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Let the Good Times Roll – Mardi Gras 2015 in Reno Tahoe

Fat Tuesday feasts and Mardi Gras merriments are underway in Reno Tahoe. Come hungry, come thirsty, and come prepared for a wild weekend. Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

Tuesday, February 17th, starting at 6 pm, the Rotary Club of Reno is having its 23rd annual Reno Mardi Gras Food, Wine & Spirits event inside the Reno Ballroom, located on Center Street. Guests come dressed in festive Mardi Gras attire and will experience live music and a spread of food from local restaurants and can indulge in drinks from more than two dozen wineries. There will also be a silent auction with a large variety of prizes. Funds raised will benefit local community programs. Tickets are $50 and can be bought through renorotaryclub.org.

10687532_10152692284427205_4861184253660099571_oReno Fun Train is ready to take you for a ride you won’t soon forget, or remember. There are only a few seats left on the epic Mardi Gras RENO FUN TRAIN Feb. 20 – 22, 2015. Call (800) 783-0783 for the best Mardi Gras party west of the Mississippi!

Saturday February 21, starting at 8 pm, the Sands Regency is hosting its own Mardi Gras event which will include face painting, live performers and music from CZ and the Bon Vivants, and drawings with winnings of $500 cash!

Mt. Rose Ski Resort is also gearing up to host a Fat Tuesday Mardis Gras Party on the deck of the Main Lodge on Tuesday, February 17 from 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. featuring live music by the Bourgeois Gypsies and food and drink specials including traditional “hurricanes,” Fat Tire beer specials, and Cajun burgers.There will be a Mardi Gras industry party at 9 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17, at The Brew Brothers with a $250 cash prize awarded to the person with the most beads and sounds by DJ Chris English and Montague.

Tuesday February 17th, Northstar California Resort is hosting a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras event. The Saint Gabriel Celestial Brass Band will play on the Village stage from 1-4 pm. At Tavern 6330’ there will be a Fat Tuesday Whiskey Dinner with a five-course southern/ New Orleans inspired menu with accompanying whiskey for each dish, tickets are $85. If you can’t make the Fat Tuesday events, there is free Mardi Gras Mask Face Painting by Giggle & Grin Face and Body Art from February 14-17th onsite.

Get Ready for the Year of the Goat!

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While the Gregorian New Year has already come and gone, the Chinese New Year won’t take place until February 19. 2015 is the Year of the Goat, which is predicted to be a year of well-being and prosperity. Several Reno resorts are hosting special events and dining options to celebrate the Year of the Goat.

The Eldorado Resort Casino is excited to celebrate Chinese New Year with you! The Buffet will have traditional Chinese plates on the 19th through the 24, including ginger sauce crab, five-spice shrimp, and roast duck, as well as Chinese roast pig every night. As part of the celebration the White Crane Lion Dancers will be giving multiple performances on February 14-16 and February 21-22. The Chinese Lion Dance is an important part of Chinese culture and is a tradition that has been around for more than a thousand years. The White Crane Lion Dance will make its way through the entire casino so that everyone has a chance to see. On Sunday, February 15 William So and Edmond Leung will be performing a concert a the Downtown Reno Ballroom.

Silver Legacy Resort Casino is another place to go for Chinese New Year festivities. The celebration begins a the Silver Legacy on February 15 when the entire resort gets decorated in colorful, elaborate decor, and ends on March 7. Leung’s White Crane Dance Association will be performing the Chinese Lion Dance through the Silver Legacy resort as well on February 14, 15, 16, 21, and 22. Many of their eateries will feature special Chinese menus, and Flavors! the Buffet will prepare a buffet featuring Chinese specialties every weekend during the celebration. There will also be a Karaoke show during the celebration, and Silver Legacy is also encouraging guests to attend the performance by William So and Edmund Leung in the Reno Ballroom on February 15.

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa will celebrate the Chinese New Year  on February 28, with an all-you-care-to-eat buffet featuring traditional Chinese dishes and an incredible comedy and magic show starring Mike Toy. His energetic and interactive performance will keep you laughing all night long! Check out their Chinese New Year Menu here.chinese-new-year-celebration-2015

For more information on these events, please visit each resort’s website. Happy Chinese New Year!

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions!

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Happy 2015 Reno Tahoe! Every 365 days we take a few hours to celebrate the start of a new year, which brings promises of change and the chance to rebuild and reinvent ourselves. Many people embrace this opportunity by making New Year’s Resolutions, but the majority of resolutions are broken or forgotten soon after the celebration has died down. We searched for a few common resolutions and are here to help you stick to them!

