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WHERE ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR 4TH OF JULY?

Sparks Fireworks tower crowdThis year Reno Tahoe USA is hosting some of the top Independence Day events and pyrotechnic displays in the nation. It’s a tough call deciding which of these parties to crash but we’ve tried to make it easy for you to see what each event has to offer.

LAKE TAHOE

July 1-4, the fifth annual Red, White and Tahoe Blue celebration in Incline Village offers the perfect getaway for families. They’ve got a patriotic chalk drawing contest, beer tastings, firecracker trail trek, and even a doggie dress up contest for your pup. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a jam-packed weekend with the fam, look no further – after you finish reading this post, of course.

cushingcrossing_tom-oneillpc

We can’t forget about the 70 feet of snowfall last winter quite yet. Both Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley USA are reopening for the weekend offering discounted tickets and wrapping up the season with huge 4th of July parties. Squaw will also host the famed 21st annual Lake Cushing Crossing on July 3. No one does pond-skimming quite like Squaw Valley. Perhaps it is because men and women in Reno Tahoe are a little more daring, a little more agile and a little better on sticks. Or maybe, it’s because the Cushing Crossing is held on a real pond, rather than a tarp-lined ditch or kiddie pool. We don’t really need a reason; we do it the way we want.

Other local Lake Tahoe events include Tahoe City celebrating 65 years of fireworks at Commons Beach, July 4, and Kings Beach hosting their annual firework display and deck party at the North Tahoe Event Center on July 3.

SPARKS

Experience the biggest 4th of July party in the region, Star Spangled Sparks, at the Sparks Marina. Join thousands to celebrate our freedom at this FREE all day event. Rise bright and early for free hot air balloon rides at 6am and a three dollar all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. The excitement continues during the day with a fun-run around the Sparks Marina, bounce houses and a ride area for the kids. Later that evening, witness a military flyover moments before the longest and most spectacular pyrotechnic display in the region, you won’t want to miss this 11th annual celebration.

VIRGINIA CITY

Virginia City made the list for the “Top 10 Fourth of July Fireworks 2011.” For us this comes as no surprise as every year thousands journey to the famous, historical city. The event begins with a parade downtown around noon and ends with the Comstock Cowboys performing at dusk along with an extensive fireworks show. The last time Virginia City had this many explosives was back when the city was first discovered as a gold mining jackpot.

PYRAMID LAKE

Do you want to be the party planner? The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe welcomes all those who want to throw their own 4th of July party. Summer season fireworks are now on sale for use on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in designated areas. Create your own fireworks show over North America’s most beautiful desert lake!

“THE WILDEST RICHEST RODEO IN THE WEST” – IT’S NO LONGER A PHRASE, IT’S AN ATTITUDE

4712225674_787391a6ab_zWhy is this ultimate American pride event famously known as “The Wildest Richest Rodeo in the West?” We will break it down for you.

Wild.

“There ain’t a bull that can’t be rode and ain’t a rider that can’t be throwed.” Toss aside your city-slicker suit, put on your boots and cowboy up. From the rock ’em toss ’em chaos in the arena to the hoedown at the Jack Daniel’s tent, you’ll need to tighten your spurs to survive this event.

Rich.

Bulls in the chute, cowgirls in miniskirts and beer in hand, does more need to be said? I guess we can mention the contestants are competing for over $500,000 in prize money. This year’s Rodeo will definitely be rich with cash and culture.

Rodeo.

Here, you either “do it right or get off the horse,” literally. Willingly riding a bucking bull or bronco is not easy and those eight seconds could be the longest of your life. Luckily, fans get to soak up the summer evening and relax instead of being tossed around. The only thing we need to worry about is kicking a cow patty after a hot day.

West.

There’s a reason the famous phrase is the “Wild Wild West.” Out West we do things bigger, better and a little different. The Reno Rodeo never disappoints. It’s truly the best in the West.

We will see you there for a bucking good time! For more information visit www.renorodeo.com.

