wednesday’s practice round and Thursday’s Celebrity-Amateur are $30 each day, with tournament rounds Friday, Saturday and Sunday at $40 daily. A pass for all five days is $125. Visit americancenturychampionship.com.
BASS CAMP FESTIVAL: The three-day, electronic dance music event takes place at various venues in downtown Reno. It all starts on Friday, July 28, with a series of pre-parties at concert halls, nightclubs and lounges. The main event on Saturday, July 29, features a vendor village, interactive artist paint wall, art installations and art cars, as well as performances by headliners Deadmau5 and Madeon, among many others, on three stages. The all-day dance party is open to all ages and begins at 2 p.m. at Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave. The festival wraps up on Sunday, July 30, with a pool party at the new J Resort, 345 N. Arlington Ave., and the closing party featuring headliners Walker & Royce at Virginia Street Brewhouse, 211 N. Virginia St. Tickets are $20-$400, with $10 main festival event tickets for kids age 12 and younger. Visit basscampfest.com.
BBQ, BREWS & BLUES: The 26th annual barbecue and beer festival features a variety of lip-smacking fare, including St. Louis-style barbecue ribs, smoked beef brisket and pulled pork, and all the fixins, as well as a wide selection of brews and beverages from more than 50 microbreweries. There will also be arts and crafts vendors, food vendors selling shaved ice, funnel cakes, street tacos and other tasty offerings and rock and blues acts performing throughout the day. The weekend event is open 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 16; and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, outside the ROW properties on North Virginia Street in downtown Reno. Admission is free. Ticket price for the Tap Tent, which includes all-you-can-eat buffet and unlimited beer or beverages, is $134. Beer tasting packages are $40-$65. Visit www.caesars.com/the-row-reno/events/bbq-brews-and-blues-festival.
BEST IN THE WEST NUGGET RIB COOK-OFF: The “Super Bowl of rib competitions” features more than 20 barbecue cooks competing for cash prizes and bragging rights to the “best ribs in the West.” An estimated 350,000-400,000 participants swarm downtown Sparks each year, consuming more than 250,000 pounds of ribs during the six-day festival. Visitors can also enjoy an arts and crafts vendor show, a kids’ area, a VIP area and live music and entertainment on two stages. The end-of-summer bash kicks off on Wednesday, Aug. 30, and runs through Labor Day weekend at Victorian Square, along Victorian Avenue between 14th Street and Pyramid Way. Festival hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 30-Sept. 3; and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 4, when the winners will be announced. Admission is free. Visit nuggetribcookoff.com.
BIGGEST LITTLE WING FEST: Cookers will prepare more than 20,000 pounds of chicken wings to be devoured and judged as they compete for cash prizes and first-place honors during the ninth annual cook-off. The weekend festival features free concerts, a craft fair and family-friendly activities such as camel rides, face painting, bungee jumping, rock climbing and a water play zone. The festival takes place in downtown Reno from 1 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 28; and noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, July 29, along North Virginia Street between Second and Sixth streets. Admission is free. Visit www.caesars.com/the-row-reno/events/wing-fest-2023.
BOWERS BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL: Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association presents its 37th annual gathering in Washoe Valley/New Washoe City. The four-day festival includes camping, activities, food trucks, a beer and wine garden and performances by headliner Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and other bluegrass, western swing, folk and old-time music acts. The festivities kick off on Thursday, Aug. 24, with an afternoon jam camp and evening barbecue at the North Group Area at Washoe Lake State Park, 4855 Eastlake Blvd. Bands will perform from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 25; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 26, at Bowers Mansion Regional Park, 4005 Bowers Mansion Road. The festival closes with the Sunday Morning Gospel Show on Sunday, Aug. 27, at Davis Creek Regional Park, 25 Davis Creek Road. Tickets are $15-$60. Admission is free for kids age 12 and younger. Camping rates are $15-$20 per vehicle at Washoe Lake State Park and $30 per vehicle at Davis Creek Campground. Visit www.nnba.org/bowersbluegrassfstival.
