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The Eleventh Nevada Chamber Music Festival Begins!

We’re just hours away from the first concert in the 11th annual Nevada Chamber Music Festival!

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Tickets are still available for all the Festival concerts. Purchase them online, or by calling the RCO office at (775) 348-9413. You can also buy tickets at the door starting 45 minutes before each performance.

The best in music get underway tonight at 7:00 at Nightingale Concert Hall, in the Church Fine Arts Building at the University of Nevada, Reno (1335 N. Virginia Street – click here for directions). Husband-and-wife pianists Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang will present an exciting Festival-opening duo recital with music by Schubert and Rachmaninoff.

Tomorrow – Saturday, December 27 at 7:00 p.m. – go to Nightingale Concert Hall for “The Concertmasters of Berlin and Los Angeles,” featuring Noah Bendix-Balgley of the Berlin Philharmonic and Martin Chalifour of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This will be a unique opportunity to hear the concertmasters of two of the world’s greatest orchestras!

Come a little early Saturday evening and enjoy a free pre-concert talk/festival preview featuring Theodore Kuchar, Festival Artistic Director and violist, in conversation with Chris Morrison. It gets underway at 6:15 p.m. inside Nightingale Concert Hall.

Of course there are many outstanding performances to follow on the 28th through the 31st. Read all about them at our website, where you’ll also find program notes, performer bios, and morNCMF 2012 Lenz Atapine Weiss smalle.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Grand Sierra Resort

Top off your New Year’s Eve with the RCO by joining the Festival musicians and fellow music lovers at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino for our Post-Concert Dinner-Celebration, which gets underway right after the Masterworks Concert No. 4 the evening of Wednesday, December 31. Cost is $110 per person. A package featuring tickets to both the Masterworks Concert No. 4 and the Post-Concert Dinner is also available for $135 per person. Deadline for Dinner signups is Monday, December 29 at 9:00 a.m. To find out more about the Dinner or to purchase tickets, call the RCO office at (775) 348-9413.

Locals are Glowing with Holiday Spirit!

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One of the best parts about the holiday season is all the decorations that people put together. Some people put Christmas lights on their houses the day after Thanksgiving and some turn their lights on even earlier. Checking out Christmas light displays is one of the most fun and easiest ways to get into the holiday spirit, and it’s a great family activity. If you’re wondering where to find the best collection of holiday lights, we’ve found some great places around town with extremely festive decorations!

Lights of Tenea is an extremely popular residential lights show that has been a local favorite since 2004. This year’s show will top those of previous years with wild decorations such as eleven animated fireworks, seven animated characters, six lasers and three special effects lights, falling snow effects, and over forty six thousand lights! All of that and more will definitely inspire you to do some decorating of your own! This local show has always been spectacular, but perhaps the best part is their involvement in charity work. The homeowners of the Tenea house started fundraising for Evelyn Mount’s Outreach Program back in 2006 and soon after added Friends of Multiple Sclerosis and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to their efforts. Visit their website for directions, show times, and more information on the Lights of Tenea history and their fundraising programs.

In Sparks on Junction Drive the Light Show Bro will be performing his synchronized musical light show now through December 31st. At this show you will see thousands of lights synchronized to a 13 minute mix of music, which you can listen to on the radio at 89.3 FM or through their website. This year donations for the Northern Nevada SPCA, so viewers are encouraged to bring item such as dog food, cat food, blankets, and cleaning supplies. For a full list of necessities and wish list items, check out the SPCA tab on their website.

A local holiday light fanatic is a finalist for USA Today’s America’s Best Private Holiday Lights competition. Jeff Kendell’s home, which is located on Solitude Drive in Galena, is decorated with over 30,000 lights that are synchronized to four festive songs. This home has been covered in holiday decorations for eight years, and Kendell has no plans of slowing down. According to the homeowner and decorator, the display takes “110 hours to put up and another 70 to take down, plus 60 to 120 hours to program each song.” Dedication like that has surely paid off, and this display is not one to miss!

The Hidden Valley Parade of Lights has been lighting up east Reno for 32 years. The Christmas light displays in the neighborhood is a contest of the homeowners association that always attracts viewers from the public. The neighborhood tradition gets many homes to participate, and it’s a great spot to go for some holiday light viewing. To enter the neighborhood take Pembroke Avenue east from McCarran Boulevard and drive past Rosewood Lakes Golf Course. Once you see the holiday lights you’ll know you’re in the right place!

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.

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.

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.

New Non-stop between London and Reno Tahoe

The British are coming, the British are coming!