WALKING ON WATER… SORT OF

paddleboardHot summer weekends are finally here and you can jump into the summer season by enjoying Tahoe’s “coolest” attraction. Lake Tahoe is renowned for its cobalt blue waters, providing a clear view of depths up to 75 feet. And hey, what better way to explore its depths than to skim its surface via paddle? Here’s something unexpected: Lake Tahoe is the largest stand up flat-water paddleboard venue in the country!

“Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most scenic and green ways to take in Lake Tahoe,” said Ernie Brassard, president of the 2011 Quiksilver Ta-Hoe Nalu Stand-Up Paddle Classic, August 13-14 in Kings Beach. “You get a completely different perspective of the lake and the surrounding mountains from the water than you do from the trail.”

The sport continues to skyrocket in popularity, as evidenced by a recent increase in Tahoe rental shops and outfitters, as well as festivals taking center stage during the summer and fall months.

A popular event you won’t want to miss is the Jam from the Dam, July 9, which has participants racing six miles from Commons Beach in Tahoe City to the Waterman’s Landing – a new restaurant and stand up paddleboard shop. Like the Ta-Hoe Nalu, it’s a great opportunity for spectators to demo equipment in a fun and festive environment.

Need equipment? Tahoe Paddle & Oar caters to the canoe and kayak audience with rentals available, including wetsuits and life vests, along with on-water lessons. If it’s a lazy Sunday and you want your paddleboards and beaches all in one place, rentals are available at one of Tahoe’s most well-known beaches, Sand Harbor State Park, located outside of Incline Village. Kayaks and paddleboards are a must to explore San Harbor’s hidden coves, cathedral of massive white boulders and lively beach activities. The infamous white sand is also a great picnic spot!

Click here to watch a video!

Country Crossroads Festival Comes to John Ascuaga’s Nugget this Memorial Day

121-leann-rimesJohn Ascuaga’s Nugget is gearing up for a three-day country music festival! Country Cossroads features performances by LeAnn Rimes, Ricky Skaggs and Neal McCoy, along with country karaoke contests, songwriting seminars and free live entertainment! This Memorial Day weekend will be a celebration of one of the nation’s greatest contributions: Country Music!

LeAnn Rimes performs in the Rose Ballroom at 9:00pm on Sunday, May 29th; tickets from $65.

Neal McCoy performs in the Celebrity Showroom at 9:00pm on Saturday, May 28th; tickets are $35.

Ricky Skaggs performs in the Celebrity Showroom at 9:00pm on Friday, May 27th; tickets are $45.

The Nugget is offering room, dinner and show packages, as well as a great deal on tickets for all three of the festival’s headlining concerts. Get more information at www.janugget.com or call (800) 356-3300. It’s gonna be a hoot!

Spectator Tips for a Worry-Free Time at the Great Reno Balloon Race

BalloonsEvent organizers of The Great Reno Balloon Race, scheduled for Sept. 10 – 12at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, have put together some helpful tips to ensure that all spectators have a wonderful weekend at the Balloon Race. Tips include important information on transportation to the event, where to park, what to wear and other dos and don’ts:

  • Admission is free, but make sure to bring money for tethered rides, souvenirs or food and drink from a variety of vendors, including a VIP breakfast catered by High Pointe Catering.
  • Dress in layers; September in northern Nevada tends to bring chilly mornings.
  • Weather information is available at www.kkoh.com or News Talk 780.
  • Arrive early on Saturday and Sunday, in time to watch the Glow Show at 5 a.m., to get VIP seating for a $5 donation, or prime blanket area for free.
  • Please leave your pets at home. The abundance of people along with strange noises and surroundings can make animals anxious and confused.
  • Smoking is always prohibited on the launch field.
  • Don’t forget your camera so you can catch every moment of this spectacular event.
  • Please remember to recycle while at the event, you’ll not only be keeping our community clean, but you’ll be helping out the NorthStar District Boy Scouts Troup #168, who will use the recycling as a fundraiser. The more you recycle the more money they’ll raise.
  • Visit the kids play area on Balloon Boulevard, the vendor area, after Mass Ascension.
  • Stay in your pajamas on Saturday, Sept. 11 for The World’s Largest Pajama Party. Come in your best (or worst) bed-head to enter in the Bed-Head Competition. Judging starts at 8 a.m. at the Pajama Party tent.

 Transportation/Parking Tips:

  • There is a limited amount of parking at the event so be sure to arrive early. There is free parking available at the University’s north lots, but all cars must be removed by 10 a.m. Parking is also available at N. Sierra St. and McCarran Blvd. or the Coleman St. parking lot for a $5 donation to the Reno South Rotary Club children’s charities. Parking is prohibited along McCarran Blvd and violators will be towed.

 

  • Transportation to and from the event is provided by RTC RIDE, which offers direct, nonstop service to the entrance of the park on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 and 12, from 4 to 10 a.m. Each of the three stops in downtown Reno, Reed High School in Sparks and the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority Convention Center on south Virginia, are serviced every 30 minutes. Round trip fares are $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth (ages 6 to 18) and seniors/disabled. For more information call (775) 348-RIDE.

 

  • Handicap parking is available at the Washington St. entrance to the park for those with a handicapped placard or license plate.

 

  • If you’d rather ride your bike to the event, you can leave it with the bike valet at the Washington St. entrance for a donation to the Reno Bike Project.

 For a full schedule of events and more information about this year’s event, please visit www.renoballoon.comor call the Great Reno Balloon Race hotline at (775) 826-1181.

 Thanks to the continued support of generous sponsors, The Great Reno Balloon Race continues as a free event for its 29th year. This year’s major sponsors include: Wells Fargo Bank, Wilbur D. May Foundation, Silver Legacy Resort Casino,  Peppermill Hotel Casino, Harrah’s Reno, City of Reno, Jack in the Box, Great Basin Internet Services, News Talk 780 KOH, Bonanza Casino, Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. With a special thanks to our Founding Sponsors: Circus Circus, IGT, Sands Regency Casino Hotel, Muckel Anderson CPAs and the University of Nevada, Reno.

-Written by Rebecca Wikler, special to VisitRenoTahoe

The Country’s Largest FREE Showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky HorrorThe nation’s largest free showing of the 1975 cult film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” returns to Reno for the 11th year! Starting in 1998 as a small gathering of “Rockyphiles” in downtown Reno’s Wingfield Park, this event outgrew the venue, moving to the Reno Hilton Amphitheater. The Reno Hilton played host through 2006. By then, this free event had gained notoriety as being the largest free showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the nation with an estimated 2006 attendance of 4,000.

In 2007, the Reno News & Review and Lawlor Events Center produced the event, moving it from July to late August in an effort to provide students with a fun, free activity during their first week on campus. Attendance grew that year by about 1,000 people, to over 5,000. For 2008, Lawlor Events Center and the RN&R established a new record with attendance topping 6,500. The 2009 Rocky Horror Reno event was canceled in 2009 due to lack of sponsor support.

With the help of Lawlor Events Center and participating sponsors, the Reno News & Review presents the 11th free showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The event happens Saturday, August 21, 2010at Reno’s Lawlor Events Center. Doors open at 7pm, event begins at 8pm. San Francisco’s “Bawdy Caste” will be on hand to give the audience the full Rocky Horror Experience, with a costume contest, prizes and a “Time Warp” dance lesson.

General admission tickets are free for the asking at Keva Juice locations throughout Reno and Carson City. A limited number of floor tickets are available at Reno and Carson City Keva Juice locations, free with the purchase of a smoothie. Official “Rocky Horror” after-parties are scheduled at Red’s Little Waldorf and the 5-Star Saloon in Reno. 

For more information, please call John Murphy, 775-324-4440, ext. 3515.

-John Murphy, special to the Reno Tahoe blog

Ride in a T-6 Airplane during the Great Reno Balloon Race!