BREWS, JAZZ & FUNK FEST: Sample a variety of beers from local and regional breweries and enjoy live music on two stages. Headliners ALO, Monophonics and Sal’s Greenhouse will perform on the main stage in the Events Plaza. Proceeds from the event benefit the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. The event take place from 2 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 12, at The Village at Palisades Tahoe, 1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley. Call 800-403-0206, or visit www.palisadestahoe.com for ticket prices.
BURNING MAN: The temporary city dedicated to “community, art, self-expression and self-reliance” returns to the Black Rock Desert. This year’s theme is “Animalia,” which celebrates the animal world and our place in it. The end-of-summer event takes place from Sunday, Aug. 27, through Monday, Sept. 4. Registration for tickets priced at $525 is July 26-28, ahead of the sale on Aug. 2. Visit burningman.org.
CARSON CITY ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Sierra Arts Foundation presents the inaugural festival showcasing local artists, musicians and nonprofits. The event lasts from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 10, outside the Nevada State Legislature, 401 S. Carson St., downtown Carson City. Admission is free. Call 775-329-2787, or go to sierraarts.org.
CELTIC NIGHT: The Reno Public Market will present its celebration of Celtic culture and heritage as part of this year’s Artown festival. Attendees can enjoy an evening of food, history, speakers, art and performances by Last Night’s Folly, Trad, Sierra Silverstrings, bagpiper Sean Cummings, Scottish Highland Dancers, Plastic Paddy, Karrie O’Niell with Kat MacMartin and a surprise guest performer. The party starts at 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 19, at the Reno Public Market, 299 E. Plumb Lane. Admission is free. Call 775-484-9819, or visit artown.org.
CLASSICAL TAHOE: The music festival features four weeks of outdoor orchestra, jazz, chamber music and family concerts in Incline Village. The Brubeck Jazz Summit kicks off the series from July 9-15, followed by performances by the Classical Tahoe Orchestra from July 21-Aug. 6, Chamber Music at Classical Tahoe from July 23-Aug. 6, the Family Concert & Music Maker Faire on July 30, and the Classical Tahoe Summer Gala on Aug. 17. Most of the concerts take place at the Classical Tahoe Ricardi Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, at Lake Tahoe, 291 Country Club Drive, Incline Village. Tickets are $15-$200. Call 775-298-0245, or visit classicaltahoe.org.
DRAGON LIGHTS RENO: The Wilbur D. May Arboretum will once again light up with more than 40 groups of larger-than-life lantern sculptures on display. Take an evening stroll through the arboretum’s illuminated paths as you encounter dragonflies, beetles, mantis and other glowing creatures. The showpiece Chinese dragon will also return, but in a whole new form. An expanded interactive playground will include popular displays such as Angel’s Wings and Light Up Swings, as well as a series of new displays. There will also be a variety of food and arts and craft vendors. The festival starts on Friday, June 30, and is open daily through Sunday, Aug. 13, at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra St. Entry times are 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 for visitors age 12 and older and $15 ages 3-11. Admission is free for children under age 3. Visit dragonlightsreno.org.
FALLON CANTALOUPE FESTIVAL & COUNTRY FAIR: The 38th annual festival celebrates Fallon’s agricultural past and present, showcases local talent and promotes Nevada businesses, as well as agricultural education. Attendees can enjoy fair exhibits, carnival rides, contests, a rodeo, a farmers’ market, kids’ activities, vendors, live music and more. The fair is open from 1 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Aug. 25; 9 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, Aug. 26; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Churchill County Fairgrounds, 325 Sheckler Road, Fallon. Tickets are $5-$15. Call 775-866-8474, or visit www.falloncantaloupefestival.com.
