Reno Tahoe Blog

What's Happening Now

Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category

Thanksgiving Fun For Everyone!

Flickr leaves

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!

Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day is Tuesday, November 11th, and Reno is doing its part to celebrate our veterans and to have some fun!

7375935548_9fda708e99_o

Idelwood Park will be hosting the Inaugural Veterans Day Run in Reno. The race will feature two options: a 5K run and a 1-mile walk/run for families and supporters. The 5K will begin at 4:11 p.m. with the 1-mile race beginning immediately after. The 5K will be professionally timed. Tickets are available on the Veterans Day Run website, and when purchasing your ticket you will be given the opportunity to make a donation to Operation Gratitude. This organization’s purpose is to “lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military.” Operation Gratitude sends over 100,000 care packages each year filled with snacks, entertainment, and letters of support to Veterans, new recruits, first responders, wounded warriors, care givers, and U.S. Service members deployed oversees. Making a small donation along with your race registration fee will be a huge help to this organization. After the race, all runners and walkers will receive a commemorative finishers pin, either a 5K finisher’s medal or a 1-mile finisher’s ribbon, a finisher’s certificate and finish-line refreshments. Participants also have the opportunity to purchase race T-shirts. Veterans and Active Duty Military Members will receive discounts on registration prices. For a schedule of race events, registration pricing, and more information check out the Veterans Day Race website.

The City of Reno will hold its annual Veterans Day Parade at 11 a.m. on November 11. The parade will begin at the historic Virginia Street Bridge and will end at the Fifth Street intersection. The theme of the parade, following Nevada’s big birthday, is “150 Years of Liberty Through Service”. The Grand Marshall is Army veteran Major John Riggs, who graduated from Reno High School in 1964. There are 75 entries to the parade this year, including local veterans associations and high school bands. Mayor Bob Cashell is also scheduled to speak at the beginning of the parade. Come out to Virginia Street Bridge on Tuesday to support our Veterans!

The Colin Ross Senior Music Program will be presenting a concert on Veterans Day and offering a workshop on Tuesday evening at the Neil Road Recreation center (at 3925 Neil Road). Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. and the concert and workshop will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. Admission is free for every Veteran (with a VA card) and a guest, and $5 for non-veteran participants. Pre-registration is encouraged and can be done by calling 334-2262.

Silver Legacy Resort and Casino is offering special discounts for Veterans on hotel rooms, meals, and drinks in honor of all servicemen and women. Weekend hotel package (available November 6-10 with a two night minimum) is priced at $39-$69 and includes a bottle of Ferrari-Carano’s Fume Blanc. Book online by using the promo code: VPKG. Active and retired military personnel and their families can stay at the Silver Legacy on November 10 and 11 for $39 using the code: Military. From November 7-11, Cafe Central, Pearl Oyster Bar and Grill, and Fresh Express Food Court will offer special Veterans Day meals. Active and retired Military members can enjoy 2-f0r-1 entrees at Cafe Central and Pearl Oyster Bar on November 11. All Silver Legacy Bars will offer two specialty drinks for $3. All offers will only be available to those with valid proof of military ID. Visit Silver Legacy Reno for more information and booking options.

Great Basin Brewery is offering a free pint of beer to all veterans today.

Wasting Arrows archery is letting veterans and active military shoot free all day.

Are You Ready To Party Like It’s 1864?

honest abe

The Nevada Museum of Art is hosting a steampunk-themed celebration this Saturday, November 1, in honor of Nevada’s 150th anniversary. The celebration starts at 3:00pm with Honest Abe’s Imagination Celebration street festival. Enjoy live music by The Novelists, Tyler Stafford, and Six Mule Pile Up to get you in the steampunk spirit! The festival will take place on Hill Street (outside the museum) between Liberty and California, and will be filled with retail stands and food vendors along with the live music. Cheers to Nevada’s 150th birthday and sip on Nevada-themed drinks at 1864 Tavern. The street festival will close at 8pm and admission is free for all guests. 1864 Tavern will also be hosting Abe’s post-party at the end of the night.

