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Exciting “Must Do” Holiday Events Around Town

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The holidays are here, and our area has tons of winter activities for you to participate in to keep you and your family happy and full of holiday cheer. This season is always a busy one, so to make things easy we’ve made a list of events going on around town and put a few of them here for you. All you have to do is have fun!

The Reno Ice Rink is always a favorite for this month. This year it will be hosted at the Reno Aces ballpark and will be open all the way through February. It’s definitely cold out on the ice, but skating is always fun regardless of your skill level. People and children of all ages head to the rink for some holiday fun, so be sure to join them! For more information visit our blog post dedicated to the Ice Rink.

The Eldorado is ringing in the holiday season with “Christmas Wonderland”, one of London’s biggest Christmas shows. The Eldorado is calling it “a holiday extravaganza of pure Christmas magic”. The show will be filled with dancing and singing of traditional Christmas carols, such as “Winter Wonderland” and “O Holy Night”, and the audience is encouraged to sing along. There will be beautiful costumes, a gorgeous set, a skilled and entertaining cast, and “the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole.” Performances will take place Tuesday through Sunday until December 27. Tickets are on sale now.

For some grown-up fun, the Santa Crawl will be taking place on Saturday, December 13. T’is the season to dress up in your best Santa costume and crawl to over 50 local bars with your friends! This crawl is expected to draw in a whopping 15,000 festive crawlers who will take over the streets of Reno for a night. Santa, reindeer, elves, and Ms. Claus will all come together for one giant holiday party! Be sure to buy your official Santa Crawl cup at participating retailers around town and get ready to have some fun!

Reno’s Wine Walk is holiday themed this month and is encouraging walkers to dress in their ugliest Christmas sweaters for the event. Head down to the Riverwalk District on Saturday, December 20 and enjoy wine from nearly 30 local businesses in the downtown area. For $20 you will get a wine glass and access to some delicious wines and a great time, and on the 20th a portion of the proceeds will benefit Cancer Awareness of Nevada.

For some holiday fun up in Tahoe, visit the Resort at Squaw Creek for A Star Spangled Christmas where the Truckee Tahoe Community Chrous will be singing for all to hear. They will be commemorating the bicentennial of our national anthem by performing the Star Spangled Banner, a Star Medley and Star Carol. The Chorus will also perform Schubert’s Mass in G, Gaudete!, a Jolly Jingle Christmas Medley and a sing along to get in the holiday spirit. They will be performing December 13 at 7:00 pm and December 14 at 2:00 pm. Get your tickets now!

December 20 through January 3 Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will be hosting Holiday Celebrations up on the slopes! Santa will be skiing along with Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley throughout the month, so keep an eye out for them! In the Village carolers will be singing your favorite holiday songs, so cozy up to the fire and listen while you sip on some hot chocolate. Sqauw’s Olympic Ice Pavilion and SnoVentures Activity Zone are also great spots for some family holiday fun. There will also be a kids scavenger hunt during the month-long celebration to go along with the other holiday festivities. Head up to the mountain to be a part of this winter celebration!

Shop Local This Holiday Season!

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The holiday season is always full of shopping, and Reno-Sparks is urging you to support locally owned businesses this winter. Saturday, November 29 (the day after Black Friday) was American Express Small Business Saturday, but we hope to continue this movement all season long! To make things easier on you, we have compiled a short list of locally owned businesses that would love to be a part of your holiday shopping! This is not an all-inclusive list, but the City of Reno has a map of many more of our local businesses, and the Buy Local movement has a list of local businesses in town.

For locally owned Reno gear, visit Reno Envy in downtown. From T-shirts to key chains to mugs to hats, Reno Envy has all your Reno-related gifts. Their logo, a simple trailer, was meant to be a parody of the John Deere logo that consumers loved enough to make it permanent. Their playful spirit and understanding of Reno’s culture makes them the perfect retail representative for our city. If you venture into Reno’s up-and-coming Midtown District you’ll find Junkee Clothing Exchange, a store filled with recycled clothing, accessories, antiques, and furniture that you won’t find anywhere else. Their funky, retro vibe combined with a heightened understanding of current fashion makes Junkee the perfect place to find a new unique piece that is totally you. Also in Midtown is The Melting Pot World Emporium. This store isn’t your typical retail spot; it’s Reno’s main place for Burning Man preparation. Filled with Steampunk accessories like goggles and belts, and clothing designed with Reno’s counterculture in mind, The Melting Pot is a great place to shop for your not-so-typical holiday list items. Bigtruck Brand in Lake Tahoe is a local “American cut and sew head wear supplier”. Their products have gained to support of various celebrities and professional athletes and are the perfect gift for any hat-wearing, Tahoe-loving person on your holiday shopping list. For avid skiiers, Sparks is home to a Moment Skis shop. These high-quality skis are handmade in Sparks and are popular among local (and national) ski fanatics.

