Reno is Festival Town

I lived the first 48 years of my life in San Diego. Yes, it was tough duty and definitely spoiled me when it comes to weather where it is a perfect summer all year long. Believe it or not, I enjoy the summers in Reno as much if not better—sunny, warm days and cool, clear nights.

Our summers here bring an extra special treat—a festival almost every weekend. Reno loves its festivals and is is one of the most attractive characteristics of the city.

The Reno River Festival kicks off the summer months. The whole month of July is one big festival with multiple Reno is Artown events and performances every day—500 total throughout the month.

For many, the highlight of August is Hot August Nights which is the largest classic car and nostalgia event in the United States. But for us animal lovers, the real highlight is Nevada Humane Society’s Duck Race and Festival. In its third year benefitting homeless pets, 15,000 rubber ducks will race down the Truckee River on August 26 in Wingfield Park. You can adopt a duck and the fastest rubber ducks win exciting prizes. The free Festival runs from 11am to 5pm with lots of family fun, including live entertainment, clowns, carnival games, raffles, vendors and a variety of refreshments; the exciting Duck Race begins at 4 pm.

September is packed with large, popular festivals as everyone wants to maximize fun in the closing days of summer. Downtown Reno and Sparks reverberate with the sounds of thousands of Harleys when Street Vibrations takes over. The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is touted as the biggest barbeque in the country as over 300,000 people taste-test the wares of 25 cooking teams. One of my favorites is The Great Reno Balloon Race (even though I hate getting up early). Over 100 hot air balloons rise in mass ascension from Rancho San Rafael Park, filling the sky with color. The month concludes with the Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show.

The festivals bring much-needed and appreciated support from out-of-town visitors and provide exciting entertainment all summer long for the locals. Thanks to the overwhelming support of our community, NHS regularly participates in most of these events and festivals. They provide wonderful opportunities to showcase NHS pets available for adoption and bring greater awareness to the homeless pets issue.

Summer is truly my favorite time of year in Reno and quickly becoming my favorite summer time of all. 

Events that Help Homeless Pets

Adopt a Lucky Pet at Nevada Humane Society and get a free buffet dinner and a chance to win a luxury stay-cation at the Peppermill Resort & Spa. Pet adoption fees are just $7 for adult cats, $21 for adult dogs, and $40 for kittens. Visit NHS 7 days a week at 2825 Longley Lane, Reno from 11 am to 6:30 pm. Open at 10 am on Saturdays.

Duck Race & Festival to benefit Nevada Humane Society, August 28, 11 am – 5 pm at Wingfield Park. Adopt a rubber duck for $5, help homeless pets, and have a chance to win great prizes—including a New Orleans Vacation, Sierra Golf Getaway, Pampered Pet Package, Dine around Reno-Tahoe Package, and a chance to win a $400,000 cash prize! For more information or to adopt a duck, visit


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