Just announced: a new non-stop flight between London Gatwick Airport and Reno-Tahoe International Airport beginning December 19, 2015.

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The twice-a-week service between Reno Tahoe and London, England on Thomas Cook Airlines will bring the lads to the Lake. This is the first ever non-stop scheduled service between Reno Tahoe and Europe, and it is the second international air service announcement for the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in the past 30 days. The airport announced a non-stop service to Guadalajara, Mexico on Volaris Airlines starting this December 16 (2014) and now next December, there will be a few more British accents on the slopes.

The twice-weekly flight will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays and on an Airbus 330 and will run from December 19, 2015 through April 9, 2016, adding lift for the winter ski season.

Buy your cheap flight now! Enjoy world-class ski resorts and entertainment from £399 return.

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Sparks Hometowne Christmas 2013

Sparks is kicking off their holiday season with a holly jolly weekend of festivities!

The Hometowne Christmas Parade: Celebrating 150 years of Nevada Heritage honors the Sesquicentennial – 150 years of Statehood for Nevada!  Come downtown on December 7 for a traditional Christmas parade along with entertainment, photos with Santa, and arts and crafts. The tree lighting ceremony will be Friday night with the parade on Saturday at 1pm.

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Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday December 6, 2013 6:30-7:00 pm

Gather ‘round as Mayor Martini turns the lights on the glorious tree. Event includes carolers and great entertainment. New surprises are afoot, come and be a part! Refreshments courtesy of John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

Hometowne Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 7, 2013, Parade: 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Come down early and get hot chocolate compliments of Living Stones Church. Check in on Santa at Santa’s Village in the Schoolhouse, where the elves from the Boys and Girls Clubs keep the Santa in merry mood. Warm up with great Christmas shopping at the Hometowne Craft Faire in the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, at Victorian and Pyramid Highway.

Ugly Sweater Run

Saturday, December 7 at 10:00am.

Registration available at Scheels Customer Service starting November 1, 2013.

FEE: $20 OR New Toy Donation  – 100% of the proceeds will benefit Toys for Tots!

Christmas on the Comstock

This Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, Virginia City, Nev. kicks off its annual holiday tradition, Christmas on the Comstock. Located just 25 miles from Reno, the town boasts the Parade of Lights, a country Christmas concert and Breakfast with Father Christmas. The festivities continue throughout the month with unique gifts and boutique holiday shopping at local merchants.

Breakfast with Father Christmas – Dec. 7, 9 – 11 a.m.

Join Father Christmas for breakfast, photos and a chance to share Christmas wishes at Piper’s Opera House. Price: Adults $10, Kids $8.

The Candy Cane Express Trains –Dec. 7-8 and 14-15. Two departures daily: noon and 2 p.m.

Create holiday memories aboard the Candy Cane Express Holiday Train on the famous Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Delight with visits from the Candy Cane Sisters while sipping hot chocolate, spiced apple cider and enjoying delicious cookies and candy canes. Price: $14 adults, $7 children, ages 2 and under free. Purchase tickets online.

Christmas Movies at Piper’s Opera House Dec. 7, 12 – 4 p.m.

Bring the kids to watch classic Christmas movies at the historic Piper’s Opera House before the Parade of Lights. Price: FREE.

Christmas on the Comstock Parade of Lights – Dec. 7, 5 p.m.

Bundle up and gather along C Street for Virginia City’s only evening parade and watch as the town lights up with Christmas cheer. Price: FREE.

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Christmas in the Sierra – Concert with David John & The Comstock Cowboys, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Bring your cowboy boots and Santa hat to this boot-stomping good time with David John and the Comstock Cowboys for a country Christmas concert at Piper’s Opera House. Buy your tickets in advance online. Price:  $25.

Photos with Father Christmas – Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Stop by the Virginia City Visitors Center at 86 South C Street to meet Father Christmas and create a holiday memory. Call 775-847-7500 for more information.

Virginia City Merchant Christmas Gift Giveaway, Dec. 7 – Dec. 30, merchant business hours vary.

Pick up a lucky number card at Forever Christmas, The Mark Twain Museum or the Visitor Center for a chance to win one of 2,000 free gifts at over 20 participating merchants. Price: FREE.

Gingerbread Social and Charity Auction – Dec. 8, 5 p.m.
Enter your gingerbread creation for a chance to win fabulous prizes at Piper’s Opera House. Price: FREE.

To purchase tickets and for more information on Christmas on the Comstock events taking place in Virginia City, Nev., visit online or call the Virginia City Tourism Commission at 775-847-7500.