Happy Happy Joy Joy is Reno’s local toy shop for people of every age. They have a wide variety of classic and collectible toys, retro games, and independent books. The store is all about fun, so head there to add some fun to your holidays! Sundance Books and Music is located in the historic Levy Mansion and has books and music to fit everybody’s tastes. They have hundreds of new and used books and music (CDs and Vinyl), as well as DVDs, magazines, journal and other gifts. To make things super easy, Sundance has created a Holiday Gift Guide to help you with your shopping.

If you’re looking to please a foodie, Big Horn Olive Oil Company is a great place to go. They carry ultra-premium, certified Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars that are absolutely delicious. Whispering Vine is the spot for a bottle (or two) of wine for those big holiday dinners and parties. They have well-known crowd pleasers, as well as unique small-batch wines that you wouldn’t expect to find here. They carry wines from all over the world, in tons of varietals, and are always more than happy to help you find something delicious that fits your needs. Whispering Vine also has a holiday guide on their website to finding the perfect wine for your special occasion. For the sweet tooth visit Dorinda’s Chocolates for a plethora of chocolates, caramels, cookies, and more to satisfy every dessert craving this holiday season.

The Santa Crawl Is Back!

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One of Reno’s most popular bar crawls is back in season. This annual local fundraiser (with proceeds going to local schools) will take place on Saturday, December 13 and is a great way to kick off the holiday season! For their 14th year the Santa Crawl is expecting 15,000 crawlers to dress up in their holiday gear, so more bars have been added to the crawl list and their pre and post crawl activities will make for an entire weekend of Santa fun! Be sure to buy your cups at participating locations around town, and book a room at the Silver Legacy using their Santa Crawl discount code to keep you and your friends safe all weekend long. Participating locations for cup purchasing include: Chocolate Walrus, Prism Magic, Junkie, and Adam and Even in Carson City, so be sure to pick your cups up early because official Santa Crawl cups means official Santa Crawl drink deals! To stay safe and spirited, visit the Santa Crawl’s page of Rules and make sure to follow all of these festive guidelines in order to have a smooth crawl.

There are PLENTY of local bars participating in this year’s crawl, and the goal is to hit all of them before the night ends! A few of these include: Rum Bullions and Drinx at the Silver Legacy, 5 Star Saloon, 1864 Tavern, Club Cal Neva, Chocolate Bar, Freight House District, Sapphire Lounge at Harrah’s, The Loving Cup, Louis Basque Corner, Our Bar, Sierra Tap House, Tonic Lounge,  St. James Infirmary, and many, many more! The trick to this crawl is to plan ahead. Grab a map (available at the Silver Legacy and wherever you can purchase a cup), gather your friends, throw on your warmest Santa gear, and be ready to have some fun!

For those who are in town for more than just Saturday night, Reno Pub Crawl has organized some pre-crawl activities going on around town that will definitely keep you entertained! On Friday night two-time Emmy winner, NY Times bestseller, and GRAMMY winner Kathy Griffin will be performing at the Silver Legacy at 8pm. This funny woman will be in town making guests laugh all night long! You can buy tickets here. On Saturday morning there will be a holiday themed 5k run/walk at Wingfeild Park near downtown Reno beginning at 10am. This Great Santa Dash has partnered up with the Santa Crawl, so all adults entered will receive a Santa Crawl Cup. This 5k will support the AIY Foundation to help local schools, just like the Santa Crawl. To register for the run, visit the Great Santa Dash webpage. And finally, for those of you who don’t think a 5k and a 50+ stop bar crawl is enough, the Santa Crawl has teamed up with Mt. Rose for some Santa Skiing on Saturday, December 13. If you dress festively you will get a discount on an all day lift ticket (with a portion going to Support the Claus)! There will also be Santa Crawl drink specials in the lodge and a mass Santa photo taken at the top of the Kit Carson Bowl at 11 am.

Above all things, remember to be safe. Don’t ever drink and drive, don’t let yourself or your friends go anywhere alone, and be sure to drink lots of water before and during the crawl. The Santa Crawl is about holiday cheer and festive fun, so keep things nice and not naughty throughout the night! Have fun, crawlers!

