Memorial Day, while technically still in spring, acts as the unofficial kick off of summertime activities in the Reno-Tahoe area. From barbecues to parades to festivals and concerts, the warming weather sets the tone for a summer full of outdoor fun and activities. Lest we forget the true meaning of this three-day-weekend, memorials honoring those who’ve laid down their lives in the service of our country are open to the public as well.

Check out our roundup of Reno-Tahoe’s Memorial Day events below.


National Automobile Museum: Beginning Memorial Day and extending through Labor Day, the National Automobile Museum is offering free admission to all active duty military members and their immediate families. This offer is made possible through the Blue Star Museums National Program, which gives military members free access to more than 2,000 museums nationwide. The museum is at 10 S. Lake St.


Reno and the surrounding communities are also home to several memorials commemorating those who have lost their lives in service to our country. While no formal events are planned for this year, there are places you can visit to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice:

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe: The decks are opening, music will be playing and tons of family-friendly activities are planned for the opening weekend at Lake Tahoe. Historic places, like Vikingsholm, will open their doors, museums will open, and walking tours begin for the year. Area businesses will feature sales, specials and events like live music and scavenger hunts too.

Made in Tahoe Festival: From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 28-29, The Village at Squaw hosts the Made in Tahoe Festival in Squaw Valley, celebrating all things local, from food, to brews to music. Performances include music and arts workshops, and this year features the first community farm-to-table dinner. This new event will offer a five-course, family-style dinner from local chefs serving locally-sourced food.

Virginia City

Virginia City Celebrations: The Memorial Day celebrations in Virginia City kick off with a Celebration of Heroes Parade down historic C Street on May 28. The V&T Railway will also be offering rides out of the depot to Gold Hill and back.

Carson City

V&T Railway starts its season Memorial weekend with the first train leaving the Carson City depot at 10 a.m. May 28. Trains run from Carson City to Virginia City, and the celebration will feature live music, refreshments and activities.

Black Rock Desert

Black Rock Rendezvous: Camp in the Black Rock Desert to hike, explore, celebrate and learn about the region. Partnered groups like Friends of the Black Rock High Rock and Nevada Outdoor School bring speakers, tours, a children’s camp and a Playa Slam musical/poetry event to the May 27-30 event in the desert.

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