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Thanksgiving Fun For Everyone!

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Thanksgiving is a time for family and close friends, and the long weekend gives us all plenty of time to relax and have some fun. The Reno area has quite a few events to celebrate the holiday, and whether you’re looking to bring your family along or trying to escape them for a little while, there will definitely be something that you can look forward to!

Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary will be open during Thanksgiving Weekend, both Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 to 3:00. The park is typically closed during the colder months, but they are opening during the holiday weekend to give visitors a chance to see their predators in their thick winter coats. Animal Ark staff encourages visitors to bring raw turkey necks, gizzards, and any leftover uncooked low-sodium turkey mean for the animals. The predators love raw poultry, and donations will really help the Ark throughout the winter. Be sure to layer your warm clothing because the weather this time of year tends to be fickle! Tickets are as follow: Adult $12, Seniors $11, Children $10, and children 2 and under are free.

Scheels Turkey Trot takes place on Thanksgiving morning beginning at 8:30 am. The Trot starts and ends in the Scheels parking lot at Legends. Participants have the choice between either a 10K timed race, which will take runners through city streets and bike paths or a 2-mile walk/run that will circle around the Sparks Marina Park and is not timed. Both courses are great for both runners and walkers, so participants are able to take their chosen course and their own pace. Registration costs vary between $25 and $60 depending on how and when you sign up for the race. Every participant will receive a Turkey Trot sweatshirt, fruit, and refreshments at the race. Ticket proceeds benefit Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and the City of Sparks Scholarship Fund. For more information and how to register for the run, visit the Scheels website or call (775) 353-7898.

Grand Sierra Resort will host a Vietnamese Thanksgiving concert on Saturday, November 29. The show will take place in the Grand Theater at 8 pm and will feature 12 Vietnamese performers including: Tuan Ngoc, Huong Thoy, Manh Quynh, MC. Giang Ngoc, Hoang Thug Linh, Baovy-Boa Liem, Andy Quach, Lilian, Thien Kim, Nugyen Hong Nhung, and Mai Thanh Son. The evening will be filled with song and dance to celebrate Thanksgiving. Tickets are on sale on GSR’s events website.

Skiing is also a popular Thanksgiving event, and a great way to burn off some of those extra turkey-related calories! A few ski resorts, such as Mt. Rose, Northstar, and Heavenly Lake Tahoe are scheduled to open before Thanksgiving. Check out our ski blog to see which resorts will be open and running during the holiday weekend.

Reno Aces Ballpark is the new home of Reno’s ice rink! The rink is set to open on November 25, but they will have holiday hours for Thanksgiving (10 am to 10 pm). Admission prices are as follows: $7.50 for teens and adults (ages 13-54) and $5.50 for children (ages 3-12) and seniors (ages 55+). Skate rental costs each guest $2.50, but the rink is offering a discount for groups of 20 or more who make reservations in advance, so bring the whole family! Ice skating is perfect for family members of (almost) all ages, and it’s a great way to spend some time together during the holiday!

For special Thanksgiving menus and deals around town, read our blog on eating out for Thanksgiving 2014.

Happy Thanksgiving, Reno. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Reno Zombie Crawl 101

If you’re looking to meet someone who will love you for your brains, this is the event for you!

This Saturday, Oct. 25, the undead will awaken for a night of drinking, dancing, and crawling from bar to bar with fellow zombie friends. For those of you who are new to the Reno bar crawl scene, or anybody looking for a bit of guidance, we have created a Reno Zombie Crawl guide to help you prepare for the night! Plus, it was recently voted one of the “10 Best: Halloween Costume Parties” by USA TODAY for 2014!

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Who: You and all of your zombie friends (21 and older, of course)!

What: The Reno Zombie crawl is on again for its 7th year of zombie fun. The bar list includes over 50 bars throughout Reno (mostly downtown), over 100 different drink specials, a flash-mob style Thriller dance underneath the Reno Arch, and tons of costume contests throughout the night. The night draws in thousands of attendees from the surrounding area, and Reno’s no last call policy means that the event goes until 6:00 am the following day. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to dress in your best undead gear in order to make the night as fun and as thrilling as possible! Rip your t-shirt, throw on some fake blood, and get into the zombie spirit!

When: Saturday, October 25th. Sign-in for the Thriller dance begins at 6pm and the actual crawl is set to begin at 8pm.

Where: With the participation of over 50 bars throughout Reno and thousands of crawlers, the Zombie Crawl might seem intimidating to some. The Reno Zombie Crawl site has pinned crawl start locations on a map for us to help ease into the event. There is also a complete list of participating bars on the crawl site, as well as each bar’s drink specials and entertainment for the night.

Why: Recently voted one of the “10 Best: Halloween Costume Parties” by USA TODAY for 2014, the Reno Zombie Crawl and annual Thriller dance under the Reno Arch will awaken the undead once again. Reno Zombie Crawl has been attracting attendees for seven years, and that must mean that they know how to throw one heck of a party! The crawl committee and all participating bars are dedicated to providing crawlers with a safe and fun environment, and they are doing everything they can to make sure that attendees can just focus on having a great time! With new additions to the crawl like red open container barrels at the exit of each bar, which allow crawlers to dispose of any unfinished beverages before leaving each location (and thus avoiding an “open container” citation), Reno Zombie Crawl understands how to balance safety and rules with having fun. The fun is going to be bigger and badder this year, as we can see with the new and improved Thriller Under The Arch. This year the city is closing off Virginia Street from Commercial Row to 2nd Street from 5 pm to 8 pm in order to give dancers more room to celebrate! There will be various performers for attendees to watch while everyone gets staged, and at 7pm the dance will begin! Be sure to arrive on Virginia Street early in costume to join in on one big Thriller flash-mob under the Reno Arch. Reno Zombie Crawl has videos on their site to help you learn the moves to Michael Jackson’s famously spooky song before the big night arrives.

How: Begin preparing for the crawl by purchasing a Zombie Crawl Cup for $5 at various locations before the event (either in advance or at the beginning of the crawl at start bars). These cups will be your ticket to the crawl, giving you access to drink specials, contests, and clubs cover-free. Remember to get a map of participating bars along with your cup so that you can plan your crawl ahead of time! Participating retail stores are a great place to get your cups because they have staff members full prepared to help you put together your best crawl outfit! Retail locations include: Junkee Clothing Exchange, Chocolate Walrus, and Adam & Eve Carson City. Visit the Reno Zombie Crawl “Buy Cups” page for a full list of where to get your cups in advance!

Not sure how to zombie-fy yourself? Check out our Pinterest page for zombie makeup ideas, or head over to Reno Zombie Crawl’s website for costume ideas and video tutorials that show you how to look your best for the night, as well as a list of local shops that have everything you need from costumes to makeup to get you ready.

For those who are looking to make their entire night vehicle-free Reno Zombie Crawl has teamed up with a couple of hotels to offer special room discounts for the night of the crawl. Booking a discounted room in the area is a great way to stay safe even when you’re finished crawling. For even more convenience guests can purchase two Zombie Crawl Cups with their reservation to be waiting for them when they check in. Learn more about these special crawl rates and which hotels are participating on Reno Zombie Crawl’s hotel page.

For a safe and hassle-free Zombie Crawl, please be sure to follow all laws and city policies. Do NOT drink and drive. The crawl is called a crawl for a reason, so join the fellow zombies and travel with your friends on foot from bar to bar. For those of you who opt out of the hotel discounts, be sure to have a designated driver lined up before the evening starts.

Happy Crawling!

Update: Check out our photo blog of crawler Instagram pics from the event!

Are you getting scared, yet?

There are plenty of events surrounding Halloween weekend (check out our blog on 21+ Halloween parties for some awesome Halloween events happening throughout the month), and it seems as though Reno is trying to make Halloween a month-long holiday (but hey, we’re not complaining! Maye Reno is looking to transition into a real-life Halloweentown). Are you looking for somewhere to unleash your spooky side on October 31st? With all of the parties and events going on around town leading up to Halloween, you might be thinking that our city will be too partied out to celebrate on the scariest day of the year, but don’t worry! Here are some exciting and bone-chilling events happening on October 31 to wet your whistle, get your groove on, and bring this haunting month to a close.

