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Eldorado Great Italian Festival Highlights

Sights, Sounds and Flavors of Italy Come to Downtown Reno during the Eldorado Great Italian Festival, October 12 and 13.

For 32 years, the Eldorado has brought the sights, sounds and flavors of Italy to downtown Reno during the Eldorado Great Italian Festival. The festival, held each year over Columbus Day weekend, is a celebration of Italian culture and traditions.

1265017_10151900723901461_935297455_oSet for October 12 and 13, the festival transforms downtown Reno into Little Italy with a grape stomp, sauce cookers competition, an Italian farmer’s market, bocce ball, kids’ gelato eating contest, Ferrari car display, Italian Buffet and incredible, free, live entertainment all weekend long.

The music line-up includes festival favorites such as, Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms, Moreno Fruzzetti, Tre Bella, Bella Ciao, Capuano n’ T Rock and Primo Basso. Joining the festival this year are the Nevada Opera, Martin Bonventre, and Italian pop singer and world-class whistler, Michael Barimo.

A crowd favorite year after year continues to be the Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off.  Italian families from across the West Coast bring their recipes to life right on the street for guests to taste. Pasta tasting bowls will be sold for $3 at the pasta booth on the corner of 4th and Virginia streets starting at 2 p.m. daily.

No Italian Festival would be complete without plenty of homemade Italian food! The Eldorado’s Famous Italian Dinner Buffet will be served in the Eldorado Convention Center on Saturday and in The Buffet on Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. Guests can enjoy an array of Italian specialties including handmade pasta dishes, osso bucco, eggplant parmesan, clamari with lemon butter, capers and basil, and many others as well as an assortment of homemade Italian salads and desserts, including the Eldorado’s famous gelato and tiramisu!

There are plenty of offerings street side as well— traditional Italian fare including house-made pastas, deep fried raviolis, meatball and sausage sandwiches, garlic bread, grilled flatbread, the Eldorado’s famous mushroom ravioli and more.

Festival Highlights:

-        Wilson_H F2011 RSCVA Italian Festival_0001Pasta bowls for sauce tasting will be sold for $3 at the pasta booth on the corner of 4th and Virginia streets starting at 2 p.m. daily.  Don’t wait, they go fast!

-        Grape stomping is fun, free and open to the public Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Members of the media, politicians and local celebrities stomp Sunday starting at 11 a.m. The grape stomping stage is located on the train trench plaza on the south side of the Eldorado.

-        The Ferrari Club of America will have more than 30 specialty cars in a special Ferrari display on 4th Street all weekend.

-        A bocce ball tournament for competitive players begins Saturday at 8 a.m. on the train trench plaza on the south side of the Eldorado. There is a $10 sign-up fee.  Stop by Sunday for free beginner and family play starting at 10 a.m.

-        An Italian Farmers Market with fresh fruits and vegetables will run all day Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

-        An Italian Mercado, located on Virginia St between 3rd Street and Commercial Row, will feature cannolis, garlic bread sticks, sourdough flutes, gelato and coffee from the Eldorado Coffee Company. The Mercado will also have items such as olive oils, vinegars, aprons, fresh cut flowers, Italian cookbooks, dried pastas, Italian meats and more.

-        The Eldorado’s Famous Italian Dinner Buffet will be served in the Eldorado Convention Center at 4 p.m. on Saturday and in The Buffet at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for $26.99 for adults, $13.99 for kids 10 and under and $21.99 for Eldorado Gold Card members and above.

-        A Kids’ gelato eating contest will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the grape stomp stage.

Italian Festival Entertainment Schedule:

Saturday, October 12

ROME STAGE – 4th and Virginia Streets

9:30-10:15       Nevada Opera

10:30-12:00     Michael Barimo

12:30-2:00       Tre Bella

2:00-2:15         Grease

2:30-4:00         Moreno Fruzzetti

4:30-6:00         Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms

VENICE STAGE – 3rd and Virginia Streets

10:30-11:30     Martin Bonaventre

12:00-1:30       Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms

2:00-3:30         Bella Ciao

4:00-5:30         Capuano n’T Rock

Direct from Italy


Sunday, October13

ROME STAGE – 4th and Virginia Streets

9:30-11:00       Bella Ciao

11:30-1:00       Michael Barimo

1:15-1:30         Grease

1:45-3:15         Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms

3:45-5:15         Moreno Fruzzetti

VENICE STAGE – 3rd and Virginia Streets
10:00-11:30     Primo Basso Band
12:00- 1:30      Tre Bella
2:00 – 3:00      Martin Bonaventre
4:00 – 5:30      Capuano n’ T Rock
Direct from Italy