Did you know that there are 250 days of special events in Northern Nevada every year? That’s almost as many days of sunshine that we get up here. Special events are part of our DNA in this community—they bring us together in fun and interesting ways. To talk more about all the ways that special events in Northern Nevada influence our culture, I chatted with Ben McDonald with the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority.
Reason #1 Why We Love Special Events in Northern Nevada: Tradition
Some of the region’s iconic events have been happening for decades and are an integrated part of the community’s calendar and lives.
“I think that helps drive the success of these events that have been around for 10 years up to 100 years,” McDonald said.
For example, here are the founding years of some of Northern Nevada’s largest and oldest special events:
- 1919: Reno Rodeo
- 1959: International Camel & Ostrich Races
- 1964: National Championship Air Races
- 1972: Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
- 1981: Eldorado Great Italian Festival
- 1982: Great Reno Balloon Race
- 1986: Hot August Nights
- 1989: Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off
- 1993: Street Vibrations
- 1995: The Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews & Blues Festival
- 1996: Artown
- 1990: Burning Man (first year on the Black Rock Desert)
- 1999: Barracuda Championship (formerly the Reno–Tahoe Open)
Reason #2 Why We Love Special Events in Northern Nevada: New Experiences
When you’re in Northern Nevada, you can always count on having an adventure, and special events here are no different.
“I think one thing that’s very intrinsic to being a Nevadan is that you’re always up for anything, and you hope that something is up for you because you want to get out and you want to do things,” McDonald said.
The special events in Northern Nevada definitely fit that bill. From tasting Rocky Mountain Oysters in Virginia City (we’ll save you the Google, it’s deep-fried sheep or cattle testicles) to watching more 100 regional bands and nationally-recognized artists perform at the Off Beat Music Festival, Northern Nevada has a special event that can surprise anyone.
“We’re ready to go out and find that next adventure, and fortunately it’s all around us here,” McDonald said.
Reason #3 Why We Love Special Events in Northern Nevada: Outdoors
Northern Nevada is a special event destination from Washoe County all the way down into Carson City and Gardnerville, throughout Lake Tahoe and over to Fernley and Fallon. Most of these events generally take place between March and November, which perfectly coincides with our near perfect weather.
“We want to get outside and we want to mingle with our friends, and we want to go get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air,” McDonald said.
So, whether you’re watching hot air balloons rise over the city at the crack of dawn or enjoying a temperate summer evening watching a Shakespearean performance with the shores of Lake Tahoe in the background, northern Nevada’s weather is the perfect climate.