From classic cars and hot air balloons to diverse art and juicy ribs, there's no shortage of things to bring visitors to Reno-Sparks throughout the year.  In terms of big events, however, there are a select few that are considered iconic.
Here's a list of 10 major events in the Reno-Sparks area.
Reno River Festival
Reno's river festival is relatively young compared to the other events in this list. Despite starting just 15 years ago, however, it has amassed a large following, now attracting 42,000 people downtown. In addition to its whitewater and kayaking events, the festival features a Reno River Roll event for cyclists and a Craft Beer Village. (Mid-May)

Reno Rodeo
Did you know that John Wayne attended the Reno Rodeo Parade in 1949? First held in 1919, the Reno Rodeo has history that stretches out for a century. Featuring traditional rodeo events such as bull riding and steer wrestling as well as kid-friendly attractions like mutton busting, the event attracts more than 140,000 attendees. (Mid-June)

Back in 1996 members of the art, business and civic community joined forces in holding an art festival to help bring folks back to the Biggest Little City's core. After attracting 30,000 attendees that first year, Artown has grown into an event that attracts about 300,000 people each year. The festival is a celebration of all things artistic, including events that cater to the visual arts, music, dance, theater, film and literature. It also lasts for an entire month. (All of July)

Hot August Nights
Three decades ago, organizers decided to hold a classic car show to fill an empty spot in Reno's events calendar. Today, this celebration of classic cars and rock and roll is one of the big boys when it comes to happenings in the Biggest Little City. The event brings in about 6,000 classic vehicles. 
(Early to mid-August)

Burning Man
Every year in late August, tens of thousands of people - flock to the Black Rock desert 140 miles north of Reno and brave sand, sun and the elements in order to imbibe in this counterculture festival. A celebration of art, self-reliance and community, Burning Man attracts a wide swath of people from free-spirited fellows to big celebrities and company executives, not just nationally but on a global level as well. (Late August to September)

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off
The end of summer typically represents a sad time for some. For the city of Sparks, however, it means serving up some great barbecue. About 240,000 pounds of it, according to organizers. The event attracts a whopping 500,000 people. Granted, that includes repeat visitors. It also includes plenty of locals, which makes running into acquaintances an annual tradition. (Late August to September)

Great Reno Balloon Race
As the heat of summer slowly gives way to the chilly air of fall, thousands of spectators wake up before dawn and head to Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno to watch balloons come to life around them. First started with 20 balloons in 1982, the event now attracts as many as 100 balloons per year and 120,000 spectators. Arrive early to find a good spot and catch the pre-dawn glow show. ( Early September)

Reno Air Races
The National Championship Air Races event is entering its 56th year in 2019. It's also one of the most exhilarating, featuring an assortment of planes blazing through the skies above Reno-Stead airport. The Reno Air Races has added new events such as drone racing to its stable of prop planes and jets. (Mid-September)

Street Vibrations
Reno-Tahoe turns to hog heaven in late September as motorcycle enthusiasts fill its streets and highways. Started in the early 1990s by Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, the event attracts 50,000 riders each year. In addition to Reno-Sparks, popular stops for participants include Virginia City, Lake Tahoe and Carson City. The event also features a poker run and scavenger hunt as well as music and, of course, plenty of motorcycle vendors. (Late September)

Eldorado Great Italian Festival
For nearly four decades, folks have been going downtown in the fall to stomp grapes, drink wine and sample a bevy of Italian dishes at this festival's many food booths. The Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off is also known for attracting Italian families from the West Coast to prove their sauce is the best, with some rivalries going on for generations. 
(Early October)
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