FATHER’S DAY POWWOW: Learn about Northern Nevada’s Native American tribes and the stories of those who attended the Stewart Indian School at the annual Father’s Day weekend gathering, which features arts and crafts, food vendors and more than 200 costumed dancers accompanied by traditional drummers. The event highlights the tribes’ ability to preserve their traditions and history in the face of cultural assimilation. Grand entry performances start at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 16; noon and 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 17; and noon, Sunday, June 18, at the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum, 1 Jacobsen Way, Carson City. Call 775-687-7608, or visit stewartindianschool.com.
FEED THE CAMEL: Enjoy an after-work meal under the canopy of shady trees during the summertime food truck event. The midweek gathering takes place from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sept. 6, outside of the McKinley Arts & Culture Center, 925 Riverside Drive. Visit www.facebook.com/feedthecamel.
FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS: Get the weekend off to a good start with dinner and music in the park during the annual food truck event, which features more than 40 rotating gourmet food, craft desserts, beer, wine and mixed-drink vendors. Bring a blanket or chair and relax on the grass while enjoying live music. Kids can also burn off some energy in the playground or take a ride on the train around the park. The fun takes place from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday nights, June 2-Aug. 25, at Idlewild Park, 1900 Idlewild Drive. Call 775-825-2665, or visit www.facebook.com/RenoStreetFood.
HIGH SIERRA MUSIC FESTIVAL: The four-day festival features a mix of national and international acts across multiple genres, including bluegrass, roots rock, folk, jazz, country and blues. This year’s lineup features Thievery Corporation, moe., a Rob Garza DJ set, Ron Artis II & The Truth, Polyrhythmics, Jerry’s Middle Finger, New Monsoon, Del McCoury Band, The Infamous Stringdusters and many others. Attendees can camp; participate in playshops, yoga sessions or kids’ activities; and shop a variety of arts, crafts and food vendors during the event. The festival runs Thursday, June 29, through Sunday, July 2, at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, 204 Fairground Road, in Quincy, Calif. Festival passes are $30-$450, with separate vehicle and RV passes ranging from $40-$275. Visit www.highsierramusic.com.
HOT AUGUST NIGHTS: The 36th annual celebration of classic cars and rock ’n’ roll starts off in Virginia City with the official kick-off event on Friday and Saturday, July 28-29, featuring free live music, a poker run, cruises, a celebrity show ’n’ shine and a display of hundreds of classic cars along C Street. The festivities continue Aug. 1-6 with a weeklong celebration featuring thousands of classic cars, nightly cruises, drag races, show ’n’ shine competitions, swap meet, the MAG Auctions car auction, live music and more at various locations in Reno and Sparks. Admission is free to most events. Call 775-356-1956, or visit hotaugustnights.net.
LAKE TAHOE CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE: The centerpiece of Wooden Book Week, the 49th annual showcase features some the world’s most well-preserved and restored wooden boats, as well as celebrates Lake Tahoe’s connection to the vintage watercraft. This year’s theme focuses on the wooden boats of the 1960s. Passes include access to the docks to view the exhibitor boats, food and drink, shopping, live jazz music and silent auction. Tickets are $40 for a one-day pass and $50 for a two-day pass, and $50-$250 for upgrades. Admission is free for kids age 12 and younger. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 11; and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 12, at Obexer’s Boat Company, 5300 W. Lake Blvd., Homewood. Visit laketahoeconcours.com.
LAKE TAHOE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: The festival returns for its 51st season with the mainstage production of the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors, along with its Showcase Series featuring dance performances and classical, jazz and rock concerts, June 30-Aug. 21. Little Shop of Horrors will run on select Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. The Young Shakespeare hour-long, interactive adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It will be performed on selected dates in July and August at Sand Harbor State Park. The Showcase Series events will start at 7:30 p.m. on most Mondays and some Tuesdays, July 10-Aug. 21. Tickets are $17-$75 for gallery seating and $105-$40 for premium seats or table seating. A Nevada State Parks Entrance Pass ($10-$15) is required to gain access to and park at Sand Harbor. Performances take place on the William Edward Trepp Stage at Sand Harbor State Park, 2005 Highway 28, Incline Village. Call 800-747-4697, or visit laketahoeshakespeare.com.
