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Summer And Beyond: The Dynamic Dozen

The summer festival season is quickly approaching! Here are 12 of our favorite upcoming events, or what we at Reno Tahoe like to call it, the Dynamic Dozen. These events are all unique from one another and offer something for everyone. Attend these great events and experience a Reno Tahoe summer unlike any other!

June 18-27, Reno Rodeo: Dubbed the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West,” the Reno Rodeo brings together 700+ contestants to compete for over $2.5 million during this week-long event. Here you will see pro bull riding, cattle driving, bareback, women’s professional barrel racing, team roping, and much more. In addition to the rodeo events, there’s a full carnival, Double RR marketplace, and food court. Cowboys and cowgirls alike will want to come down to the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center this summer to see the impressive rodeo. Tickets are available online here.

Artown_VisitRenoTahoeJuly 1-August 1, Artown: For an entire month, Artown offers over 500 events including live music, dance, theater, performances, visual arts, workshops, multicultural events, fashion shows, tours, and much, much more. Artown takes place in various Reno and Sparks locations and brings together distinguished artists from around the world, from across the country, and from our local community. Over 60% of the Artown events are free, but a majority of the Thursday night concerts require tickets which can be purchased here.

July 10-August 23, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival: Taking place at the Theater at Sand Harbor State Park, this year’s festival will showcase two Shakespeare favorites, Romeo and Juliet and The Fantasticks. Showings for these plays are every Tuesday to Sunday night and tickets are available here. A different performance will be featured every Monday during the Monday Night Showcase. Enjoy gourmet food options and wine tastings at Shakespeare’s Kitchen, or bring your own picnic dinner to the show! The full list with ticket information is available here.

August 3-9, Barracuda Championship, PGA Tour Golf Tournament: See golf pros play at one of 47 stops on the PGA tour at the Montrêux Golf & Country Club located in Northern Nevada. These 132 PGA Tour professionals will play the beautiful, yet challenging course as they compete for a $3 million purse and 300 FedExCup points. Watch up close and personal as the pros play some incredible golf! Tickets for the event are available here.

HotAugustNights_VisitRenoTahoeAugust 4-9, Hot August Nights: See restored hot rods and muscle cars during the largest classic car and nostalgic event in the country, Hot August Nights. Taking place across Reno and Sparks, this event brings together, not only 5,000+ classic cars, but an entertainment line-up from some of the greatest decades in music. Show-n-Shines, drag races, controlled cruises, concerts, a swap meet, sock hop, prom, and classic car auction are just some of the great events at this popular festival. More information is available through their website here.

August 6-8, Hot August Nights Auction Presented by Barrett-Jackson: Barrett-Jackson brings the World’s Greatest Car Collector Auctions to Reno during Hot August Nights. The auction will take place at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center from Thursday to Saturday during the car festival. Attendees will be able to bid on and purchase cars from Barrett-Jackson’s selection of car AND take the car directly from the auction block to the streets to participate in a cruise or show-n-shine! More information about the auction is available here.

BurningMan_VisitRenoTahoe

August 31-September 7, Burning Man: Head to the heart of the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada to meet up with over 65,000 other Burners for this week-long festival. Here you will participate in the temporary metropolis that is dedicated to preserving community, art, self-expression, self-reliance, and more. The meaning of this festival varies from each attendee, but one thing is for sure, you have to experience it for yourself! Spend a week getting away from it all by reconnecting with your self and others in this popular desert festival. Ticket information is available here.

September 2-7, Best In The West Nugget Rib Cook-off: BBQ lovers won’t want to miss out on America’s best rib cook off hosted by JA Nugget in Sparks. This favorite food festival brings over 24 cookers together to show off their BBQ expertise. In addition to delicious, fall-off-the-bone ribs, the cook-off will have other BBQ favorites, sweet treats, live entertainment, special brews and drinks, shopping vendors, and so on. More information about the BBQ’ers and the 2015 event is available through their website here.

TheGreatRenoBalloonRace_VisitRenoTahoeSeptember 11-13, The Great Reno Balloon Race: At the crack of dawn, at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, you will be able to see nearly 100 hot air balloons start to rise into the air for the Great Reno Balloon Race. This colorful event is in its 34th year and a Reno favorite. This is truly one sight worth waking up for! More information is available through their website here.

