Artown packs Reno with activity during the entire month of July, with many events being completely free of charge. Whether it’s concerts in the park, walks along the river, special workshops, art showings, guided tours or something else, there is sure to be something for everyone.
“Artown is a wonderful way to explore Reno and discover many of its different artistic and cultural sides through the various programming during the month,” said Jennifer Mannix, Artown’s marketing director. “With over 500 events, Artown features genres such as theater, dance, music, history, culture, visual arts and family activities.”
The Artown website provides details about activities including times, costs, dates and venues. The site even allows visitors to create their own personal calendar of events. Planning can be tough since there is so much to do, so be sure to check the website and use the suggestions below as a guide for where to eat, where to stay and how to make the most of Artown.
Reno is Artown
The 24-hour mural marathon scheduled at the Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino promises loads of fun as muralists compete for prize money, including a $2,000 first-place prize. Scheduled from 10 a.m. July 15 through 10 a.m. July 16, muralists fill 14-feet high panels with their visions along the hotel’s lower wall.
Those who can’t make it to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert can appreciate the event by checking out the Playa Photos to be exhibited July 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Nevada Fine Arts on Virginia St. Consider this a unique showing of images from documentary photographers who will share their best images from 2015 and 2016. Although there is no charge a $5 donation is suggested.
Dancing in the Park: Mind, Body and Sole is a way to appreciate and witness many styles of dance completely free of charge. Scheduled July 19 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Wingfield Park, the Mind, Body and Sole performance includes dancers and teachers from Heart & Sole Dance Academy. Be sure to take a blanket and chairs to throw down on the grass.
Get your fun and funky on at the Midtown Art Walk, scheduled July 28 from 4 to 9 p.m. One of several art walks during the month of July, this one focuses on artistry and creativity found in Midtown. Hear talented musicians play, stop at Midtown restaurants and discover unique artist goods featured in shops. You also can learn about the art of glass blowing by stopping in at the Melting Pot World Emporium and watching a live artist demonstration.
With multiple showings in July, the Bruka Theatre presents “Malvolio or As you Will” based on what it means to lead a transgendered life in a society full of intolerance. With inspiration from Malvolio, a character in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” the authors of this play examine in closer detail what it means to lead an authentic life. Tickets are $25 at the door.
Artown and beyond
Those who like to get outdoors yet stay downtown may want to check out the Truckee River Whitewater Park. This park features mainly Class 2 and Class 3 size rapids, but also 11 drop pools and easy access points. Bring your own kayak or look to an adventure vendor downtown for a rental. You can enjoy the Truckee River without a kayak along other access points, too — just be sure to wear a life jacket at all times.
Want to do some climbing? Then check out the Base Camp at Whitney Peak Hotel. This outdoor climbing wall features beginner to expert routes as well as 40-foot walls. It is multi-pitch with a belay ledge and is said to be the tallest in the world. The wall is open year-round, and the only thing that typically shuts it down is precipitation. Rates vary, but there is a $5 rental package available onsite that includes shoes, harness and chalk.
The Reno Aces Ballpark is a great way to appreciate downtown and stay close to all things Artown. In July, Reno’s minor league baseball team is in town multiple days, playing other minor league teams such as the Tacoma Rainers, Oklahoma City Dodgers and Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Evening games are a great way to enjoy the Reno climate, but there also are many promotional events available in July including two-for-one tickets for seniors on some days.
For a cool, indoor event check out Harrah’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Scheduled for 8 p.m. July 21, this show is a musical and comedy tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. and other stars of his era. The show is at the historic Sammy’s Showroom, which opened in 1966. Tickets range from $29.50 to $40.50 plus fees.
Eat, drink and be artsy
If you find yourself in Midtown try Great Full Gardens Café & Eatery, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Consider the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl, the Great Full Black Bean Burger or the Neatball Sandwich among other options. Specialized dietary needs, such as gluten-free, vegan, Paleo and raw food can all be met.
M3 Eat & Drink in the southern part of town is perfect if you're heading to any of the Artown events at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park. This family-owned restaurant is located along S. McCarran Boulevard and features a warm inviting interior. Find burgers, pastas, flat-bread pizzas, salads, salmon, lamb chops and more, as well as a variety of beers and a complete wine list.
The Old Granite Street Eatery in Downtown Reno provides easy access to the Riverwalk district and any Artown events happening at Wingfield Park. It is located along Sierra St. in a building erected in 1940 and has a menu focused on quality and comfort. Discover breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as soups, salads and desserts. There are craft beers and cocktails available, too.
The Laughing Planet Café in Midtown is your chance to taste a menu that can also be found in Bend, Eugene and Portland, Oregon and that focuses on clean, fresh food and global flavors. The menu includes soups, salads, quesadillas, burritos and ‘zappetizers,’
Where to rest your legs
Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino is one of the many venues participating in Artown. The casino offers six dining options, a number of circus shows and the advantage of being located in the heart of downtown Reno.
The Grand Sierra Resort hosts the Artown Fashion Show July 2. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $30. It features men’s and women’s fashion from more than 25 local and international designers. While you’re there, take in a show at GSR’s Grand Theatre, go bowling, hit the pool or enjoy dining at restaurants like the Cantina or Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse.
The Whitney Peak Hotel, located on Virginia St., is well known for its Cargo venue hall and for amenities that include a climbing wall, fitness classes, its Heritage Bar and Restaurant and more.
The Atlantis gets in on the Artown game with the “Chalk It Up” event scheduled in its west parking lot on July 9 and 10 where parking spaces will be transformed into beautiful works of art by artists, who will compete for prizes. The Atlantis is hard to overlook for other fun, too. There’s a spa, a Fun Center, cabaret and more at this casino south of downtown.