NEVADA STATE FAIR: Take the family out for some good, old-fashioned fun in the state capital. Dating back to 1874, Nevada’s state fair features thrill rides and games, food vendors and plenty of carnival fare, including cotton candy, funnel cakes and other treats, contests, activities, live music and other entertainment. The events kicks off on Thursday, June 1, and runs through Sunday, June 4, at Mills Park, 1111 E. William St., Carson City. Fair hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but you must purchase tickets for carnival rides. There is free parking at Mills Park and Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road. Call 775-400-1102, or visit nevadastatefair.org.
NORTHERN NEVADA PRIDE PARADE AND FESTIVAL: The area’s largest LGBTQ+ celebration kicks off with a parade featuring floats, marching groups and other participants traveling down Virginia Street from Fourth Street to Court Street in downtown Reno. The festival immediately follows with a day of musical performances, visual art, vendors, community and pride. The parade starts at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 22. The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave. Festival admission is a $10 suggested donation. Proceeds benefit the programming and nonprofit efforts of the local LGBTQ+ community center, Our Center. Visit www.northernnevadapride.org.
RAGECON: Play your favorite board games, card games, dice games, miniature games and role-playing games during the three-day tabletop gaming convention. The expo is open to all ages and features exhibitors, tournaments, a game-exchange swap meet, games for kids ages 12 and younger, a cosplay contest, special guests and more. The event is open from noon to 1 a.m., Friday, June 30; 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday, July 1; and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, July 2, in the Convention Center at the Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 E. Nugget Ave., Sparks. Admission badges are $35-$150. Visit www.ragecon.com.
RENO ALOHA FESTIVAL: The music and culture of Hawaii comes to downtown Reno during the annual event, which includes hula dancers, traditional music, island food, arts and crafts, cultural workshops and more. The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, at Wingfield Park Amphitheater, 2 S. Arlington Ave. Admission is free. Visit www.renoalohafestival.com.
RENO BASQUE FESTIVAL: The 56th annual celebration of Basque culture and heritage features traditional music, improvisational poetry in the Basque language Euskera, folk dances, weightlifting and wood-chopping exhibitions, a weight-carrying competition and a children’s bota-drinking event. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Admission is free. The event festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 15, at the Neil Road Recreation Center and Multipurpose Room, 3925 Neil Road. Call 775-762-3577, or visit renobasqueclub.org.
RENO CHALK ART & MUSIC FESTIVAL: More than 150 chalk artists will turn ordinary pavement into a work of art while competing for a variety of awards. The three-day event features live art installations, live music, food and drink experiences, local art and craft shops and a Kids Zone. Tickets are $10 for a three-day pass and $40 for festival entry plus the craft beer and hard seltzer tasting. Admission is free for kids age 17 and younger. The event takes place Friday-Sunday, Aug. 25-27, in the west parking lot of the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, 3800 S. Virginia St. Call 775-825-4700, or visit atlantiscasino.com/entertainment/music-events/chalk-art.
RENO GARLIC FEST: Reno Food Systems and the Be the Change Project present the fifth annual celebration of the pungent bulb. The event features garlicky food and garlic products for sale, educational demonstrations, arts and crafts vendors, kids’ activities, live music and more. The event runs from 3:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday, July 29, at Dick Taylor Park, 1140 Beech St. Visit www.renofoodsystems.org/garlicfest.
RENO PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET: Smash cars, make stuff, swap clothes and enjoy a weekend of loud, punk music by 16 local and traveling bands at this all-ages, DIY party, which includes food trucks, beer and more than 100 vendors selling books, art, vinyl and other items. There’s also an interactive kids section complete with drag story time. The fun takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16, at Great Basin Brewing Co. Taps & Tanks, 1155 S. Rock Blvd. The ticket price was still pending at the time of deadline, but kids under age 12 can get in for free. Visit www.rprfm.org.