BalloonThe Great Reno Balloon Race, thanks to the generosity of the National Championship Air Races, is auctioning off six exclusive airplane ride packages on eBay. The winning bidders will get to ride in T-6 airplanes during the “Missing Man” formation while the National Anthem is sung. The package will also include an official Balloon Race poster and pins.

The package is valued at more than $800 and bidding will start on eBay at $300. The “Buy it Now” bid will also be available for $1,000. Three packages will be auctioned off between Monday, Aug. 23 and Sunday, Aug. 29. Three more packages will also be available for bid starting Monday, Aug. 30 and ending Sunday, Sept. 5. Bidding will close promptly at 3 p.m. on Sunday each week. The last day to bid will be Sunday, Sept. 5. Visit the Reno Balloon Race website to be directed to the eBay auction page.

The Great Reno Balloon Race is the largest free hot-air balloon festival in the nation, and the proceeds from this auction will go directly toward the event’s operating expenses. Those who are unable to bid, but would still like to support the Balloon Race may also make donations at the event’s Web site.

-Rebecca Wikler, special to the Reno Tahoe Blog

From the Mouths of Reno Tahoe Babes: WWA National Wakeboard Championships

Cheryl Guinan WWA Eleven lucky fans of Reno Tahoe USA’s Facebook page won a free pair of tickets to the Air Nautique Wakeboard National Championships, presented by ROCKSTAR, July 14-18, 2010. The five-day pro-am wakeboard and wakeskate contest included the top wake athletes in the United States competing for national titles in 20 different divisions . . . and it rocked their socks off. (Click here for video.)  Big thanks to our fans for sharing pictures!

Cheryl Guinan, Reno, Nevada: “I had never been to the WWA event before. What surprised me most was how fun and laid back it was. Everyone was just relaxed and enjoying themselves. It had fun sponsors, nice vendors and some pretty sweet wakeboarding. I plan on going back next year. Thanks to KRZQ for the information and Reno Tahoe USA for the tickets!”

Jennifer Seeger WWA Cory Williams, Reno, Nevada: “This was my third year at the event, and it only gets better every time. I watched some of the women’s wake skate events Wednesday and Thursday – they were pretty incredible. Sunday, however, was intense. The pro finals were awesome. I remember sitting in awe watching Harley’s winning run. All the riders were great, and very approachable. They really enjoy the support they get from fans and were also willing to give a tip or two to us weekend warriors. I will without a doubt be back next year, as will my friends and anyone we can drag along. This is an event that everyone into water sports in the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area needs to attend.”

Jennifer Seeger, Reno, Nevada: “The south shore of the Marina was base camp for wakeboarding vendors, competitors and enthusiasts wanting to get an autograph from their favorite athlete. Thanks to ALICE @ 96.5 and Reno Tahoe USA, my husband and I were able to enjoy watching the wakeboarders tear it up! This is my second time Jennifer Seeger WWA 2to the event and I would recommend it to my friends. I will probably go back next year!”

Sarah Smith, Reno, Nevada: “I had never been to the WWA event before, it was fun.  I was kind of surprised at the price, though.  It seemed a bit much for the size of the event. I would recommend this event to a friend – it’s fun over the summer. I found out about the event through the Reno Tahoe USA announcement of a contest on Facebook, where I won the pair of tickets. ”

Walt Suen, Reno, Nevada: “Somehow I’d never made it down to this event before. We loved it. I was really surprised by how easy it was to see, there really are no bad seats. I would recommend this event to a friend. We own a boat and so do most of our friends – it was a great way to see all the new stuff on the market and see what real pros doing what we wish we could! Thanks to the folks @Reno Tahoe USA, we didn’t miss this event.”

It’s messy, it’s painful and it’s a ball!

PaintballsI really should’ve taken a picture of the small, perfectly round welt that formed on my wrist. Aside from this blog and the video, it was the only physical evidence of my presence at the Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. (RIP) studios.