  1. Exercise more. Fortunately, we are situated in the perfect area to keep up with this popular resolution. With such a beautiful environment right outside our homes, getting your heartrate up outdoors is easy! Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and take in the wonderful Nevada scenery. The trek up Mt. Rose is a popular one, and the 6 mile trail is tough but the view from the peak is worth it. For an easier hike, the Glacier Meadow Loop is a .5 mile trail through the Tahoe National Forest dotted with informational signs that explain the role of glaciers in shaping the landscape. Opt to hit the slopes for an exercise that makes you forget that you’re actually exercising. Skiing or snowboarding is the perfect way to get exercise in the colder months, and it’s so much fun that you won’t mind that its hard work. Head up with friends or family to make it even more enjoyable. Biking is another exercise option that allows you to take in the nature of our area. Cruise around the Riverwalk District and along the Truckee River for an easy and relaxing ride, or visit Northstar California for mountain biking trails, races, and clinics and camps for bikers of all levels.
  2. Eating healthy. With the recent shift in Reno’s focus from casino boom to small and local comes more healthy food options. In the past few years we’ve seen many local shops and restaurants that focus on locally sourced, organic, natural, and/or seasonal ingredients that make eating healthier deliciously simple. Great Full Gardens is an eatery that caters to those with specialized dietary needs (such as vegan or Paleo), and their menu features items from local vendors, farmers, and their own greenhouse. Their menus, which cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between, are made up of fresh, healthy food options that everyone will enjoy. Laughing Planet Café is a quick-service restaurant that offers nutritious food to “heal your body, mind, and spirit.” Their core principles focus on being environmentally conscious, eco-friendly, and obtaining organic products whenever possible. At The Studio yoga, massage, and wellness center you will find The Seed, which is a raw café that serves a purely organic and gluten free menu. They use local ingredients whenever possible to provide customers with organic juices, smoothies, salads and more.
  3. Learn/ try something new. Every year Reno Tahoe has an incredible lineup of events that will educate participants and inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on a specific subject or just to attempt something you have always wanted to do, there is always a way to discover something new in our area. The Nevada Museum of Art has guided tours throughout the year for groups and individuals led by trained docents who will educate visitors on permanent and temporary exhibits throughout the museum. The NMA also offers a number of talks given by scholars, writers, and artists on a variety of subjects, as well as workshops for seniors, and hands-on activities to encourage visitors to make art themselves. The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum is not just for kids! They have seminars on various grown-up topics throughout the year like the science and technology that goes into creating our favorite movies (January 31, 2015). For those who are interested in something a little more out of this world, visit the Fleischmann Planetarium & Science Center for exhibits on various topics such as meteorites and NASA projects. They also show educational films such as Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions, Seasons of Light and Seasonal Stargazing, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall music and lights show.

For any ambitious resolution go-getters who are looking to make your resolution solution work double-duty (like getting more exercise AND learning something new at the same time), many of our local ski resorts are recognizing January as Learn to Ski & Snowboard month! To celebrate this movement resorts are offering great deals on first-timer ski and snowboard lessons all throughout the month of January, so its the perfect excuse to get out there and meet with an experienced trainer. With many different learning environments such as one-on-one or group lessons at a number of our unique resorts, Learn to Ski & Snowboard month will have something for everybody! For more information on resort offerings and what you can do to boost your snow skills, please head to our Ski & Board blog post!

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Celebrating 19 Years of Amazing BBQ, Brews and Blues!

New Beer and Food Pairing Event to Kick-Off Festival This Year

Equal parts barbeque block party, micro-brew tasting event and rock and blues festival, the Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues festival has become synonymous with summer. The unofficial kick-off to summer happens a little earlier this year with a newly added Samuel Adams beer and food pairing event held at the BuBinga Lounge inside the Eldorado Resort Casino on Thursday, June 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will kick-off the 19th Annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews & Blues Festival, which is set for June 20-21.

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Street side on Friday and Saturday, the Eldorado will have the perfect complement to the festival’s variety of microbrews. Food booths will line Virginia Street serving a variety of tasty options from traditional barbecue fare such as slow smoked brisket, St. Louis style ribs and whole hog pulled pork served with creamy coleslaw, baked beans and cornbread. All American favorites like Geno’s smoked New York steak sandwich, buffalo style chicken wings, hotdogs and grilled hamburgers can also be found. More eclectic offerings like BBQ Asian Ribs with Pho Mein Special BBQ Sauce and fire roasted corn with roasted poblano-cilantro crema and ground cotija cheese will also be available. Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in fruit cobbler and ice cream.

