About the Eldorado Great Italian Festival
The 2012 Eldorado Great Italian Festival will be on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7. Join the festivities in downtown Reno on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Eldorado Great Italian Festival is a fun, family friendly affair. Just strolling Virginia Street during the festival is entertaining, with street performers, free music from two stages, and good food and drink readily available. People really get into the Italian spirit for this festival, giving it a boisterous yet friendly atmosphere. At past festivals, I've found that folks just like being there to enjoy themselves and have a great time.
Eldorado Great Italian Festival Activities
2012 is the 31st Annual Eldorado Great Italian Festival. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy. If you really get into it, you can become a participant and play bocce ball, stomp grapes, and let the kids get involved in activities designed just for them...
- Free musical entertainment on two stages.
- Play bocce ball - Competitive players tournament begins Saturday at 8 a.m. with a $10 sign up fee. Free beginner and family play starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
- Grape stomping contest on Saturday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Media members, politicians, and local celebrities will stomp Sunday starting at 11 a.m.
- Pasta bowls for sampling authentic Italian food, sauces, and desserts. Available for $2 at the Spaghetti Booth starting at 2 p.m. each day.
- Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off.
- Italian Farmers Market - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Arts and crafts exhibits, souvenirs and food booths.
- Eldorado's Famous Italian Dinner Buffet - Served in the Eldorado Convention Center at 4 p.m. on Saturday and in The Buffet at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for $23.99.
- Kids' gelato eating contest at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
- Ferrari Club of America - over 30 cars on display all weekend.
- Zoppé Family Circus on the corner of 4th and Sierra Streets. October 4 at 7 p.m., October 5 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., October 6 at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and October 7 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $24.95 for VIP seating, $19.95 for general admission and $11.95 for children ages 2 to 11.
Entertainment at the Eldorado Great Italian Festival
Lively music is a big part of the Eldorado Great Italian Festival. Two outdoor stages provide a steady stream of tunes from a variety of bands, singers, and Eldorado Hotel Casino show performers. It's free to enjoy the stage entertainment - just show up and swing to the Italian music. The Rome Stage is located at 4th and Virginia Steets, and the Venice Stage is located at 3rd and Virginia Streets.
Eldorado Great Italian Festival Street ClosuresThe Eldorado Great Italian Festival results in numerous street closures in downtown Reno. To save yourself some time and hassle, refer to the downtown Reno road closures and restrictions map before driving to the city center during the festival. This map is also good for showing traffic restrictions during other special events held in downtown Reno.
More Italian Festivals in the United States
While Reno's Great Italian Festival is among the nation's largest and most famous, it is far from the only one. The About.com guide to Italy Travel has compiled a good list of "Italian Festivals in the United States" for your enjoyment should you be in any of these areas at the right time.