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Reno Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary of Historic Boxing Match

BE053704Exactly one hundred years ago on this July 4, the whole world was watching Reno, Nevada, in perhaps one of the most important events in American Boxing History. 20-thousand boxing fans from around the world poured into Reno to witness the “Battle of the Century”. (That was 5-thousand more people than Reno’s population at the time!) It was a match up between Jim Jeffries and Jack Johnson, the first African American to hold the World Heavyweight Championship. Johnson was an intimidating boxer and was considered a pariah amongst white America because of his refusal to live his life according to the bigoted social norms prevalent during 1910.

Jeffries, the former champion who had retired undefeated three years earlier, never having agreed to face Johnson – had come out of retirement as the “Great White Hope” to take back the heavyweight championship for the white race.

A fight anticipated like no other, before or since, the Johnson-Jeffries match is still cited as one of the most important sporting events of all time.

The fight, which was promoted and refereed by legendary boxing promoter Tex Rickard, was originally scheduled to take place in San Francisco; however, one year before the fight was scheduled to take place, California Governor James Gillette withdrew his support for the fight, making Rickard scramble to find another venue to host the event.

At the time, Nevada was the state most friendly to boxing, and Reno was conveniently located on the railroad, allowing for thousands of fans to be brought in easily from both coasts. A ring, with seating for 20,000, was built in downtown Reno for the event.

Johnson defeated Jeffries in 15 rounds to retain his heavyweight crown on the custom-made boxing ring in downtown Reno. The 1910 victory sparked race riots across the nation, and changed boxing forever. Until Johnson took the heavyweight crown, boxing had never let a black boxer compete for the heavyweight title.

And now, exactly 100 years later, the city of Reno will honor the legacy of this most famous of fights with a three-day celebration, July 2-4, 2010, featuring boxing celebrities, family members of those involved in the original fight, as well as live professional boxing at the Grand Sierra Resort, which will be aired by Fox Sports Net.

The list of professional boxers includes Reno native and super middleweight Joey Gilbert (19-2, 15 KOs), former Jr. flyweight champion Ulises Solís (30-2, 21 KOs) and undefeated up-and-coming middleweight Brandon “Flawless” Gonzales (12-0, 9 Kos).

“We’re very excited that family members representing all four of the principle parties involved in making the original fight happen – Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries, promoter Tex Rickard and acting Governor Denver Dickerson – will be able to attend the 100-year anniversary celebration,” said Terry Lane of Let’s Get It On Promotions, which is helping organize the celebration.

Visitors to the 100-year anniversary celebration will have the opportunity to tour the original fight site as well as the locations of both Johnson’s and Jeffries’ pre-fight training camps.

Dates, times and more details about these and other events planned for the Johnson-Jeffries 100-year anniversary celebration can be found online, along with more history of the original fight and information about lodging packages available for the weekend.

New Exhibit Takes You on the Road to America’s National Parks

Old Family TravelingIt’s hard to imagine our lives without them now, but there was a time when owning, let alone driving a car was a rare opportunity. The creation of the vehicle forever changed our world, and a new exhibit at the National Automobile Museum in downtown Reno showcases a unique impact that cars had on our society.

Family getaways to our nation’s breathtaking National Parks were made possible by the automobile-loving public of the 1910s who helped create a National Park-to-Park Highway. The new Masterpiece Exhibit, “Motoring Tourist: National Parks Adventure”, explores this influential group of thrill-seekers, opening Tuesday, April 20, 2010.

In the late 1910s, automobiles were able to bring man to nature like never before and the National Park Service embraced the motoring tourist creating a gigantic 5,000 mile scenic loop through 11 western states, connecting 12 national parks.

Check out the innovative gear and auto camping accessories that were created to meet the needs of the new trend at the Museum Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for children 6 to 18 years.  Children age 5 and younger are free. Parking is free in the Museum lot. For more information, call (775) 333-9300 or visit The National Automobile Museum.

Gee’s Bend… Not Your Grandmother’s Quilt

A Survey of Gee’s Bend Quilts at the Nevada Museum of Art – Not Your Grandmother’s Quilt

gees bend quiltWhen you think of quilts you may not think of amazing works of art. However, the Survey of Gee’s Bend Quilts at the Nevada Museum of Art will definitely change your perception. The women of Gee’s Bend Alabama have been quilting as a way to keep their homes free from drafts and family members warm since the 1800s.

These talented quilters used old scraps of fabric from work clothes or pillows for example and transformed them into amazing quilts that have been heralded by the New York Times as pieces of Modern Art. The vibrant colors and varied textures make these quilts visually appealing and simply beautiful.

Walking through the exhibit evoked feelings of inspiration, perseverance and awe. To think that many of these women have overcome insurmountable challenges having no idea what ‘art’ is, but were creating magnificent works of art based on their intuition is simply astounding.

When I originally thought about going to see this exhibit, I was not too interested. After all, it’s a quilt. I can say that my opinion was drastically changed after seeing these pieces of art. If you are planning a trip to Reno and are looking for something unexpected that will open your mind and touch your heart, make time to visit A Survey of Gee’s Bend Quilts at the Nevada Museum of Art. I can assure you, you will not be disappointed. You may even become inspired to learn to quilt!

Now at the Nevada Museum of Art thru April 11, 2010

MP3’s about the Gee’s Bend Quilters from other Museums
1 Linda Day Clark_ Gee’s Bend
2 Gee’s Bend – Revil Mosely
3 Gee’s Bend – Sarah Benning
4 Gee’s Bend – Mary L Bennett
5 Gee’s Bend – Ruth Kennedy
6 Gee’s Bend – I Found
7 Gee’s Bend – Nettie Young
8 Gees Bend Quilters

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

tigerchineseHappy Chinese New Year!  The year of the Tiger will be celebrated in several locations throughout Reno Tahoe.

Join the Reno Pops Orchestra, Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7:00 PM, in a celebration of the Chinese New Year in UNR’s Nightingale Concert Hall. Follow Marco Polo along the Silk Road to China through music, and end with a Chinese New Year celebration. They will feature two young local soloists from the Huang family on a variety of Chinese folk instruments, as well as other performers. The Orchestra program includes “On the Steppes of Central Asia”, “Procession of the Sardar”, themes from “Mulan”, and some unique pieces for Chinese orchestra arranged for western orchestral instrumentation. The concert is Free, but they are always happy to receive donations to help cover the cost of the concert.

Come see a special Chinese Concert featuring Michael Tse, Jordan Chan and Alice Lau on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the Reno Events Center.
Jordan originally entered the entertainment business as a backup dancer, before switching to a successful career as a comedian. In 1994 he released his debut Cantonese-language album and established his unique position in Hong Kong pop music for over a decade now.
Alice Lau is well known for her acting; people generally know her from her performance in “I have a date with Spring.” She is also known for her Cantonese-language music.
Michael Tse graduated from TVB’s Dance Training Class and worked with TVB as a dancer for 5 years. He then left TVB and formed a boy band called Wind Fire Sea with Jordan Chan and Jason Chu. Tse participated Hong Kong’s first modern musical Snow Wolf Lake in 1997.

The Silver Legacy will be ringing in the year of the Tiger with an authentic Lion/Dragon dance in celebration of Chinese New Year!
The lion and dragon dance symbolizes good luck and prosperity for the year to come and is an important ritual of Chinese culture. The Chinese consider Lions as guardians and are used to exorcise evil spirits and summon luck and fortune. Dragons are considered to be friendly and helpful creatures associated with strength, good fortune, wisdom and longevity.
The ceremonial lion and dragon dance will happen Feb 13-15 and 19-21Click here for all times. The Lion/Dragon will make its way through the mezzanine level of Silver Legacy Casino and the Mezzanine, spreading its good luck where ever it goes. The colorful spectacle will feature a parade of dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate costumes playing authentic music.

恭喜發財,利是逗來

National Automobile Museum Celebrates 20th anniversary with free Admission Nov. 5

museum logoThe National Automobile Museum, The Harrah Collection, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Thursday by offering free admission all day.

From 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday enjoy the award-winning museum, all the special exhibits, two films in the theater and have a piece of cake to celebrate the milestone.

Costumed historic characters will bring history to life in galleries throughout the museum during the anniversary celebration.

