It’s the nostalgia of poodle skirts and doo-wop music … a trip back to a simpler time of drive-in diners and movies, when the car was king America and a night of fun was as easy as hopping in and cruising downtown.
That feeling still lives in Reno Tahoe, where each year thousands of car enthusiasts, ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s fanatics, and music lovers of all stripes descend on the area for Hot August Nights. The 10-day celebration (July 31-Aug. 9) is a non-stop parade of food and family fun, with events at venues throughout Reno and Sparks. Most of the events are outdoors, under the warm Sierra Nevada sun and free to visitors.
This year, organizers expect as many as 800,000 people to visit casino-hotel parking lots filled door to door with rare classics, music on stages in downtown Reno and Sparks, and events like a sock hop, a huge classic car auction and controlled cruises featuring the best cars.
And although enthusiasts travel from thousands of miles to show off classic, restored and one-off rides, Hot August Nights is far from being all about the cars. This is a cultural can’t-miss event that guarantees a good time for all.
Hot August Nights 2009 highlights:
- Peter Frampton plays John Ascuaga’s Nugget July 31
- Show-N-Shine at Cabala’s Outfitters, with raffles and giveaways Aug. 1
- Downtown Reno Show-N-Shine presented by the Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus casinos Aug. 2
- Sparks Victorian Square Craft Fair; kick-off party and cruise night at Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Aug. 3
- Guinness Book of World Records Hula Hoop contest at the Atlantis Casino Resort Aug. 4
- Controlled cruises in downtown Reno and downtown Sparks Aug. 5
- Bog Boys Toy Store at the Reno Events Center in downtown Reno Aug. 6
- Meet the stars and see the cars from American Graffiti at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Aug. 7
- Grand Sierra Resort “Best of Show” $10,000 Competition Aug. 8
- Official Hot August Nights parade in downtown Reno Aug. 9
Check out complete information online at www.hotaugustnights.net
When auto buffs think of Reno-Tahoe, it usually conjures up images of classic hotrods cruising the streets during Hot August Nights. But the National Automobile Museum in downtown Reno is giving them something new to look at.
Three new art exhibits at the museum showcase America’s (and the world’s) love affair with the automobile, and give museum-goers a new excuses to check out the museum and the ever-changing collection of antique and classic cars.
- The Art Collection of Bill and Jo Janowski showcases speed, emotion and adventure with artwork that takes moments of time and translates them into the art of the automobile in contemporary form. Racing is the common thread for the exhibit and specific cars, legendary drivers and activities of the sport are the primary subjects. Featured artists include Bill Neale, Niles Nakaoka and Lawrence Braun, all members of the Automotive Fine Arts Society.
- The Roadside Attractions exhibit showcases photography by Howard Goldbaum through June 8. During a 15,000-mile trip across the nation, Howard Goldbaum explored the artifacts of the American roadway. His photographs capture a unique element of Americana, “roadside attractions” that express the entrepreneurial spirit.
- Even in Africa is a new series of original paintings by Reno artist Robert Cinkel depicting automobiles from the Museum’s collection in intriguing locales. It will be an ongoing display. The automobiles are pictured under a starry sky in the Nevada desert, in India, Egypt and “Even in Africa.”
The National Automobile Museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for children 6 to 18 years. Children ages 5 and younger are free. Parking is free. For more information, call (775) 333-9300 or visit www.automuseum.org.
Hot August Nights is Reno and Sparks’ salute to the golden era of automobiles, where enthusiasts from around the globe come to our little corner of the Sierra Nevada to show off their hot rod handywork, check out other cars or just enjoy some good entertainment under the sun.
More than 800,000 spectators are expected for the 2008 showing. This year’s event runs from Aug. 1-10, with events, cruises, concerts and vendors every day. Some hightlights include:
- Aug. 1: $500 customer choice show n’ shine, 4-9 p.m. at the Summit Sierra Mall, 13925 S. Virginia Street
- Aug. 2: Hot August Nights River Wine Walk, 3-6 p.m. in Downtown Reno
- Aug. 3: Pre-kick-off party and show n’ shine, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in Downtown Reno
- Aug. 4: Sparks pre-kick-off party and open cruise in Downtown Sparks
- Aug. 5: Guinness Book of World Records Hula Hoop contest, 6-8 p.m. at the Atlantis Casino Resort
- Aug. 6: Classic Hot Rod Showcase, 8-8:30 p.m., Peppermill Hotel Casino
- Aug. 7: Johnny Barron and the Bel Aires live, 7-9:45 p.m. , Peppermill Hotel Casino
- Aug. 8: Ftizgerald’s Show n’ Shine, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fitzgerald’s Reno
- Aug. 9: Drag racing and burnouts, 6 p.m.-1 a.m., Reno-Fernley Raceway
- Aug. 10: Car Awards Presentation and Parade of Champions, 8:30 a.m., Downtown Reno
For a complete list of the dozens of Hot August Nights events, click here (pdf).