September 16-20, National Championship Air Races: At the 52nd annual event, spectators can see six different race plane classes battle just 60 feet from the ground and have close-up access to racing aircraft, pilots, and pit crews. Located at the Reno Stead Airport, you will be able to view a world class air show, military display and demonstrations, aircraft display and awesome concessions. You won’t want to miss this world renown event! Ticket information is available here.

September 23-27, Street Vibrations Fall Rally: Immerse your self in compete motorcycle culture during the Fall Rally in downtown Reno. Featuring the celebration of metal, music, and motorcycles, Street Vibrations is something bike lovers and metal music fans won’t want to miss. This event brings over 50,000 motorcycles enthusiasts together for tours, live entertainment, ride-in shows, stunt shows, and more.  More information can be found here.

Blue Jeans JamOctober 2-4, Blue Jeans Jam: Come experience the world of denim at Reno Tahoe’s newest festival, Blue Jeans Jam. Inspired by Reno tailor, Jacob Davis, and his work with Levi Strauss, this festival is centered around all aspects of blue jeans and the good old USA. At the festival, you can attend rock and country concerts, presentations from leaders in the denim world, a jean marketplace with vendors from all over the country, a mini film festival dedicated to history of blue jeans, discounts at local spas, specialty foods and drinks, and much more. This unique event is something fashion lovers and country music fans won’t want miss out on! For more information, check out the website here.

For more information on the Dynamic Dozen and more events in Reno Tahoe, check out the full brochure here.

The Great Reno Balloon Race 2014

It’s worth the wake! Be dazzled by hundreds of colorful balloons as they rise above Reno, September 5-7! It’s the largest FREE hot-air balloon event in the world!

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Glow Shows
Beginning at 5:00am on Saturday and Sunday, a handful of glowing balloons will act as a beacon to those sleepy spectators making their way to the launch field. Friday morning only is the Super Glow Show starting at 5:15 a.m. This new feature showcases 20+ balloons glowing and twinkling to music across the field.

Dawn Patrol
A trademark of The Great Reno Balloon Race worth the early rise, the show features a handful of balloons that are qualified to fly in the dark. This is a dangerous task as atmospheric conditions change drastically as the sun begins to rise. Balloonists glow, twinkle and fly along with choreographed music across a darkened sky, leaving the crowd awe struck. Saturday and Sunday only starting at 5:30 a.m.

T-6 Formation Fly Over
Each morning during the national anthem, just as the American flag is presented for Mass Ascension, spectators will be thrilled by a T-6 formation fly over. Thanks to our partnership with National Championship Air Races, visitors can experience just a brief taste of what the Air Races are all about.

Mass Ascension Launch
Starting at 6:45am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, nearly 100 balloons will launch from Rancho San Rafael Park. The splendor of these unique and beautiful balloons thrills the crowd as they enjoy the multitude of vibrant sights and sounds in the early morning light.

Balloon Boulevard
Crafts, souvenirs, food and warm drinks await spectators at the concession line. Official posters may also be purchased here along with official Balloon Race clothing and memorabilia. We encourage you to visit and support our vendors as they are part of the reason this event continues to be free.

Check out the list of participating balloons this year – from Darth Vader, to the soccer ball, to Smokey the Bear, to chili peppers, to beagles to fish – this year’s event has it all!

What’s New at the 2013 Great Reno Balloon Race

New balloons, brew, Super Glow Show, and mobile app at this year’s Great Reno Balloon Race

Twitter photo: @renoballoonAnyone who has been to Dawn Patrol knows it’s worth the early wakeup call, as a handful of colorful balloons light up the early morning sky. This year, the Great Reno Balloon Race team is supersizing the Glow Show at Dawn Patrol for a wowing spectacle. Between 50-100 balloons are expected to participate in Friday morning’s 5:15 a.m. Glow Show – it’s even choreographed to music!

New special-shaped balloons you’ll see in this year’s race include a Spider Pig and a Hummingbird Jewel! Can you spot them in the poster?

Download the new mobile app from the App Store or Google Play for an updated event schedule, and finder for balloons, pilots and vendors.

The new Dawn Patrol Brew, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Dawn Patrol, was created by Great Basin Brewing Co.

