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Letter statue spelling 'home' at Burning Man.

Reno Tahoe's Iconic Events

Experience Events Like Never Before

Group of friends toasting with beer.Kid riding a sheep during mutton busting at the Reno Rodeo

The fun starts here! Every destination claims to have great events, but Reno Tahoe takes it to a whole new level with hundreds of spectacular options to choose from. Although spontaneity is embraced here, these 11 events deserve a spot on your calendar in permanent ink. Known by many as “The Iconics.”

From Shakespeare on a sandy beach at Lake Tahoe, to streets filled with classic cars and hot air balloons floating above the Reno skyline – there’s something to please everyone. So whether you’re planning a trip this week, this month or next year, check them out and elevate your fun factor. Make sure you bookmark our events calendar for these and more memorable events in Reno Tahoe!

The Iconics

Man zip lining across the Truckee River at Reno River Festival

Reno River Festival

This festival kicks off summer in Reno Tahoe and is just one reason why tens of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts flock to the Truckee River in downtown Reno. Enjoy three days of live music, food, libations, craft beer village and lots of interactive summer and outdoor experiences.

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Friends clinking glasses in cheers.

The BBQ, Brews & Blues Festival

Every June, downtown Reno rocks with live entertainment, amazing food and beer from more than 65 breweries from around the world. The festival is part barbecue block party and part microbrew tasting event.

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Cars driving in a parade under the Reno arch at Hot August Nights.

Hot August Nights

August rocks with the largest classic car and nostalgia event in the country. Car and music enthusiasts pay tribute to exquisitely powerful automobiles and electrifying music of the 50’s through 80’s. Over 6,000 vehicles participate in events throughout Reno and Sparks. There's show-n-shines, nightly cruises, drag races and burnouts, AutoCross, a swap meet, Auto Drifting and classic car auction.

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Neon man on top of spaceship structure at Burning Man

Burning Man

Burning Man isn’t your usual festival. It’s a vibrant participatory metropolis generated by its citizens. In late August, Burners gather in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary and vibrant metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-reliance, self-expression and self-discovery. They create art, exchange ideas, and participate in the burning of the Man, a symbol whose meaning is as varied as the attendees themselves.

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The Great Reno Balloon Race

Soaring high above the Reno skyline, upwards of 80+ beautiful hot-air balloons take flight each September. It has been one of Reno's most colorful and spectacular events for over three decades and is a world-renowned and locally beloved community tradition. Sure, it might be a bit earlier than you're used to, but this Kodak moment is definitely worth the wake!

Dancers performing at Artown


Embraced by the community since 1996, July in Reno only means one thing, Artown! This arts and cultural festival features over 500 multidisciplinary events including music, dance, theater, visual arts, workshops, art walks and much more. Offering a majority of events free to the public, experience fun for the whole family and celebrate all that the arts have to offer.

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Play on stage at Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

Imagine your toes in the sand, a fantastic bottle of wine nearby, a gourmet meal and first-class entertainment with friends and family during a perfect Lake Tahoe sunset. You’re not dreaming, you’re experiencing the enchantment of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor State Park in July and August. The amphitheater is one of the most scenic venues in the world.

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Reno Rodeo

Featuring 10 days and nights of the best rodeo competition in the country with over 750 professional athletes. Enjoy two world-class team roping events, professional bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bronc riding, opening night concert and heaping helping of fun. Mosey down to Reno in June.

Woman purchasing ribs at the Nugget Rib Cook Off

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Enjoy the country’s best grilling competition each Labor Day weekend. Two dozen of the world’s top barbecue competitors serve up more than 240,000 pounds of ribs for hungry event-goers on Victorian Square in Sparks. Enjoy live headline entertainment and loads of vendors. Come hungry, leave satisfied, thanks to mounds of delicious ribs.

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Woman sitting on motorcycle surrounded by friends at Street Vibrations.

Street Vibrations Fall Rally

In September, the last great motorcycle rally of the season rolls into downtown Reno, Tahoe, Carson and Virginia City! There's free live music on multiple outdoor stages, an unbelievable array of vendor booths, poker runs, scavenger hunts, major concerts, tattoo expo and fireworks display in downtown Reno. Over 250 vendors and 10 factory rigs sell motorcycle accessories, themed art, crafts, apparel and food.

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Stilt walkers at the Great Italian Festival

The ROW's Great Italian Festival

Italian culture and tradition is celebrated in downtown Reno each Columbus Day weekend. The streets are transformed into Little Italy with a grape stomp, wine walk, Italian farmer’s market, kids’ gelato eating contest, Italian Buffet, tons of vendors and free live entertainment. Of course, there's pasta - lots and lots of pasta! Satisfy your taste buds in October!

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