Hot August Nights: A trip back in time in Reno Tahoe

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

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