All Aboard The Polar Express!

The Polar Express is headed to Nevada!

Looking for a fun and unique way to celebrate this holiday season? The Polar Express is pulling through Carson city all month long to offer you and your family an unforgettable winter train ride. Rail Events Inc. is inviting you to join them for a ride inspired by the holiday book and movie, Polar Express. This trip to the North Pole will be filled with tons of holiday-related activities, such as caroling and a reading of The Polar Express with hot chocolate and cookies, followed by a meeting with Santa who will hand out sleigh bells to the children, just like in the story. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas to stay comfy and warm during the trip. This train ride is something that the entire family can enjoy together, and the story of the Polar Express is one that many people are familiar with.

The event is one hour long and will take place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 22nd this year. The Polar Express departs from the Carson City Eastgate Depot. Tickets tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to get them here while you can! VIP parlor car tickets are also being offered this season.

For information on The Polar Express event or to find other train stops throughout the country, head to Rail Events Inc. to find the answer to all your questions. For information on the local stop, visit V&T Railway’s website.

Great Western Marketplace Is Officially Open!

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Reno’s first and only indoor marketplace is complete! Great Western Marketplace, a family-owned development, celebrated their grand opening on Black Friday. This new retail concept will host a wide variety of “micro-businesses”, artisans, craftsman, entrepreneurs, retailers, food and drink purveyors, and more all in one place. The Marketplace was designed as a low-cost option for new entrepreneurs who are looking for a place to start and for pre-established companies to expand their business. In addition to each vendor, Great Western Marketplace will include cafes and bars, indoor and outdoor seating, live entertainment and special events, plus plenty of parking (they’re boasting over 1,000 free spaces!).

Vendors include: a farmer’s market, Stattons Boutique clothing, Honest Meats, The Baker’s Basket, Dolled Up styling tools, Freshway Fish, Transformations home decor and jewelry, Silver State IT Solutions, My Nona’s Country Boutique pet gifts, Soozii Cream Cheese cheesecake bakery, and Ricardo Barraca artwork. Great Western Marketplace selects their vendors based on the vendor’s passion and the high-quality of their products, and it strives to support local business.

The Marketplace will also serve as a satellite broadcast location for Shamrock Communications. “We are pleased to have our radio stations broadcasting live from the venue promoting this fantastic new concept,” asserts John Burkavage, general manager for Shamrock Communications in Reno. “Great Western Marketplace is an outstanding entrepreneurial effort on the part of the developers and will give small businesses a new way to bring their products and services to market.” At least once a week Shamrock Communications will host live broadcasts from their Great Western Marketplace location with Reno radio personalities from 107.3 KNEWS news talk, 104.1 KRZQ alternative, 106.3 POP FM, and Martini Radio 105.3.

Great Western Marketplace is located in Northwest Reno at 4855 Summit Ridge Drive and is open Friday through Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm (6 pm on Sundays). For more information on the concept, a complete list of vendors, a vendor leasing application, or anything else please visit the Marketplace website. Be sure to checkout this exciting new marketplace this weekend to support local businesses and discover new shops!

Reno Aces Will Host Reno’s Ice Rink This Winter

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Reno’s popular ice skating rink is moving to a new location this winter: Reno Ace’s Ballpark! This new “Ace Skating” spot should be a positive change, as it gives skaters a fun place to go and allows the Reno Aces to stay connected to fans and locals during their off season. With 20 downtown area lots within walking distance from the ballpark, parking should be hassle-free for anybody who is heading to the rink. For pre- and post-skating indulgences, the Aces Ballpark has options such as Arroyo Mexican Grill and the Freight House District, along with the abundance of dining spots throughout Downtown Reno. The rink will open on November 25 and is said to be open through February with special times for holiday sessions. The Aces are hosting a Family Skate Day on November 28, so bring all of your relatives to the rink to continue your Thanksgiving family fun! Session prices vary by age, but you can also purchase a 10-Visit Punch Pass if you know you’ll be doing a lot of skating this winter!  Ice skating is the perfect activity for the winter/holiday season. It’s reasonably priced, convenient, and fun for people of every age, so don’t miss out on this Reno winter tradition!

Skating rink hours will vary during the week but are set for 10 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. Sundays.

Admission to the skating rink is $7.50 for ages 13-54. For children 3-12 and seniors 55 and older, the cost is $5.50. Skates can be rented for $2.50 per session.

Also, Christmas-themed movies are planned in the 250 lounge at the stadium, in addition to other special happenings.