After you enjoy the sips, sights, and sounds at the street festival, be sure to head inside the Nevada Museum of Art for the big event: Honest Abe’s Imagination Celebration. The party, which is part steampunk ball and part carnival, will celebrate our state’s “visionary spirit” and “grand re-imagining of the future through the wondrous lens of the past.” Guests can view the original Emancipation Proclamation, which has been lent to the Nevada Art Museum from the National Archives for just this weekend, in honor of this event. All guests are encouraged to dress in costume (The Nevada Art Museum says “think Civil War meets Jules Verne meets the wild subconscious of a boyhood Lincoln.”). Need a costume? Several local businesses can help you find appropriate attire, such as PolyEsther’s, Junkee Clothing Exchange, Melting Pot World Emporium, and Neon Dragonfly. Tickets are on sale now and include complimentary treats and desserts. This Imagination Celebration begins at 7:30pm and goes until 11:pm.

Visit the museum’s website for more information on this once-in-a-lifetime event!

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!

12228030846_8eb3bccfd8_o

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.

wild_erotic_ball_reno_nightlife_events

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.

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!

military_zone

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!

Halloween Activities For The Whole Family!

For family-friendly Halloween fun, the Reno area has oodles of options to keep kids safe and entertained!

pumpkins

The Wilbur D. May Museum in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is hosting their third Great May Center Pumpkin Walk on Saturday, October 18. This new Reno tradition is a favorite for families and people of all ages, and it draws over one thousand visitors each year. Visitors line up to view hand-carved pumpkins throughout the museum and arboretum, and the May Center will have 500 pumpkins on glowing this year! Kids are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat during the walk. Fall refreshments such as hot chocolate and cider will be available to keep you warm throughout the night. Go to www.maycenter.com for prices, times, and more information.

Virginia City, one of the most haunted towns in the country, is offering safe trick-or-treating for kids at shops around town as an opportunity to celebrate both the city’s history and the spooky holiday. Later in the evening, Virginia City’s Halloween parade will coincide with the Nevada Statehood parade, which is celebrating Nevada’s 150th birthday. Parade viewers are encouraged to dress up in costume, and the event is a not-so-spooky alternative to scarier Halloween events going on in the city. For a full list of Virginia City’s Halloween events visit www.visitvirginiacitynv.com/events.

On October 26 visit Pumpkinpalooza at Sparks Victorian Square. Here, families can meet with fortune-tellers, build and race a pumpkin in the Pumpkin Derby, compete in a pumpkin seed spitting contest, and end the day with the official Lighting of the Pumpkins and more! Children are invited to wear costumes and participate in the children’s costume parade. It’s a celebration of all things pumpkin and is a fun way to get kids in the Halloween spirit. See http://www.pumpkinpalooza.org/ for more details.

Scheels is hosting two events for the holiday this year. On October 27, stop by Scheels to decorate your own pumpkin! Kids from the Reno area will be getting crafty at 6:00 that evening, hoping to make the perfect Halloween pumpkin to complete their spooky decorations. On October 31, kids are welcome to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt throughout the store where they will trick-or-treat and have a fun time. For both Scheels events, kids will receive a free Ferris wheel ride. Scheels encourages you to email events RS@scheels.com if you have any questions.

Reno Street Food and Magic 95.5 is hosting their “Truck or Treat” event at Idlewild Park on October 30. With 25 food trucks and 20 candy stations, this is another fun, safe trick-or-treating option for families. The night will be filled with food, candy, and a children’s costume contest, so don’t miss out! See Reno Street Food’s Facebook page for more information.

To make sure your costume is the best on the block check out Faces 4 Fun face painting at Circus Circus Reno for trick-or-treating and costume parties. The team of artists has extended their hours for the Halloween season, and they all have impressive experience with painting and promise to bring your costume, whether is a zombie or a fairy, to the next level. Visit Circus Circus Reno for more information and scheduling.

Three local farms are opening their doors and sacrificing their corn for family-friendly corn mazes all month long. Corley Ranch, Andelin Family Farm, and Lattin Farms all have corn mazes and fall activities this month to enjoy the fall season! View http://blog.visitrenotahoe.com/corn-mazes for information on these farms and all they have to offer.

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/.

italian fest

12994235123_8734b9145b_o

RSCVA’S ANNUAL “BLUE GENES JAM®” LIFESTYLE FESTIVAL TO CELEBRATE INVENTION OF BLUE JEANS IN RENO, NEVADA

A new event is coming to Reno Tahoe USA! The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) announced today the creation of a new special event, to debut on October 2-4, 2015, celebrating the invention of one of the world’s most iconic products – riveted denim “blue jeans”- by Reno tailor Jacob Davis in the early 1870s.

BGJ_Masthead

According to RSCVA President and CEO Christopher Baum, “The fact that the world’s favorite item of clothing was invented and patented in Reno by Mr. Davis is unknown to most locals, and many denim fans worldwide… but not for long.”

“Blue Genes Jam®” will be a three-day lifestyle festival featuring numerous fun and unique activities around Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe, including: rock and country music concerts; “Jeaneology,” scholarly presentations on the history of blue jeans and their impact on popular culture; the “Jean Pool,” a retail marketplace for vintage jeans, designer denim and accessories; “Jean Therapy,” special discounts at area health spas; the “Blue Jean Ball,” a banquet and silent auction benefitting the Nevada Humane Society; “Jacob’s Joint,” a pop-up bar and restaurant; “Pop(corn) Culture,” a mini-festival of milestone films in the history of blue jeans, such as James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause”; and denim fashion shows by international jean manufacturing companies, both large and small.

The concept for Blue Genes Jam® got its start more than a year ago, when Baum received a telephone call in his office from Mr. Robert Wexler of Reno.

According to Baum, “Mr. Wexler had heard me being interviewed on a local radio station and thought I would be interested in a little-known historical fact about our city.”

Wexler shared the story of a tailor named Jacob Davis who had patented his invention of rugged work pants while working at his shop in downtown Reno (on Virginia Street, where the “Knitting Factory” is currently located), and how a group of civic-minded residents (including Mella Harmon, then of the Nevada Historical Society, and former state archivist Guy Roche) worked with the Reno Historical Resources Commission to place a commemorative plaque at the site in May 2006.

Said Baum, “I thanked him for the fascinating information, and promised to get back in touch if I ever found a way to use it to benefit the future growth of tourism in Northern Nevada.”

In the months that followed, Baum would take a few minutes here and there to scour the Internet and bookstores for more details about Jacob Davis and his invention. He learned that the inspiration for Davis’ breakthrough idea occurred when a woman entered his tailor shop in January 1871 complaining that her husband’s work pants kept ripping, due to the rough demands of his job. Davis sewed a new pair of cotton

duck cloth pants for the man and, spying some hardware he normally used for horse blanket straps, added copper rivets to all of the key stress points. The copper riveted pants were a huge success, and soon he was swamped with hundreds of orders, at the premium price of $3.00 a pair. Demand grew further when he started offering the pants in tough, indigo blue denim fabric. Sensing that he had a bona fide hit on his hands, Davis reached out to his fabric supplier – Levi Strauss & Company of San Francisco – to see if they might be interested in helping him pay the $68.00 required to fund the patent application process. On August 9, 1872, “Jacob W. Davis, assignor to himself, and Levi Strauss & Company” submitted the patent application, written and signed by Jacob Davis, who was credited as “Inventor” on the accompanying illustration. On May 20, 1873, the United States Patent Office granted Davis and Levi Strauss & Co. Patent No. 139,121, and a multi-billion dollar fashion industry juggernaut was born, continuing to this day in the United States (where the average American owns a staggering seven pairs of blue jeans!) and virtually everywhere else around the globe.

Jacob Davis spent the rest of his life overseeing the manufacture of his invention for Levi Strauss & Co., selling his interest in the patent and manufacturing rights in 1907. His occupation in the San Francisco City Directory was listed as “manufacturer” in 1874, but by 1903, it had been changed to “capitalist.” He died in 1908 at the age of 77.

Once Baum had formed the basic concept for the Blue Genes Jam® (he dreamed up the name and RSCVA Special Projects Coordinator Ken Koser contributed the “genes” for “jeans” twist), he turned the project over to the entire RSCVA Marketing Department, which will work with local partners – such as concert venues and resort hotels, as well as those facilities owned and/or managed by the RSCVA – over the next 12 months to book the talent, attract the jeans companies and otherwise coordinate the creation of a brand new special event for the region.

“The RSCVA doesn’t normally produce our own events,” said Baum. “But in this case, I am confident in my team’s ability to take a great idea and turn it into a fantastic asset for the region, attracting denim fans from around the country – and around the world – to Northern Nevada.”

According to Baum, “The story of blue jeans started right here in Reno with Jacob Davis, and Levi Strauss & Co. helped make his product into a worldwide work wear and – eventually – fashion staple. But other manufacturers – from Wrangler and Lee to Lucky, Ralph Lauren, Cinch, Ben Davis, and many others – and boutique selvedge/raw denim companies – like the eponymous Jacob Davis, Mister Freedom, Roy Denim, Rogue Territory, imogene + willie, Left Field NYC, and Raleigh Denim Workshop, to name just a few – keep the momentum going today. We look forward to welcoming them all to “The Birthplace of Blue Jeans” on the first weekend of October, in 2015 and every year after, because as those of us fortunate to live and work in Reno Tahoe USA now like to brag, “We have copper rivets in our genes.”

To keep up-to-date on details of the Annual Blue Genes Jam®, please go to the event website, www.BlueGenesJam.com.

Exhibits to Visit: October Edition

Reno Tahoe museums contribute largely to the culture here in Reno, and there are always wonderful exhibits to visit around town. One exhibit you cannot miss is the celebration of Nevada’s 150th birthday, which will be featuring several iconic documents, including The Emancipation Proclamation. From birthday celebrations to wildlife exploration, here are a few major exhibits going on around town.

nevada art 2The Nevada Museum of Art is celebrating Nevada’s big day with a special exhibit that displays artifacts that tell the story of Nevada’s journey to statehood with their 36th Star: Nevada’s Journey from Territory to State exhibit (through November 1). Three of the museum’s galleries hold special documents and objects, such as the original copy of the Nevada State constitution, artifacts belonging to Nevada’s first governor, Nevada photographs taken by O’Sullivan that date back to 1867, and much more! This exhibit is a rare and special event, hosting historical objects that the museum tracked down and loaned from museums across the state and nation. It is a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit that provides visitors a unique opportunity to see all these historical objects in one place. The celebration continues on October 16 with a historical lecture by curator Toby Jurovics on Timothy O’Sullivan’s photography of the civil war. The birthday celebration comes to a close on November 1 with a steampunk ball and carnival, Honest Abe’s Imagination Celebration. At this event, visitors are encouraged to engage in the “grand re-imagining of the future through the wondrous lens of the past.” The Emancipation Proclamation will be on display at the event, as well as on October 30 and 31 and November 2, and visitors are encouraged to dress in costume appropriate for an 1864 party!  For more information on this event visit http://blog.visitrenotahoe.com/nevada-museum-of-art-the-36th-star/.

The Nevada Museum of Art is also showing films from the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour, which consists of six different session of more than 20 independent films from the festival. These films focus on wilderness, wildness, the great outdoors, culture, and environment. Starting with a Kids and Family session at 10:30 on October 18, the event continues until 7:00 that evening. Join others in exploring the wilderness that surrounds us and enjoy a day filled with films and a unique take on outdoor life.

The Sparks Museum & Cultural Center hosts the annual Western Heritage Festival on October 4. Celebrate Nevada arts, culture and traditions through experiential learning. Enjoy demonstrations in basket-weaving, spinning, quilting and saddle-making. There will be cowboy poetry, live music and dancers, displays and children’s activities.

An 11-month exhibit at Reno’s National Automobile Museum is coming to an end on October 10, 2014. The World War II Hits Home exhibit tells the story of WWII in Nevada. It demonstrates the commitments of America’s automakers to producing resources for the war, such as tanks, ammunition, and aircrafts. Learn of the impact on daily life, commitments of local families, and the history of the Tonopah Army Air Field. The exhibit is enriched by the presence of artifacts from private collections, and it is an exhibit that no history buff should miss.