RENO RIVER FESTIVAL: Head downtown for the city’s annual celebration of outdoor adventure and fun on the Truckee River. The kickoff to the summer events season features live music on two stages, food and drink, local craft beer and hard seltzers, a vendor village, a festival scavenger hunt, the Reno River Roll, the RRF Cornhole Championship and the brand-new Great Reno River Rally. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, June 9; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, June 10; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, June 11, at Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave. Entry fee is $10 and admission is free for kids age 17 and younger. Call 775-851-4444, or visit renoriverfestival.com.
RENO ROCKABILLY RIOT: The 13th annual celebration of hot rod cars and rockabilly culture returns to the Reno-Sparks area for a weekend of hot rods, a burnout contest, a tattoo expo and contest, a pin-up contest, live music and more. The free event takes place on Thursday, July 6, through Saturday, July 8, at Victorian Square, along Victorian Avenue in downtown Sparks. There will also be a burlesque show, Beautiful Anarchy, whichwill start at 9 p.m., Saturday, July 8, at the Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Ave. Tickets are $25. Call 775-291-5008, or visit abepg.com.
RENO RODEO: Dubbed the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West,” the 104th annual event includes a cattle drive, competitions, a kids’ rodeo, carnival rides and more, on Thursday, June 15, through Saturday, June 24. Many rodeo events have already sold out, but remaining tickets for a few open dates are $12-$21 and will only be released for sale on the day of the rodeo on a first-come, first-served basis. Brothers Osborne will perform at the K-BULL 98.1 FM Reno Rodeo Kickoff Concert at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 14. Tickets for the concert are $55 in advance and $65 on day of show. The rodeo takes place at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, 1350 N. Wells Ave. Call 775-329-3877, or visit renorodeo.com.
SIERRA NEVADA LAVENDER & HONEY FESTIVAL: The sixth-annual event celebrates all things lavender and honey. There will be demonstrations and educational exhibits by lavender growers and bee keepers, arts and crafts booths, food made with lavender and honey, live music and more, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, July 9, at Idlewild Park, 1900 Idlewild Drive. Admission is free. No pets, except service dogs, will be allowed on the festival grounds. Call 775-250-1339, or visit www.lavenderandhoneyfest.com.
SILVER AGE COMIC CON: The pop culture and comic convention is a family-friendly event that celebrates comic books, movies, fantasy and sci-fi, superheroes, collectibles and more. Special guests scheduled to appear include A.J. Buckley, Reb Brown, Brian A. Prince, David Cheung, Nancy Anne Ridder and Grey DeLisle Griffin, among other actors, authors and artists. The event is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 8, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 4590 S. Virginia St. Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Kids age 12 and younger get in free with a paying adult. Visit www.silveragecomiccon.com.
STAR-SPANGLED SPARKS: Celebrate Independence Day with arts and crafts booths, food and drink vendors, live entertainment and a fireworks display shot off the rooftops of the Nugget Casino Resort. The fun begins at 4 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, along Victorian Avenue in downtown Sparks. The fireworks show starts after 9:45 p.m. (wind conditions permitting). Admission is free. Visit www.cnty.com/nugget.
STREET VIBRATIONS SPRING RALLY: The 13th annual motorcycle celebration condenses the elements of the larger Fall Rally into one weekend. There will be motorcycle shows, live entertainment, poker runs, the Good Vibrations Slow Bike Races and more than 80 vendors selling motorcycle gear and related items. The motorcycle rally takes place Friday through Sunday, June 2-4, along the Neon Line District in downtown Reno, and at venues in Carson City and Virginia City. Admission is free for most events. Call 775-329-7469, or go to roadshowsreno.com/sv_spring.php.
TRUCKEE TAHOE AIR SHOW & FAMILY FESTIVAL: The air show features aerial performances, and military and experimental aircraft on static display, as well as a STEM expo and family festival with live music, a puppet show, carnival games and more. The event is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 24, at the Truckee Tahoe Airport, 10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee. Admission and parking are free, but attendees must register in advance online. Call 530-587-4119, or go to www.truckeetahoeairshow.com.