If you’re excited about ice skating but aren’t able to to brave the cold, check out the LIVE STREAM on the City of Reno website!

For information on hours, ticket pricing, and any other stuff you can think of head to the Reno Aces website to find the answers to all of your questions!

Have You Been to Legends Outlets at Sparks lately? Here’s Why You Should!

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Legends and the Outlets at Sparks is a great destination for shopping, dining, and movie viewing and you should definitely add it to your must-go the next time you go out!

The mall is open seven days a week (Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm). The Outlets have both outlet and factory stores for popular brands at lower prices, such as Nike, COACH, Banana Republic, Levi’s, and Converse. They also have big-name stores such as Forever21, Scheels, Target, and Best Buy. The mall website even lists most store sales when they happen so that you can easily get the best savings. There is definitely something for every style, age, and budget so this mall is a one-stop shop; perfect for all the holiday shopping that needs to get done!

If you’re tired of shopping and want to relax a bit, the Galaxy IMAX Theatres are now open. This new Luxury + theater has all the components that make up a unique movie-going experience: an IMAX screen, plush reclining power seats, all digital sound and projection (with Dolby Atmos surround sound), two giant 4K screens, top-of-the-line MasterImage 3D systems, and guest service that goes above and beyond most movie theaters. For example, guests have the ability to reserve their preferred seats before they arrive at no extra cost. The theater always has the most recent and hottest movies for you to see, and we all know that this time of year brings blockbusters to the big screens! It’s things like this, and so much more, that make this theater a great place to go.

If your time at the Outlets at Sparks and Legends is making you hungry there are plenty of places to eat throughout the complex. For quick snacks check out Freshberry Frozen Yogurt Cafe or Perk Up Coffee Shop. For a more substantial meal there is Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Fudruckers, and Subway. Or you could check out two of the newest restaurants on the property, O’Cleary’s and CBQ. With so many options at the Legends, nobody in your party will go hungry while in Sparks!

When it comes to shopping or entertainment, Legends Outlets at Sparks is a great place to go. They have everything you’ll need to get your shopping done and to have a great time while doing it, so be sure to head out to Sparks the next time you’re looking for a good time.

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!

Tesla Charging Stations

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With its recent arrival into our area, Tesla has brought plenty of charging stations with them. Tesla has worked with resorts in our community to install powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout Reno. These locations, which are in partnership with Tesla Motors, are a part of the “Destination Charging” program. This program gives hotels, restaurants, and resorts High Power Wall Connectors (HPWC) that give users more than 2x the power of a standard charging station. In Reno’s case, many Resorts and Casinos are receiving these connectors as a way to benefit both Tesla and the resorts by driving Tesla users to these special locations. Since the “Destination Charging” program began last spring hundreds of High Power Wall Connectors have been installed around the country, and the best part is that they are free for any Tesla owner to use. These destination chargers recharge Model S’ 265 miles of range in about 5 hours, which is ideal for weekend trips (like those many visitors make to Reno). So far, Tesla has installed these Destination Chargers at Pepermill Resort Spa & Casino, Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa, and Eldorado Resort & Casino. “The Eldorado is pleased to be included in the ‘Destination Charging’ program,” said Eldorado VP and GM, Gene Carano. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve our guests’ experience so working with Tesla to offer the charging stations as just one more amenity was an easy decision.” These locations, among many other spots in the Reno area, also offer a range of other EV charging options.

In addition to these Destination Charging stations, Tesla announced in August the opening of more charging stations through ChargePoint. These are not Destination HPWC Chargers or Superchargers, but they do offer Tesla owners the opportunity to charge their vehicles while away from home. Harrah’s in Reno and Harvey’s in South Lake Tahoe were among the first to install these stations, but many other locations have caught up with them. Squaw Valley recently installed a few stations for visitors who want to charge their vehicles while they hit the slopes! Visit ChargePoint’s website for a complete map of charging stations in the area, estimated charging fees, and even to see which stations are being occupied so that you don’t have to spend time driving around in circles until one opens up! Travis Johnson, EV Program Manager with NV Energy encourages users to “Make sure to let the Manager know that you are staying/skiing with them BECAUSE they installed charging stations.” Supporting businesses that have taken these steps to making charging stations easily accessible for Tesla owners is important for program growth.

Tesla has also installed a Supercharger station along I-80 near Truckee, CA (about 30 miles SW of Reno). This station, which contains six charging bays that are available 24/7, is meant to make recharging easier and more convenient for those who are travelling along I-80.

Veterans Day 2014

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

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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.