Attendees can wash it all down with a selection of the Eldorado’s own custom microbrews from The Brew Brothers or the more than 50 microbreweries from around the world. The $30 daily or $50 weekend tasting package includes an eight ounce souvenir cup and unlimited tastings. VIP packages are also available for one-day at $100 or two-day for $120. The packages include a commemorative tasting mug with unlimited beer tasting wrist band (for one or two days), a 64-ounce Growler filled once with choice of The Brew Brothers beer and a BBQ platter from main food booth.

Northern Nevada breweries pouring samples at this year’s event include; The Brew Brothers, Battle Born, BJ’s Brewery, Brewer’s Cabinet, High Sierra Brewing Co., Stoneyhead Brewery, Brasserie Saint James, Great Basin Brewing Co. and Ruby Mountain Brewing Co. Additional stateside breweries include; Alaskan Brewing Co., Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Anchor Brewing Co., Anheuser Busch, Bison Brewing Co., Boulder Beer Co., Brooklyn Brewing, Big Sky Brewing Co., Black Diamond Brewing Co, Boston Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, Drakes Brewing Co., Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Full Sail Brewing Co., Grand Teton Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing Co., Joseph James Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Lost Coast Brewery, Mammoth Brewing CO., Miller Coors Brewing, New Belgium Brewing Co., Ninkasi Brewing Co., North Coast Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Pyramid Brewery, Rogue Brewing Co., Rubicon Brewing Co., Santa Fe Brewing Co., Speakeasy Brewery, Tenaya Creek Brewery and more.

And in the midst of it all are two outdoor stages featuring non-stop rock and blues. Headlining this year’s event are Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band and Friends, including Alex Ligertwood of Santana and Wally Palmar of The Romantics. Additionally attendees can see the U.S. Air Force Band, Mobility; American roots music artist, Shane Dwight; critically acclaimed rock and blues guitar groover, Eric Sardinas; soulful South Bay guitarist and vocalist Maxx Cabello Jr.; high-energy harmonica and horns blues band Delta Wires; plus festival favorites the Jason King Band, Carolyn Dolan Blues Band, Rick Hammond Blues Band and Buddy Emmer Blues Band.

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than with the 19th Annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival, set for Friday, June 20 from 2 until 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 21 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit www.eldoradoreno.com for more information or call 1-800-648-5966 to book your stay.

Full Schedule for the 19th Annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews & Blues Festival


Third Street Stage

Friday, June 20

4 p.m. – U.S. Air Force Band, Mobility

6 p.m. – Shane Dwight Band

Saturday, June 21

11:30 a.m. – Rick Hammond Blues Band

1:30 p.m. – Carolyn Dolan Blues Band

3:30 p.m. – Delta Wires

5:30 p.m. – Eric Sardinas

Fourth Street Stage

Friday, June 21

3 p.m. – Jason King Band

5 p.m. – Buddy Emmer Band

7 p.m. – Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

Saturday, June 21

11 a.m. – Buddy Emmer Blues Band

1 p.m. – Maxx Cabello Jr.

3 p.m. – U.S. Air Force Band, Mobility

5 p.m. – John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band and Friends

Alex Ligertwood, lead singer of Santana

Wally Palmer, lead singer of The Romantics

7 p.m. – Shane Dwight Band

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off 2013

“If you like ribs, there’s no better place to be than this great gastronomic feast that competes to win over your taste buds. Music, meats, and crafts (of the art and beer variety) make for a family-friendly way to cap off the summer.” – Salon.com

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This summer, 24 of the nation’s top competitive rib cookers will vie for the coveted first place trophy, cash prizes and the People’s Choice Award as 500,000 hungry BBQ-lovers consume more than 233,400 pounds of ribs over an extended Labor Day weekend. The crowd also loves the annual Best in the West Nugget World Rib Eating Championship, featuring pros from Major League Eating, including the #1-ranked competitive eater, Joey Chestnut.

Entertainment lineup:

Free Main Stage Entertainment:

Diego’s Umbrella
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 28

A mix of soul, punk and gypsy rock, this band from the Bay area will wow audiences on the first night of the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off.  Diego’s Umbrella is sure to get people dancing with their high-energy, funky music.