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Silver Legacy is continuing tradition with their 14th Annual Wild Erotic Ball. From 9:00pm to 3:00am the Grand Exposition Hall is transformed into a wild Halloween bash. The event is for those 21 and over, and will include $3000 in cash and prizes for winners of the costume contests, including most unique and best couple’s costumes, and more. For tickets, information, and room discounts at The Silver Legacy, head over to the Silver Legacy website.

The 7th Annual Fright Fest Halloween Party at Reno’s Knitting Factory is sure to get you in the party mood! Starting at 10:00pm on the night of Halloween, the Knitting Factory will play host to a number of DJ’s, such as DJ Kentot, DJ A-Kran, and DJ Mario B., and provide attendees with a night of dancing (with a  full bar for those of you who are over 21). Visit the Knitting Factory’s event page for tickets and information.

If you’re looking for something new, check out LEX Nightclub’s Beetle Juice in Wonderland. Taking place in Reno’s newest nightclub inside the Grand Sierra Resort, this first-time event is sure to be a great way to celebrate Halloween. The night will be filled with dancing and scary-delicious cocktails. There will also be a costume contest and $5,000 in cash and prizes. Visit LEX’s website for information and ticket prices. LEX is also providing a discount on rooms at the Grand Sierra the night of their party, so check out their Facebook page for the discount code and details!

The Eldorado is also getting in on the Halloween fun with their Trick-or-Treat Halloween Party at the BuBinga. Students get in free (with ID) between 10:00 and midnight, and those who dare to dress in costume will receive an admission discount. Of course, there will be music, drinks, and dancing for those who attend. The Eldorado is also offering lower rates for the whole week of Halloween to keep its visitors safe (The Eldorado’s website).

If you’re a lake-goer and want some Halloween fun up in Tahoe check out “The Creepers Ball” at Crystal Bay Casino in Incline Village. Beginning at 9pm in their Crown Room, Crystal Bay is hosting their Halloween dance party with DJs Tainted love and After Party W/ Corey Lee. The night will be filled with dancing and great music, all up in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Tickets are on sale now for $25, so be sure to snag them while you still can!

EDGE Nightspot at the Peppermill is hosting their REDRUM Halloween contest and party where they will be giving away $4000 in cash prizes. The contest winners include: scariest, sexiest, and most creative costumes, as well as the most festive party-goer. The event is part of EDGE’s Halloween contest weekend, so the fun is scheduled to continue beyond October 31. Visit their webpage for more information on REDRUM and how to make VIP reservations for the entire Halloween weekend.

International Festival of Magic is looking to casts a spell on Reno

Spellbinders, the International Festival of Magic, comes to Reno for its inaugural event, Oct. 14—18, 2014, with unbelievable, mind-boggling feats of prestidigitation taking place all over town – from Washoe County Libraries to local coffee shops to the University of Nevada, Reno and the Pioneer Center. The public is invited to marvel at the talents of world champion magicians free of charge.

From the very biggest stage illusions to intimate close-up miracles, and everything in between, Spellbinders has an unbelievable line-up of award-winning magicians bringing recognition to the Biggest Little City. The lineup includes:

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Washoe County Libraries | Oct. 14th—17th  4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Featuring: Lennart Green, Bob Sheets, Shoot Ogawa, and John Carney.

Locations: Northwest Reno Library, Spanish Springs Library (no Friday show), Sparks Library, and South Valleys Library.

University of Nevada, Reno | Oct.16th  5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Featuring: Dana Daniels’ No Show.

Location: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (Wells Fargo Auditorium).

University of Nevada, Reno | Oct. 17th   5 p.m.

Featuring: Dana Daniels’ No Show.

Location: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (Wells Fargo Auditorium).

Local Coffee Houses  | Oct.15th—17th  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Featuring: Gregory Wilson’s Coffee House Conjuring

Locations: The Jungle, Swill and more to be announced.

Pioneer Center | October 18th  2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Featuring: The Gala Show with international stars of magic Joaquin Ayala, Rocco, Dan Birch, Tina Lenert, Les Arnold & Dazzle, Michael Goudeau, The Flying Cavettis, and Larry Wilson.

Location: Pioneer Center. Tickets are available from any Washoe County Library, for free.

For a full schedule of events and information, visit www.SpellbindersReno.com

Ghostly Halloween Fun (Ages 21+)

October is full of changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and choosing to get totally spooked all month long. The Reno area offers plenty of adult-oriented events this October to get you in the Halloween spirit and send chills up your spine all month long. So pull out your costumes and get ready for a spook-tacular time!

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On October 11 Virginia City is hosting Redrun II- a Zombie Sequel. This six-mile race course consists of six dead zones and six obstacles, along with “creatures hunting for your blood” as you race around cemeteries, mining bunkers, and more throughout one of the oldest living ghost towns in the country. Virginia City is one of the most visited towns by ghost hunters and researchers of the supernatural, and their professional opinions all agree on one thing: its haunted! Are you brave enough to make the dash through some of the most haunted locations in the world? Check out www.redrunvc.com to view race details, registration information, and details about all six course dead zones. Good luck!

Reno’s annual Zombie Crawl is a great excuse to celebrate Halloween a week early. Starting at 8PM on October 25 at various bars throughout Reno, zombies of all shapes and sizes gather under the moon with a common goal: a scary-good time. Crawlers are encouraged to rise from their graves and visit over 50 bars with the rest of Reno’s undead! The night is full of specials, such as $3 drinks and beers at every bar and no cover charge at any of our clubs, as well as hotel discounts for those who crawled a little too hard. Before the crawl, join your fellow zombies for a flash-mob style dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller under the Reno Arch. To participate, purchase a Zombie Crawl cup from a few selected shops around town and bring it with you! Check out the Crawl website for a list of participating bars, Halloween discounts, and other information (http://renozombiecrawl.com).

For more scary fun throughout the month of October, the Eldorado is hosting six different Halloween-themed parties in four different venues over four nights. The celebration starts on Saturday, October 25 with the Zombie Crawl. Participating Eldorado bars include The Brew Brothers, BuBinga Live, Stadium Bar, and Cin Cin Bar & Lounge. These crawl stops include a costume contest, drinks, and music by DJ Dragon. On October 28 The Brew Brothers will host an Industry Halloween party with Blood Club Tuesday. A second costume contest will be held, and DJ Chris English will be keeping the party going all night long. Another costume contest and party will be held at The Brew Brothers October 30 for Student Bloody Thursday. On All Hallows’ Eve, the party really gets going. The Brew Brothers transforms themselves into The Blood Brothers with another costume contest, drinks, and dancing. And to bring the spooky season to a close Skyy High Fridays is hosting a Trick-or-Treat Party at BuBinga with a costume contest, a DJ, and student discounts. The month is full of parties and $6,250 in cash prizes for costume contest winners! It’s sure to be a thrilling time!  Visit www.eldoradoreno.com for more information on all of the Eldorado’s parties and all Halloween events.

Another costume party to consider is the Fantasies in Chocolate’s 30th year celebration on October 25. The event is a wine tasting and chocolate sampling fundraiser, and the event will benefit the RGJ Foundation. General Admission attendees are welcomed to sample wines and chocolates, as well as dine on savory dishes created by some of the top chef’s of the area. The vendors for this year’s event include: Men Wielding Fire, Batch, 1864 Tavern, and many more! Besides great food and delicious drinks, there will be a DJ and dancing, a live auction, and more! For more information  see http://blog.visitrenotahoe.com/fantasies-in-chocolate-celebrates-30th-year-with-black-tie-costumed-event/.

Happy Halloween! Be safe!

E ‘tempo di festa! It’s time to party!

Ciao Reno!

