During Hot August Nights August 6-11, 2013, cars are "cherry" and cruisin' is "too cool." According the Hot August Nights organization, more than 800,000 people flock to the events where cars are the stars and rock 'n roll rules through dozens of concerts, controlled cruises, show-n-shines, a sock hop and much more! Plenty of shopping can be found at the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, Big Boy Toy Store, Hot August Nights Swap Meet. So much to do, so much to see, make your plans to visit Hot August Nights today!
About 7:30 on the evening of Saturday, August 1, 1986, the Reno-Sparks Convention Center was bursting at the seams. Hundreds of revelers were still outside, partying, cheering and pushing to be let in to a first-time event of a magnitude yet to be realized. Inside, ten thousand applauding teen- agers of the 50's & 60's" were massed together in anticipation of seeing and hearing the Righteous Brothers, Wolfman Jack, and Jan & Dean...live!
It was an event whose time had come. The pent-up demand was there, waiting for someone with foresight and vision to unleash the nostalgia of the 50's & 60's... a time of innocence, prosperity, cars and the birth of Rock and Roll. We "Baby Boomers" were ready to return to the good times, the "happy days," our youth. The weather was right - HOT; the place was right - RENO; the time was right - AUGUST -- HOT AUGUST NIGHTS was born!
The aim was to fill a void in tourism in Reno during the month of August and to raise money for local charities. The exact sequence of events and how the name, "Hot August Nights", was conceived depends on with whom you speak. Some say it was a great reason for a party and some felt it could be a dynamic event, drawing people throughout the Western states.
The founders came up with the idea of a concert and related events celebrating the origins of Rock n' Roll. Next, the Event needed volunteers to help out. Sponsors were also necessary. That first year there were only thirty volunteers, plus the Board of Directors. The total budget was $65,000. Assembling entertainment was a challenge. Bill Medley (Righteous Brothers) had just undergone throat surgery, but reluctantly agreed to perform, as well as Bobby Hatfield. Wolfman Jack came along with Jan & Dean. The first concert was held Friday night in the Convention Center parking lot. The beer flowed, the atmosphere was charged - and middle-aged hearts were 16 again! Most hadn't danced to "that" music, to a live band, under the stars, since high school. The memories flooded back and so did the desire for more!
That first year of Hot August Nights was more of a nostalgia event than a car event. But, did the organizers learn! The car parade on Friday night was the highlight of the Event for the participants and the crowds who thronged Virginia Street. No one remembers exactly how many cars were in that first parade, you "registered" on the spot, and they were lined up six abreast on North Virginia Street across from Lawlor Events Center. The car owners were thrilled to show off their cars. They'd never had so many people "oohing and aahing" over their "works of art". It was a proud moment for nostalgia car buffs, they were beaming... and they wanted more! And here we are to today!
How can I enter my car in the show?
To participate with your car at Hot August Nights, you must be one of our 6,000 registered car participants. Our car participant registration is full for the 2011 Event. To get on the waiting list, please fill out a waiting list application. There is no fee to be on the waiting list. While the majority of activities are open only to registered Hot August Nights participants, we do have pre-kick off activities that are open to non-registered participants.
How does the Hot August Nights Waiting List work?
Your submitted waiting list application, will be assigned a number based on the date your application was received. Current Hot August Nights car participants have the first right of refusal to renew their space each April for the following year's Event. When car participants cancel or do not renew their registration to the Event, we will offer the space in numerical order to those on the waiting list. We will contact waiting list applicants by mail or phone when space becomes available. Applicants will be notified four times a year as to their position on the waiting list.
Is the Event held in one location?
Hot August Nights held at seven different venues during the week: downtown Reno, downtown Sparks, the Atlantis Casino Resort, Grand Sierra Resort, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno, the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (Hot August Nights Swap Meet) and the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Additional pre-event or single day venues include the Bonanza Casino, Cabela’s and Summit Racing.
Are tickets needed for the Event? If so, how much are they and where can they be purchased?