Cheers!

DARTH VADER AND MORE SHAPE BALLOONS TOP 2012 GREAT RENO BALLOON RACE

IMG_3327Darth Vader and a fleet of “Imperial Stormtroopers” return to the 31st annual Great Reno Balloon Race, the largest free hot-air ballooning event in the world. Set for Sept. 7-9, 2012 at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, Reno, Nev., another milestone includes the most special shaped balloons in a decade. First time balloons confirmed to date include “Shark,” “Planet Earth,” “Pondemonium” and “Strawberry Heights.” Look to the Reno skies for the return of fan favorites “Smokey Bear,” “Sushi,” “Party Panda” and “Soccer Ball.”

“How does the largest free hot-air ballooning event in the world, top itself each year? Simple. We bring in more special shape balloons and offer more,” Pete Copeland, executive director of the Great Reno Balloon Race said. “Right now our goal is to confirm our special shape balloons and determine our final number. It’s been very positive and it looks like for the first time in several years we’ll see more than 100 balloons. We’re also adding more family focused activities, new concessions and a new layout to enhance the overall festival feel and total experience for the event.”

The 86-foot tall Darth Vader balloon, which depicts the infamous black helmet from the Star Wars villain, travels from Belgium and is making its second flight at the Great Reno Balloon Race. Exclusive rides for the Darth Vader balloon and balloons during Dawn Patrol will be auctioned off on eBay.com starting in July.

The “Sushi” and “Shark” balloons will be tethered this year for the Children’s Cabinet, so at-risk kids can experience team building and the joy of a hot-air balloon flight.

For information about The Great Reno Balloon Race including reserved VIP parking passes, volunteering and sponsorship contact 775-826-1181 or visit online www.renoballoon.com.

THE FORCE WILL BE STRONG AT THE 2011 RENO BALLOON RACES

darth_vader5Prepare yourself for something far from expected at this year’s Great Reno Balloon Race. While walking on Rancho San Rafael’s scenic fairgrounds between the nylon walls of traditional, vibrantly colored hot air balloons, take a moment to stand back and gaze at the sprouting horizon as you might spot a balloon that stands out amongst its cheery peers.

Fans will come face to face with their favorite Sith Lord. The highly anticipated 86-foot tall Darth Vader balloon will be traveling all the way from Belgium for the 30th Anniversary of the Great Reno Balloon Race. Pilots Benoit and Michel Lambert have traveled all over the world with the balloon, making appearances in countries such as France, Thailand and Canada.

As this is Darth Vader’s first journey to the Biggest Little City, we encourage you to welcome the Dark Side of the Force by sporting your best Star Wars gear to the Balloon Races.

Other unique shapes to be seen at this year’s race include: The Bonanza Casino sponsored soccer ball, The Wilbur May Foundation’s Hopper T. Frog, and Betty Jean, a new butterfly balloon. For more information on this year’s participating balloons and sponsorship options, visit www.renoballoon.com or call (775) 826-1181.

May the force be with you.

For more information go the Event Calendar at VisitRenoTahoe.com.

Great Reno Balloon Race Prepares for Event Milestone

Reno BalloonThe Great Reno Balloon Race will be proudly showing its colors for the event’s 30th anniversary this Sept. 9, 10 and 11. This year’s milestone event promises lots of surprises for friends and family, but it can only happen with the support of the community through sponsorships, which are available now.

“The Balloon Race has been such a special part of the community for three decades,” said Pilar Aldecoaotalora, Board President. “This is why sponsorships are so important. We wouldn’t have the same spectacular event if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors.”

In addition to a one-of-a-kind experience, all sponsorship levels are a great way to show client or employee appreciation, celebrate a birthday or anniversary,  promote company team-building and support this one of a kind community event. Sponsorships, which range from a $899 Family Sponsorship to the customizable Major Sponsorship, are truly the only way to fly during the event. Sponsors who sign up early will receive recognition in the Balloon Race e-newsletter and Balloon Race Web Site as an early sponsor.

Event officials are also excited to announce the addition of a new sponsorship opportunity, the One-Day Sponsorship at $399, which gives sponsors the opportunity to fly on any one day of the Balloon Race while helping make a difference for the event.