The Eldorado Great Italian Festival is right around the corner! For 33 years the Eldorado has hosted an authentic celebration of Italian culture, and this year is going to be nothing short of fantastic. The festival typically takes place over Columbus Day weekend, but the Eldorado is getting a head start with a new wine and food event and Italian dinners in the buffet starting October 6. This new addition to the schedule of events allows guests to celebrate all week long.

On October 9 the Eldorado will debut a new Italian wine and food pairing event, Vintage Eldorado. This new event will feature Italian food stations, Italian wines, and Italian beer and spirits to sample and enjoy. The event will also include a silent auction to benefit the Boys & Girls club of Truckee Meadows. Ticket prices include a Riedel stemless “Swirl” wine glass souvenir to use throughout the event. October 11 and 12 are the days when downtown Reno will be transformed into Little Italy. Here guests can take on a grape stomp, taste sauces in the sauce cookers competition, stroll on a wine walk, shop at an Italian farmer’s market, cheer on a kids’ gelato eating contest, get their fix at the Italian buffet, and enjoy life free entertainment the entire weekend.

The fan-favorite sauce cook-off will take place throughout the holiday weekend each afternoon starting at 2p.m. Guests can enjoy different sauces brought from West Coast Italian families, which can be found at the pasta booth on the corner of 4th and Virginia streets. If you can’t wait for the weekend, The Buffet will feature an extended Italian menu starting Monday the 6th until Thursday the 9th and an Italian Seafood Feast on Friday, October 10. Here guests can enjoy traditional Italian meals, snacks, and desserts throughout the week to get in the Italian state of mind.

For a full schedule of events and prices go to http://www.eldoradoreno.com/reno-events/Eldorado-Great-Italian-Festival/.

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Reno Chamber Orchestra’s 40th Season

The 40th season of the Reno Chamber Orchestra began Saturday, September 20th and Sunday, the 21st, and the chosen program was the perfect lineup to start it off. William Barton, one of Australia’s leading didgeridoo players, was scheduled to perform alongside the RCO. However, due to an illness Barton was unable to fly into the states and last-minute changes had to be made. Fortunately, the RCO is filled with incredibly talented and eager musicians, and RCO’s principal oboist Rong-Huey Liu stepped up to fill Barton’s place. Her performance was captivating, and her obvious confidence made it easy for audience members forget that she had only had 24 hours to prepare herself to fill Barton’s highly-praised shoes. Alongside Liu and conductor Theodore Kuchar was a wonderfully diverse orchestra with musicians differing in age, gender, and race.  Witnessing such a wide variety of people on stage and in the audience shows just how far the power of music can reach, and the RCO is the perfect example of how easily it can bring people together.

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The orchestra performed four pieces varying in length and style: Mozart’s Oboe Concerto, Telemann’s “Water Music,” Peter Sculthorpe’s “From Ubirr,” and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish Symphony.” Even to RCO amateurs, it is easy to see how incredibly talented the orchestra is- individually and as a whole. It doesn’t take a PhD in music composition and performance to understand how much time and energy each musician has put into his or her part, and their passion for the music shined through with each and every note. The pieces chosen for the season opener were very unique, filled with special effects and non-instrumental sounds. For example, Telemann’s “Water Music” included measures that called for stomping by the orchestra. This was surprising to anybody in the audience who was unfamiliar with this movement and offered a comical element to the otherwise formal piece. In Sculthorpe’s “From Ubirr,” cellists created a distorted sound by sliding their fingers up and down the neck of their instruments, which added to the eeriness and mystery of the music. It’s these types of risks that demonstrate the orchestra’s skill set and deep understanding of the music, as well as their desire to not only play each note correctly, but to keep the audience entertained and sitting on the edge of their seats. This type of engagement allows for a unique and unforgettable experience.

The RCO’s 40th season opening weekend was a huge success. With multiple audience members recognized and congratulated on their steadfast support since the RCO’s first season, newer attendees were welcomed into the community with encouraging words of acceptance. The RCO’s goal of an all-inclusive experience allows for supporters new and old to come together in an organic and enjoyable way. This opening performance set a high bar for the rest of the season, and it was made clear by the fire in each musician’s eyes that they are not going to settle for anything less than exceptional for their 40th season.