Tickets for the Hot August Nights Swap Meet ($6) can be purchased at the gate daily. Hot August Nights headline concerts located at the outdoor stages at the Grand Sierra Resort and in downtown Sparks are free. Reno & Sparks casinos will have ticketed concerts with sales available through their websites and ticket outlets prior to the Event. For a list of free and ticketed concerts, check out our entertainment lineup (available on our website June 9).
What type of seating is available at the outdoor concerts at the Grand Sierra Resort and downtown Sparks?
The Grand Sierra Resort, has no outdoor bleachers or permanent seating for concerts. We suggest you bring your own low back folding chair from which to enjoy the concert. Unattended chairs that blow down or create an unsafe environment will be removed. Do not remove the chairs from the food court as they are there for those who are dining. At the downtown Sparks stage area there will be bleachers from which to view the concert.
Where can I purchase official Hot August Nights merchandise?
Prior to Hot August Nights, merchandise is available on our shopping cart. During the Event there will be merchandise tents located at the Atlantis Casino Resort, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno, downtown Reno and downtown Sparks venues, Car Participant Check-In at the Grand Sierra Resort and our “official merchandise store” located at the outside venue at the Grand Sierra Resort.
Atlantis Casino Resort - 3800 South Virginia Street, Reno
Home of the Cruise of Champions, daily Show-n-Shines, Guinness Book of World Records hula hoop contests, food, free entertainment and official Hot August Nights merchandise. For vendor information click here.
Bonanza Casino - 4720 N Virginia Street, Reno
Home of the Bonanza Casino's Classic Show-n-Shine with Awards & Trophies. For vendor information click here.
Circus Circus Hotel & Casino - 500 North Sierra Street, Reno
Home of the Official Hot August Nights Sock Hop, Prom and Circus Circus Show-n-Shine Extraordinaire. For vendor information click here.
Downtown Reno - North Virginia Street (Liberty to 5th Street), Reno
Downtown Reno is the host of the daily Show-n-Shines and nightly cruising. The venue is one of 3 sites for the Celebrity Choice Show-n-Shines on Saturday and is the route for the Sunday finale parade . You can also purchase official Hot August Nights merchandise at the this venue. For more information click here.
Grand Sierra Resort - 2500 East 2nd Street, Reno
Car participant check-in is held at the Grand Sierra Resort. The Grand Sierra Resort is one of 3 sites for the Celebrity Choice Show-n-Shine. Along with free headline entertainment at this venue you’ll also find sponsor displays, food, Ride & Drives and official Hot August Nights merchandise. For vendor information click here.
John Ascuaga's Nugget - 1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks
The Nugget hosts the Official Hot August Nights Drag Races and Burnouts, the Nugget Ultimate Classic Car Competition, great live entertainment, food and the Classic Film Festival. For vendor information click here.
Peppermill Hotel Casino - 2707 South Virginia Street, Reno.
Home of the Official Kick-Off Party. Venue also features, specialty car displays, food, vendors and Night Life Show-n-Shine Competition, and official Hot August Nights merchandise. For vendor information click here.
Reno Events Center - 400 North Center Street, Reno.
Home of the Big Boy's Toy Store. Check out over 300 booths featuring the latest in hot rod, street rod & truck accessories. No admission fee. For vendor information click here.
Reno-Sparks Convention Center - 4590 South Virginia Street, Reno
Site of the Hot August Nights Classic Car Auction. For more information click here.
Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center - 1350 North Wells Avenue, Reno
Site of the Hot August Nights Swap Meet and Demolition Derby. For more information click here.
Victorian Square - Sparks - 1000 Victorian Avenue, Sparks
Home to the Ultimate Classic Competition, as well as a craft fair and free headliner entertainment. Along with these events, each night will feature a cruise down Victorian Avenue and official Hot August Nights merchandise. Sparks is one of 3 sites for the Celebrity Choice Show-n-Shine on Saturday. For more information click here.