RIP President Lawrence “Larry” Kagawa became a paintball enthusiast in the Army. In his 21-year military career, he experimented with non-lethal military training that involved both laser tag and paintball. He fell in love with the spirit and professional aspect of the sport, and decided to test his entrepreneurial side in Reno, Nevada two years ago.

“Paintball is an extreme sport with the teamwork of a traditional sport,” Kagawa said.

Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. is the only indoor paintball facility in all of Northern Nevada. Players are as young as 10 and as old as 72.

“He comes all the way from Fallon to train and really gets into it,” Kagawa said of his oldest player.

DSC_0003It hosts tournaments, coaching clinics and is home to the national champs, NV Reign. The squad currently holds the national title for the National Professional Paintball League, and in two weeks the team is headed to Washington D.C. to see if they can retain that honor. Talk about bragging rights. (No pressure. You’re only representing the state of Nevada.)

And that’s not all. Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. is proud to announce that the Regional Paintball League (RPL) will be visiting Reno July 24 and 25. It’s the first paintball tournament in Reno history! Teams will travel to Reno from San Diego, Oregon, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. The ultimate goal of RIP is to entice the National Professional Paintball League to host its annual tournament in the Biggest Little City.

Immediately following this history-making event, Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. is supporting the Western States Police and Fire Games.

To learn more RIP or what it takes to be a paintball player, check out the video! Listen closely. You can hear when I get pelted.

US Bowling Congress Selects Reno to host the USBC Women’s Championships

 US Bowling Congress Selects Reno to host the USBC Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014

The additional event bookings will generate 190,000 room nights in Reno Tahoe USA. 

USBC Queens 2The LA Times didn’t call it the “Taj Mahal of Tenpins” for nothing. While most cities have a bowling alley, Reno Tahoe USA has an entire stadium dedicated to the sport, and it’s the one-of-a-kind facility and community spirit that has enticed the U.S. Bowling Congress to return year after year.

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) announced Tuesday that Reno has been selected to host the Women’s Championships in 2013 and both the USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014. This marks the first time in USBC history that both events will take place simultaneously in the same city.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the host city for the 2013 and 2014 USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships,” said Ellen Oppenheim, RSCVA President and CEO. “We are equally thrilled to continue to build our long-time partnership with the prestigious events. We are looking forward to welcoming participants of the USBC and their families to our destination for several more years to come.”

Approximately 85,000 bowlers from across the United States and several foreign countries including England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Bermuda, Canada, Bahamas and France participate in the Open Championships. Additionally, more than 45,000 guests will visit Reno Tahoe for each tournament. The economic impact for both the additional Open Championships and Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014 is projected to be $242 million in direct local spending.

“The positive impact of winning this piece of business in 2013 and 2014 will be felt by all of the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and shops in the destination,” said Oppenheim. “It also brings Reno Tahoe the opportunity to continue to host one of the largest events in the country. This agreement demonstrates that the National Bowling Stadium is a first rate venue and bowlers enjoy coming to Reno Tahoe.”

The USBC Open Championship will be held inside the one-of-a-kind bowling stadium with simultaneous competition for the Women’s Championships inside the Reno-Sparks Convention Center (RSCC). The last time the RSCC was used for a bowling event was in 1990.

Reno is writing a new page of USBC history in becoming the first city to ever host consecutive tournaments. During previous Open Championships in Reno, 106,916 teams (representing more than 535,000 participants) have competed for more than $30 million in prize money. The Open Championships or Women’s Championships have been held at the National Bowling Stadium 11 times in the past 15 years and are scheduled to return seven  more times.

Sometimes a bowler just has to face the music. Why not do it in the National Bowling Stadium?

 

About United States Bowling Congress:

The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to nearly 2.5 million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.

                               

About the RSCVA:

The RSCVA is the primary tourism agency supporting convention and tourism business for the Reno Tahoe region.  Reno Tahoe supports unlimited possibilities from outdoor recreation to 24-hour Nevada style gaming and entertainment.  For more information about Reno-Tahoe call 800-FOR-RENO (800-367-7366) or visit www.VisitRenoTahoe.com.