COME ONE, COME ALL to the 2013 Reno Santa Pub Crawl

Reno Santa Pub Crawl has become more than a bar crawl, it’s a weekend long holiday jubilee that gets everyone into the Christmas Spirit. Here’s a guide to do it right:

Reno Arch for 2011 Santa CrawlThe Crawl

It’s that time of year again when thousands of Santas descend upon downtown Reno to enjoy good spirits and yule-tide cheer.  Over 13,000 holiday-clad wassailers are expected to enjoy the jolly 13th year of the Reno Santa Pub Crawl!  Additional bars, pre-Crawl festivities, Friday night fun and Santa Skiing will make it an entire weekend of charitable, holiday FUN!

THE ANNUAL PHOTO UNDER THE ARCH IS AT 10PM THIS YEAR — DON’T BE LEFT OUT!

The Reno Santa Pub Crawl is like NO other event – after all, it’s the the largest Santa Pub Crawl in the country.  Ya, kind of a big deal, and that’s all thanks to YOU!!

And now, we proudly present….

THE RULES TO CRAWL BY

  • Crawlers MUST be at least 21 years old!  ID’s WILL be checked!  Bring valid ID.
  • Crawlers MUST wear appropriate attire!  A complete Santa suit, Mrs. Claus suit, snowman, elf or some other festive decoration are not only part of the deal but exceedingly FUN!  And, it will get you in free to official crawl bars.
  • Get into the giving spirit!  True old school Santas bring extra Santa hats or some other ingenious festive item to give out to random people.  Ladies love this.  Actually, so do gents.
  • Do your part for the charity – Support the Claus by frequenting those establishments highlighted on the Official Map.
  • This is a free event ~ there are no tickets to purchase to participate, (drinks unfortunately, you must pay for.)  If you’d like to Support the Claus, get yourself a cool official cup which gives you discounted drinks and free cover to all of the bars. Chocolate Walrus, Prism Magic, Junkee, Adam and Eve in Carson are official Santa Crawl cups shops.
  • Remember to pace yourself and drink water.  There are over 60 bars to visit and you should try to check them out.  That is your challenge should you choose to accept it.
  • Keep in mind your tasty beverages must be finished before leaving each establishment.
  • Try not to hang out in the same place for more than 20-30 minutes.  It’s a CRAWL!  It’s going to be quite a feat to hit all 60+ venues as it is!
  • Don’t forget to tip your bartenders, etc.  They deserve it for putting up with all the shenanigaaa….holiday spirit!
  • Spontaneously sing carols.
  • Don’t drink and drive – get a discounted hotel room! Use code SANTA13 at Silver Legacy.
  • Keep in mind that this event will be at least 12 plus hours of non-stop Christmas spirit & debauchery.
  • Have FUN!!!

Pre-Crwl:

Thursday

At 7 p.m. on the casino floor by Aura Ultra Lounge $2,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top three naughtiest or nicest pub crawl outfit at the $2,500 “Miss Elf: Naughty or Nice” contest. Get there early or register online at www.silverlegacy.com. And don’t miss the after-party at Rum Bullions, beginning at 9 p.m.!

Friday

Scout out the bars for the crawl and find your loved one’s and yourself a $5 Charitable Contribution for a Commemorative Cup. This Cup will bring you much joy during the course of Saturday Night and on into the wee hours of Sunday morning. With your Cup, you will receive DRINK SPECIALS and FREE entrance to all the 2013 Santa Crawl BARS!

Saturday Morning

Santas in full costume will receive $39 lift tickets to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe – just 30 min from Reno for the SANTA SKI CRAWL.

The Great Santa Dash

Max out on holiday cheer and participate in the Great Santa Dash the morning of the Reno Santa Pub Crawl! Sport a festive Christmas costume if you want to avoid Santa’s naughty list, plus all adult santas (21+) will receive a FREE SANTA CRAWL CUP!

Crawl, drink & be merry!

Holiday Discount Guide for Local Reno Businesses

This season, downtown businesses have generated a one-of-a-kind shopping guide that is packed full of hundreds of dollars in savings, discounts and freebies.

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Through December 31st, shoppers can pick up what’s called a holiday dash guide filled with dozens of deals towards local brands and local flavors with big savings for services, retail, cocktails and seasonal dining in the cities hippest and fastest growing neighborhoods. The coupon guide is available HERE for instant download and at participating merchant locations in all three districts.

The offers include everything from a 2-for-1 drink discount, $300 gift certificates towards your next tattoo, $1 tacos, salon packages and discounts on specialty coffee!