Can you name which Nevada city hosts the most events each year?
If you didn't guess Reno Tahoe, it's time to peer through the gilded veneer of Las Vegas to discover a whole different side of Nevada.
Dubbed 'The Biggest Little City in the World', Reno doesn't need an occasion to warrant a party; remarkably, it hosts a whopping 290 days of festivals, concerts and competitions each year. With spring already upon us, let's take a look at five sizzling summer events that have the Canadian Traveller office buzzing.
1. Street Vibrations Motorcycle Rally
Date: June 3-5, 2016
Location: Various venues, see schedule
Reno Tahoe knows motorcycle season doesn't truly open until the arrival of Street Vibrations Motorcycle Rally. Enthusiasts can make a long or short trip of it: cruise down to Nevada on your own bike, rent one upon arrival, or simply take it all in on two feet.
The rally, now in its eighth year, promises to be a weekend packed with over eighty vendor booths, competitive slow bike races, ride-in shows, poker runs, and scavenger hunts.
For those just along for the ride, Street Vibrations is worth a trip for the music alone. Live entertainment across six stages is set to be rockin' all weekend long.
Can't make the spring rally? Don't worry! Street Vibrations Fall Rally takes place September 21-25, 2016.
2. Hot August Nights
Date: August 2-7, 2016
Location: Various venues and locations throughout the city; check the schedule.
One of the premier classic car and culture festivals in the United States, Hot August Nights is all about keeping things cool. For five days in August Reno and Sparks will pay serious homage to hot rods, muscle cars and rebuilt classics.
This year marks the 30th anniversary, which means the festival will shift into high gear. Admire the models up for sale at the MAG Auction, on display at the show-n-shines, and racing the clock at AutoCross, a timed obstacle event. There will also be high octane events like drag racing, burnouts and night cruises.
In between watching proud owners show off cherry red, chromed out classics, visitors will enjoy live music of the times. Tap your toe to tunes from the 50's, 60's, and 70's, performed by acclaimed musicians and the nation's most talented tribute bands.
Come pay tribute to a bygone era, drool over your dream car, swap tips and soak up the good vibes.
3. The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off
Sparks Victorian Square
Date: August 31- September 5, 2016
Location: Sparks Victorian Square
Reno Tahoe may not have its own unique barbecue style but it sure knows how to tuck into a deep dish of ribs. Over Labor Day weekend Sparks comes alive when 24 of the best rib cookers gather for one of the most finger-licking foodie festivals around. There's plenty on offer, but rest assured, it will be lathered in smoky, tangy deliciousness.
What happens when you add a dash of competition? You get the Nugget World Rib Eating Championship. Peckish festival-goers don't have to pick a side in the BBQ war, merely take a seat and savour it. After cheering on the competitors, satiate your own palate. There will be plenty of food and drink vendors on site, or get yourself a ticket to unlimited ribs in the VIP Rib Village.
All food will be enjoyed with a complimentary side of live music. Once you've loosened your belt, sit back and enjoy the tunes of 40 bands performing across multiple stages. Is there any better way to salute the waning days of summer?
4. The Great Reno Balloon Race
Rancho San Rafael Park
Date: September 9-11, 2016
Location: Rancho San Rafael Park, 1595 N Sierra Street, Reno 89503
Showered with accolades like "Best Special Event in Northern Nevada" and boasting the title of world's largest free hot air balloon festival, the 35th annual Great Reno Balloon Race is one colourful spectacular you don't want to miss. Come and share in the whimsy of 100 multi-coloured balloons splashed across the sky.
Rise early to catch a magical Dawn Patrol show, or point your viewfinder skyward to capture Mass Ascension. (Don't forget to bring a blanket, dawn can be chilly!) Kids and adults alike will love special-shaped balloon parades and the twinkling, musically choreographed Super Glow Show.
Between events visitors should be sure to stop by Balloon Boulevard to fuel up on some of Reno's best food. Peruse vendors from throughout Nevada selling crafts, art, and other souvenirs.
5. National Championship Air Races
Date: September 14-18, 2016
Location: Reno-Stead Airport,4895 Texas Ave, Reno 89506
Celebrating its 53rd anniversary this year, the National Championship Air Races are officially the longest running air race in the world. With six different race classes and the only closed course pylon racing event, visitors can't help but leap to their feet in awe as pilots navigate their planes at top speed just 15 metres above the ground.
Event-goers can also tour the air show that showcases military aircraft, classic planes, and demonstrations. This is your chance to view the fastest vehicles in the world up close and personal.
While the races are enough to get your adrenaline pumping, the legendary Blue Angels have returned to the National Championship Air Races. Admire the skills of top-notch pilots as they deftly execute wing-to-wing aerial acrobatics.
Want more Reno Tahoe Events?
Check out the full event schedule: