Top 10 Festivals In Reno, Nevada

festivals in reno

Reno, known as the biggest little city in the world, will surprise you with the number of activities and adventures you can enjoy here. It should be on your bucket list because of the budget-friendly options, outdoor fun, local breweries, and nightlife entertainment it offers. People often explore different tourist attractions here such as National Automobile Museum, Animal Ark, Reno Arch, and National Bowling Stadium. But aside from these, people also come for the festivals. The place is known to host some of the most talked-about festivals in the world. It is because of these events that the people in Reno really feel like one community. Here are some of the top festivals in Reno, Nevada, that you must join at least once in your life!

1. Reno Jazz Festival

The Reno Jazz Festival brings thousands of jazz students to the University of Nevada, Reno campus to compete, play,...

Posted by Reno Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada, Reno on Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Sing and jive with jazz music at this three-day festival hosted by University of Nevada. There are performances from well-known jazz artists from different areas such as North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Students will be able to perform in front of credible judges and peers, and they will be mentored on how to improve their jazz skills. There are jazz clinics and workshops as well that students can choose to join. Each and everyone will be going home with new knowledge, skills, and passion for jazz music.

Reno Jazz Festival

Address: Reno Jazz Festival, School of the Arts, University of Nevada, Reno, NV

Website: Reno Jazz Festival

Takes place: April

Price: 80 USD

2. Eldorado Great Italian Festival

Posted by Jill Carolan on Sunday, 7 October 2018

Experience classic Italian food, music, and company just in Reno! Bring your family and friends and enjoy Eldorado Great Italian Festival, wherein you get to taste authentic Italian wine, learn how to make wine by grape stomping, and even show off your love for gelato by joining the gelato-eating contest. One of the most awaited parts of the festival is the sauce cook-off, wherein families from all over bring in their sauce for people to taste and judge which one is the crowd favorite for the year. Aside from that, you’ll be able to enjoy homemade Italian food such as chicken parmesan, spaghetti, sausage, and a whole lot more. There are also Italian farmer markets, food booths, and live entertainment throughout the event.

Eldorado Great Italian Festival

Website: Eldorado Great Italian Festival

Takes place: October

3. Reno Rodeo

Reno Rodeo 2008
Source: Photo by user Habib Obi used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Reno Rodeo never fails in delivering a great wild show for the audience. It’s a 10-day rodeo wherein you get to watch cowboys ride those horses. This rodeo is a certified professional sporting event by Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The festival also showcases the national pride of different cowboys during the parade. It’s amazing how you’ll learn so much about these cowboys—from how they started to which generations of their families have joined rodeos—and the adrenaline rush you’ll feel all throughout the program. You can enjoy this event with your whole family!

Reno Rodeo

Address: 1350 N Wells Ave, Reno, NV

Website: Reno Rodeo

Takes place: June

Price: 250 USD

4. Reno River Festival

Reno River Festival at Reno Whitewater Park
Source: Photo by user Rick Cooper used under CC BY 2.0

Reno River Festival can be your kick-starter for the upcoming exciting events in Reno. Join almost 40,000 people who travel from all over just to watch and cheer their favorites at the whitewater competition. This two-day festival gives you such a unique outdoor experience that you’ll always want to come back for more. What is a festival without food? There are around 100 food and beverage vendors to satisfy your hunger and thirst. You’ll also be able to watch freestyle kayaking, enjoy live entertainment from recording artists, join specialty clinics such as yoga and fly-fishing, and visit Craft Beer Village and Summer Wine Village. Also, don’t miss out on the interactive activities at Reno Tahoe Adventure Park, where you can enjoy a carnival atmosphere with your whole family.

Reno River Festival

Website: Reno River Festival

Takes place: May

Price: Free

5. Great Reno Balloon Race

29th Annual Great Reno Balloon Race
Source: Photo by user TheConduqtor used under CC BY-SA 3.0

How breathtaking it is to admire beautiful and unique hot-air balloons soaring up in the skies! This balloon race is known for being a visually appealing family-friendly event. While watching the balloons, you also get to enjoy amazing music. A past highlight of this balloon race was the special appearance of a Darth Vader balloon, which delighted all the Star Wars fans! The best part of this event is that it is safe and perfect for all ages—the perfect way to bond as a family. The fun and happiness you get every year are definitely one for the books.

Great Reno Balloon Race

Address: 1595 N Sierra St, Reno, NV

Website: Great Reno Balloon Race

Takes place: September

Price: 90 - 105 USD

6. Reno Basque Festival

Posted by Zazpiak Bat Basque Reno on Sunday, 21 July 2019

This festival will remind you to appreciate your own culture. It’s a celebration of Basque heritage in a one-day event with music and folk dancing. You’ll love the traditional food prepared and served at the event. You just might love the Basque culture like your own. The fun does not stop there. You can also join different contests such as weightlifting, weight carrying, and wood-chopping exhibitions. But be sure you’re ready and have practiced before joining!

Reno Basque Festival

Address: 2S Arlington Ave, Reno, NV

Website: Reno Basque Festival

Takes place: July

7. Northern Nevada Celtic Celebration

Posted by Northern Nevada Celtic Celebration on Saturday, 28 October 2017

Northern Nevada Celtic Celebration is here to bring you a glimpse of Scotland. Most activities originated from Scotland and were adapted for the celebration. The classic bagpipe bands are one of the major things you should look forward to. There are also performances such as dancing and other musical talents. You can expect Scottish Highland athletic games, good food, and even better company. You’ll learn so much about Celtic history and culture.

Northern Nevada Celtic Celebration

Address: 1595 N Sierra St, Reno, NV

Website: Northern Nevada Celtic Celebration

Takes place: May

8. Street Vibrations

A View Askew
Source: Photo by user Darron Birgenheier used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Street Vibrations is a call for all those motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy and be free! It’s a time where almost 50,000 riders gather together and celebrate with the community. Jam to amazing music, look at the motorcycles, play poker, enjoy the live entertainment, watch the ride-in shows, and hold on to your seats for the most-awaited stunt and bike shows. If you’re feeling crazy, you can even get a tattoo at the event! You can also buy second-hand motorcycles at cheaper prices along with some motorcycle accessories. There are food and drink stalls around the area as well.

Street Vibrations

Address: 1595 N Sierra St, Reno, NV

Website: Street Vibrations

Takes place: June - September

9. Cinco de Mayo

Posted by Cinco de Mayo Festival Reno on Friday, 5 April 2019

A lot of countries celebrate Cinco de Mayo in different ways, and in Reno, it is the biggest celebration for Latino heritage. You can expect a lot of good food, such as Mexican tacos and American classics, dancing-horse performances and parades, arts and craft booths, and amateur boxing. Something else to look forward to is Miss Cinco De Mayo, wherein the organizers crown one woman every year. Children will definitely love it here, especially the playground with bounce houses, giant slides, and face-painting. You can also keep yourself busy with 16 carnival rides opened until 10 pm.

Cinco de Mayo

Address: 2500 E 2nd St, Reno, NV

Website: Cinco de Mayo

Takes place: May

Price: 10 USD

10. Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show

Display at Reno photo D Ramey Logan
Source: Photo by user Don Ramey Logan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re a fan of air races, this show is one to check out! Feel the thrill by watching the fastest motorsport in the world—all racing to be the best. It’s amazing how airplanes here fly around 500 miles (805 km) or even more per hour. Aside from the excitement, it’s really the story behind each plane and how beautifully it was created that you’ll love most about the event. During the most recent show, there were performances from well-known air forces such as U.S. Air Force Thunderbird, Commemorative Air Force, and a lot more.

Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show

Address: 14501 Mt Anderson St, Reno, NV

Website: Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show

Takes place: September

Price: 5 - 145 USD

Let’s get festive

It’s the time of the year to have some fun, relax, enjoy, meet new friends, and understand different cultures. There are so many events you could go to in almost every month of the year! Festivals are a reminder to take breaks and cut yourself some slack. They’re a great way to unwind and make some of the best memories with your family. Whether you’re interested in Italian food, Mexican dishes, balloon races, or motorcycles, there is definitely a festival you would enjoy. What are you waiting for? We’ll see you at the next festival!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melissa is a 20-something-year-old storyteller from Manila. She's been to Europe and Asia but still dreams of going around her home, the Philippines. When she's not traveling, you can find her in...Read more

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