Two special exhibits are included in the anniversary celebration free admission day.

  • Movie Cars: Cinematic Stars on Wheels featuring the actual cars that appeared in popular films.
  • On The Road with Alice Ramsey – detailing the adventures of the spunky young woman who was the first female to drive across the United States.

The National Automobile Museum is located on the corner of Lake and Mill streets. Parking is free in the museum lot. For more information on the National Automobile Museum, visit www.automuseum.org or call (775) 333-9300.

‘Fast and Furious’ car at the National Automobile Museum in Reno

Honda S2000Do you love cars and the movies that feature them? Then Movie Night at the National Automobile Museum might get your motor running.

This hot-pink custom Honda S2000 with a Veilside bodykit is a big hit in the Masterpiece Exhibit of Movie Cars: Cinematic Stars on Wheels at the museum in downtown Reno. See the car and the film “2 Fast 2 Furious,” in which it’s featured during Movie Night at the Museum, Thursday, Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 and includes all exhibits and the film which starts at 7 p.m. The film is the second in the series of adrenaline-fueled thrill ride movies packed with car races. Parking is free in the museum lot on the corner of Mill and Lake streets (map).

For more information visit www.automuseum.org or call 775-333-9300.

By water or land, history is alive in Lake Tahoe

tbirdlodgeaerialA new kayak tour is bringing Tahoe’s rich history and boundless recreational opportunities together on the North Shore.

Tahoe Adventure Company introduced a kayak tour that has groups launching at Sand Harbor State Park (in Incline Village), with a stop at Thunderbird Lodge, to enjoy a walking tour of the 1930s estate and learn the story of George Whittell, the eccentric man who built it, followed by a fantastic deli spread lunch on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

If you’d rather hoof it, try the Tahoe City guided walking tour put on by the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society. Participants start at the Gatekeeper’s Museum and make their way to Watson Cabin, which turns 100 this year.

History is king on the West Shore as well. Head down the 1-mile, steep trail to visit Lake Tahoe’s only castle. Vikingsholm offers a sandy beach perfect for a picnic and a quick dip in the region’s clear blue waters. Tours are available. Also on the West Shore is the 1903 Ehrman Mansion, the opulent summer home of a San Francisco businessman.

For event details, along with deals on lodging, activities and entertainment, click to www.GoTahoeNorth.com.

Auto museum: Exhibit celebrates first woman to drive across U.S.

alice_ramsey_bodyAn exhibit showcasing the amazing adventure of a 22-year-old from Hackensack, N.J., who became the first woman to drive across the United States in 1909, is open at the National Automobile Museum, The Harrah Collection, in downtown Reno. “On the Road with Alice Ramsey: 100 Years Ago” will fill the Changing Exhibits Gallery at the National Automobile Museum, 10 S. Lake St. through Jan. 11, 2010.

Challenged by a sales manager for Maxwell-Briscoe Company, Ramsey drove a 1909 Maxwell Model DA – 30 horsepower Touring Car right out of a New York City showroom and into history.
The company sponsored and publicized the trip to persuade Americans that cars were here to stay. The automobile had recently been invented.

There weren’t a lot of roads at the time, and those that existed were often in questionable condition. Ramsey and her three female companions carried a block and tackle, which they used often.
Ramsey changed tires often and cleaned and tested spark plugs when necessary. When she felt a “skip” in the engine she would hold a hammer against each plug and shorting it against the cylinder jackets to find the problem one. Then she would disassemble it, clean it with fine sand paper and reassemble it.

Alice Ramsey would later be the first woman inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

The National Automobile Museum at 10 S. Lake Street in downtown Reno is open Mon. – Sat. from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sun. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for children 6 to 18 years. Children age 5 and younger are free. Parking is free. For more information, call (775) 333-9300 or visit www.automuseum.org.

Legends at Sparks Marina prepares for June 18 opening


Calling this a “shopping center” doesn’t do it justice. It’s a shopping experience.

The Legends at Sparks Marina, a destination retail center under construction in Sparks, Nev., is almost ready for its June 18 first-phase opening. And developers of the mega-mall are going big. Really big.