The celebration will take place at its traditional location, Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. The Balloon Race, which began with just 20 balloons in 1982, has grown to showcase more than 100 balloons and pilots from as far away as New Zealand and Switzerland. On average, 150,000 spectators from all over the world come to share in the wonder of this three-day event, which has continued as a free event for 30 years only due to generous sponsor support. For more information about sponsorships, the 2011 event or to make a donation, call the Balloon Race hotline at (775) 826-1181 or visit www.renoballoon.com.

Thanks to the continued support of generous sponsors, The Great Reno Balloon Race
continues as the nation’s largest free hot-air ballooning event for its 30th year.

-Rebecca Wikler

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

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

Love is in the Air – Literally.

BalloonsMany people know exactly how their dream wedding will play out, right down to the flowers, music, weather and cake flavor. Are you among those who have fantasized about getting married in the sky?

The Great Reno Balloon Race is offering that once-in-a-lifetime experience this fall! On September 11, 2010 you can get married at The Great Reno Balloon Race! All eyes will be on you as the first bridal couple to wed at this internationally renowned hot-air balloon festival. Featured on the graceful rolling hills of Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, this dramatic event is the perfect backdrop to your dream wedding. Experience the beauty and excitement of a glorious morning wedding as a rainbow of hot-air balloons drift above your magical and romantic ceremony; this will be a spectacular wedding to remember! The Love is in the Air Wedding* will be awarded to the highest bidding couple. This exclusive destination wedding package will be provided to the lucky bride and groom by the Weddings of the West Association.

The All inclusive premier Wedding Package is valued at over $58,000+ and includes:

  • Wedding and reception for 25 guests at The Great Reno Balloon Race
  • Hot-air balloon ride directly following wedding***
  • Wedding consultant
  • Catering
  • Decorating****
  • Florists****
  • Music/musicians****
  • Tuxedos****
  • Limousine service
  • Bridal Suite & fine dining
  • Choice of two unique honeymoons
  • Hair & make-up for bride****
  • Make-up for bridal party****
  • Officiants
  • Photographers****
  • Videographer
  • Wedding Invitations and collateral
  • Wedding cake

The current bid is $9,600 and bidding closes TONIGHT at the stroke of midnight!

For more information please click here, call 775-826-1181 or email wedding@renoballoon.com. All proceeds from this wedding package go to The Great Reno Balloon Race, which is a non-profit community event.

Up, up and away: The 2009 Great Reno Balloon Race takes off

It was nearing our scheduled 7 a.m. launch time, and pilot David Wakefield was busy with last-minute details: checking rigging, test-firing the burners, tethering the balloon to the bumper of the chase vehicle. And he was doing it all with a grin stretching from ear to ear.

Such is the life of a balloon pilot during the Great Reno Balloon Race. Safety is first, but fun runs a close second. And Wakefield was obviously having fun.

“When you love something this much, it never gets old,” he said. He ran from one side of the balloon to the other, all the while trading jokes with our fellow passengers and doing the “work” of preparing for our ascent in the Harrah’s-sponsored balloon.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Thursday’s media day event was a scaled down version of what visitors to Reno’s Rancho San Rafael Park (map) can expect this weekend (Sept. 11-13). About two-dozen balloons were set out in the park’s green pastures, propane burners blasting hot air as the colorful nylon bloomed all around us. My first ride in a balloon offered perfect conditions, as the sun peaked over the Virginia Range to the east. It was majestic.

Our route took us in a box formation about 1,500 feet up where we mingled with other balloons and traded positions with fellow fliers. The silence is the striking thing – interrupted only by the occasional burner blast that would give us our lift. From our vantage point, we could see all of the Truckee Meadows, with the cities of Reno and Sparks laid out before us. We floated east, then south above the University of Nevada campus. With predictable wind, and luck of the draw, a draft brought us back almost directly to where we started.

With a master’s touch, Wakefield set us down about 100 feet from our original launch site. And with my first flight under my belt, I stepped out of the basket, grinning from ear to ear. This would never get old.

The Great Reno Balloon Race 2009

  • When: Sept. 11-13
  • Where: Rancho San Rafael Park, Reno
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Time: Events starting at dawn
  • On the Web: www.RenoBalloon.com