CANFEST bike drive

A chance to celebrate two things we all love and pair perfectly: Beer and Bikes

canfestCANFEST, the world’s largest canned beer festival, is partnering with the Reno Bike Project for the annual CANFEST Bike Drive. Participants in the drive have the opportunity to donate bicycles to receive complimentary entry to the beer festival. With more than 250 bikes collected throughout previous years, the annual CANFEST Bike Drive presents beer lovers with a chance to have fun doing what they love, all while simultaneously supporting a great cause.

The CANFEST Bike Drive rewards every bike donated to the Reno Bicycle Project with a free ticket to CANFEST on August 23, 2014. Presented by Joseph James Brewing Company, CANFEST is an unlimited tasting festival of beers poured exclusively from cans. Attendees will have the chance to sample 100-120 different brews throughout the evening from breweries all around the world. The festival takes place at Reno’s Peppermill Resort Hotel at 6pm.

The Reno Bike Project is a non-profit community bicycle shop and advocacy group committed to creating a nationally recognized, cycling-friendly community through advocacy and education in the Truckeee Meadows. Every bike donated to the Reno Bicycle Project is recycled or repurposed and put back on the road, making cycling more accessible to the public through recirculation of bikes into the community at affordable prices.

“CANFEST Bike Drive is a great opportunity for the community to give back and have fun as a result,” said Reno Bike Project Executive Director Noah Silverman. “We get to use the donated bikes to help kids, veterans and anyone else that needs or wants to get around on two wheels.”

To participate in the CANFEST Bike Drive, drop off new or used bicycles to The Reno Bike Project at 541 E 4th St to receive your free CANFEST ticket. Call 775-323-4488 or visit www.renobikeproject.com for shop hours and directions. The drive is active until August 22. Donators need to be of legal drinking age and must request the ticket upon donation to qualify.

Circus Circus holds the first annual 24-Hour Mural Marathon

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Stroll by Circus Circus anytime between 10:00am, July 13 – 10:00am, July 14 to witness seven artist battle to create the most unique and vibrant mural on the Virginia Street side of the building shown above.

The idea of the Mural Marathon sparked from a conversation between Howard Rosenberg (UNR Arts Professor) and Richard Bartholet (president of the Regional Alliance for Downtown and UNR faculty member) while the two were observing the blank canvas of Circus Circus.

“This mural concept started when Howard Rosenberg and I walked through the city from the Courthouse to the University. We saw there was a lot of potential to spruce up the Circus Circus Reno building facing Virginia Street, which would in turn do wonders for the community. Those discussions got the ball rolling to this Mural Arts Project with Circus Circus Reno” said Bartholet.

The addition of murals to the outside walls of Circus Circus is part of the greater beautification project that has been taking Reno by storm. Murals in Reno’s Midtown District are found splattered across the map, and the migration to the downtown district is a pleasant sight to see.

“One of the goals of the festival is to see art on every street corner and in spaces where you least expect to see it. This is a wonderful addition to the downtown and excellent use of blank canvases.” Says Director of Artown, Beth Macmillan.

The 24-hour competition will be a new annual event added to Reno’s Artown calendar where each year a panel of judges will pick seven artists, three reserved for locals, to re-decorate the building and compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

Being on-site during the competition will surely be a ecstatic experience, but between the brush strokes make sure to check out more Artown events available on their website’s event calendar.

LEX nightclub grand opening

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LEX Nightclub, the highly-anticipated, $15 million, 25,000-square-foot nightlife venue at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is scheduled to open this Friday, July 11 with a special performance by The Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo!

Billing itself as the place “where elegance becomes unruly,” LEX Nightclub will feature an adult indoor pool with a dance floor that extends over it and creates the illusion of dancing on water, along with 33 VIP tables, three full bars and an incredible, multi-million dollar lighting and sound system. LEX, with a capacity of 1,100 and more than 70 employees, will be open every Thursday through Saturday, from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. An unprecedented nightlife venue, LEX promises to not only make its presence known as the premier nightclub in northern Nevada, but to also rival top nightlife venues in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.