From a huge tower that anchors the center of the center, to common areas with statues depicting Nevada historical figures, features and wildlife, the concept behind Legends is to create a mecca for shopping and socializing. The first phase is expected to bring 28 tenants online, with a total of 47 tenants open for business by Aug. 1. Several tenants are already wowing visitors, including Scheels, the World’s Largest All Sports Store (at nearly 300,000 square feet) and Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen. By next spring there will also be a 13-theater movie complex, complete with an iMax screen – and tentative plans call for a destination casino hotel resort to anchor the north end of the project, as well as a concert venue that can seat up to 9,000 for big-name acts.

Bringing the “legends” to Legends

“The idea is to celebrate the history, people and places of Nevada,” said Dennis McGovern, Legends general manager. “When the first phase is finished you’ll see three ‘living room’ areas surrounded by artist depictions of the bristlecone pine (Nevada’s state tree), bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, a statue of Samuel Clemens …”

Common areas are replete with waterfalls, firepits, and lush landscaping. McGovern says developers are planting 1,600 trees and 26,000 shrubs at the site. The landscape is also varied – elevation changes enhance the feeling place and reflect the diverse topography of Northern Nevada.

Designed to appeal to all of the senses, a 151-speaker sound system will be installed at Legends, along with spaces for public events, including a five-story Christmas tree during the holiday season.

But it’s (mostly) about the shopping

On Wednesday 500 workers were on site – installing fixtures, punching out final touches on storefronts, hanging signs, pouring concrete and powering the huge electrical infrastructure.
“This place is changing every day,” McGovern said. “You can barely walk through here right now, but by June 18 this won’t even look like a construction site.”

The tenant mix will be 60 percent outlets – good news for deal seekers. Stores that have signed on the dotted line include:

Entertainment

Hotel/Casino

Restaurants

Stores

Celebrate Reno-Tahoe’s newest destination

Although the ribbon will be cut June 18, Legends is going to stretch the party all summer long. A grand opening celebration runs July 31-Aug. 9.  Events include a summer concert series, fashion show, celebrity appearances, fireworks and more. The opening events coincide with the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open PGA Tour event and Hot August Nights.

Top 10 highlights for a Reno-Tahoe getaway

truckeeriverbodyboard300Reno-Tahoe is a family-friendly getaway, offering tons of fun for kids and adults alike. Add some of these Top 10 attractions to your travel itinerary:

  1. Catch a ballgame: Downtown Reno is home to a new ballpark and the Reno Aces, a Triple A team. The boys of summer are playing in Reno-Tahoe.
  2. Hit the slopes: Reno-Tahoe offers the largest concentration of ski and board resorts in North America — 18 within an hour drive of Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
  3. Shop till you drop: The shopping is great in Reno-Tahoe, including the new Legends at Sparks Marina in Sparks, Nev., which boasts more than 70 stores and restaurants, including Scheel’s, the World’s Largest All Sports Store at almost 300,000 square feet.
  4. A river runs through it: The Truckee River winds through downtown Reno and downtown Sparks, offering great opportunities for recreation and relaxation during the warm months. Whitewater enthusiasts can paddle to their heart’s content in the two whitewater parks.
  5. Nevada-style casino action: In Reno-Tahoe the action goes 24-7, with deluxe, modern resort casinos that offer fun gaming action without the Vegas crowds.
  6. The Jewel of the Sierra: Lake Tahoe is 45 minutes from Reno-Tahoe International Airport and downtown Reno — a great day trip whether it is summer or winter.
  7. The Comstock Lode: Step back to Wild West times in Virginia City. The preserved epicenter of the Comstock Lode features classic buildings, old saloons and a cast of characters that is always entertaining.
  8. V&T Railroad: Ride the rails of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in Carson City, Nevada’s capitol. Working steam engines hearken back to the golden age of rail travel.
  9. Wine and dine: Reno-Tahoe is known for adventure and Nevada-style gaming, but hundreds of restaurants serving everything from casual to five-star fare also make it a great destination for culinary enthusiasts.
  10. Culture connection: Reno-Tahoe is home to 31 museums, including the Nevada Museum of Art, the National Automobile Museum and the Nevada State Museum – live Nevada’s rich culture.