Keller Williams
7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 29
This musician really is a jack-of-all-trades. Keller Williams plays music reminiscent of jazz, funk, reggae, bluegrass, folk and more. He creates his own evocative sound and is often described as a ‘one-man jam-band’ due to his frequent use of live phrase looping with multiple instruments.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds
7:00 p.m., Friday, August 30

This blues rock group started in 1974, and will be sure to get people up on their feet dancing. They’re best known for their hit “Tuff Enuff.” Sure to be a crowd-favorite!

Mark Chesnutt
7:00 p.m., Saturday, August 31

Country-favorite Mark Chesnutt propelled into the spotlight with his late-1980’s album, Doing My Country Thing. Since then, he’s charted more than 30 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs, including eight #1 singles.

Bad Company with Brian Howe
7:00 p.m., Sunday, September 1

This popular English rock band formed in 1973 and the group has included many popular rockers throughout the years. The band is best known for their hit songs “Can’t Get Enough,” “Bad Company,” and “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad.”


Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
3:00 p.m. Monday, September 2

Mixed styles of country, rock and bluegrass music will entertain rib-eaters on the last day of the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. The band is known as a pioneer in incorporating Western Swing into its music, and became known for marathon live shows.

Sparks Farmers’ Market Sweetens Summer

Lemons, tomatoes and pears… o my! The 2013 Sparks Farmers’ Market is back, every Thursday, on Victorian Avenue, directly in front of John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

Each week of the Farmer’s Market offers new themes, community group involvement, exciting stage music and street performers. The event takes place every Thursday evening, June 6 – August 22, 2013 (except July 7 and August 8) from 3:00pm to 8:00pm.

Shoppers will be able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables directly from local and regional farmers, along with items from various vendors, and try out food from some of our local food trucks.

There will also be a Kids’ Area, complete with fun and educational activities for children, on the plaza near the movie theater. The Sparks Farmers’ Market is a family-friendly event.

Whole Foods Hometowne Farmer’s Market

BURNING MAN 101

If you’re heading to the playa for Burning Man and need to know what to bring and where to get it we have you covered. Here is a list of tips and shops in the Reno-Sparks area where you will find the essentials to make your visit to Black Rock City smooth and memorable.

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Weather

For those of you who don’t know desert weather, the days are hot and the nights are cold.

Daytime temperatures routinely exceed 100º F. Sunscreen, lip balm and skin lotion are your three best friends on the playa. Drinking up to one gallon of water per person per day is the rule of thumb. Remember to eat proper salty foods to prevent electrolyte imbalance.

Some signs that you may not be drinking enough water:4968126469_0bf7d522d4_z

  • You don’t carry a water bottle with you at all times.
  • You swill instead of drinking deeply.
  • You wait to drink until you’re thirsty – too late!
  • Your urine is anything but clear and abundant.
  • You become cranky.

Overnight lows in the 40’s can seem exceptionally cold after extensive daytime sun, so you’ll want to bring warm clothing and a good sleeping bag.

High recommendation: bring goggles. Dust storms can prowl the playa in packs or sweep in a broadened front across the plain at any moment.

Clothing

Outfits are crucial on the playa. Burners are encouraged to express themselves and wear what may not normally be accepted around town and at the office – so get creative.  By visiting these clothing stores and costume shops, you will find everything you’ll need from EL-wire kits to exotic fabrics to create the perfect ensemble:

The Melting Pot World Emporium3887929476_a54f84af65

PolyEsther’s Costume Boutique

Junkee Clothing Exchange

Chocolate Walrus

Prism Magic Clothing & Imports

Bikes

A bicycle (with a bike light) is vital for enjoying the vast and burgeoning metropolis. Remember, Black Rock City turns into a decent size “town” with over 50,000 people. Here are a few shops where you can pick up your playa transportation:

Black Rock Bicyclesbm

Bicycle Bananas

Reno Bike Project

Great Basin Bicycles

Food

It is crucial to bring plenty of food and water with you on your Burning Man journey so stop by these great retailers to stock up before you head out:

Save Mart Supermarket – 525 Keystone Ave.

Trader Joe’s – 5035 South McCarran Blvd.

Whole Foods Market – 6139 South Virginia St.

Simply Water- 1070 Gentry Way

Gear

The only thing sold on the playa is ice and coffee, so don’t forget any camping necessities such as tents, flashlights, batteries, shade, and water containers. Check out:

Cabelas

Scheels

Twin City Surplus

Sierra Trading Post

For more tips, check out the Survival Guide.

Check out our pictures from last year on Flickr.