1. Local

Discuss in my forum

Reno River Festival

Kayaks, Stand-Up Paddleboards and More in Downtown Reno

By

Reno River Festival, Reno, Nevada, NV
Logo image courtesy Reno River Festival

About the Reno River Festival

The Reno River Festival is one of the first big events of the season in Reno and it's free to attend. The 2013 event will be the 10th Annual Reno River Festival. Dates are May 11 and 12. See some of what goes on at my Reno River Festival photo gallery.

The Reno River Festival brings land-based activities to town to complement the white water competitions at the Truckee River Whitewater Park. As always, there will be a large number of vendors offering a variety of goods and services, including food, drink, clothing, and the latest in outdoor products. Several bands will be performing at the Wingfield Park Amphitheater. Throughout downtown Reno, bars, nightclubs, and casinos will all be offering refreshments and hospitality to Reno River Festival revelers.

New at the 2013 Reno River Festival

Long-time Reno River Festival fans will note that the 2013 event is moving back to its traditional time in May and is scheduled for two days. The 2012 event was in June, but organizers have determined May is better for the competitors and water flows in the Truckee River.

The 2013 Reno River Festival is returning to its whitewater kayaking roots. The popular kayaking events that started it all will be there (freestyle, stand-up paddleboard, slalom, and boatercross), but Run Amuck, the Charity Raft Race, and the doggie events will not be held this year. I've heard that the possibility of some or all of these returning in the future is being kept open.

Reno River Festival Events Schedule

Here is a schedule summary, but to get more details about what's happening and when, refer to the online 2013 Reno River Festival Schedule of Events.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

  • Yoga in the Park with 24 Hour Fitness – 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Outdoor Expo / Kid's Area / On-site Registration – begins at 10 p.m.
  • Freestyle Competitors' Meeting – 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Freestyle Preliminary Rounds – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cabela's Fishing Kayaks Clinic – 11 a.m.to 12 noon
  • Kids' Play Area - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Music in the Park: Buster Blue - 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Cabela's Inflatable Personal Flotation Devices Clinic - 12 noon to 1 p.m.
  • Cabela's River Wading and Fly Tactics Clinic - 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Music in the Park: Whitney Myer - 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Cabela's Truckee River Set Up and Tactics for the Spin Fisherman - 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cabela's Canoe Camping Gear and Trip Ideas for Our Area - 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Music in the Park: Mark Sexton Band - 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Music in the Park: Keyser Soze - 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Freestyle Finals – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Freestyle Awards - 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

  • Yoga in the Park with 24 Hour Fitness – 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Outdoor Expo / Kid's Area / Cabela's Outdoor Area – begins at 10 a.m.
  • Stand-up Paddleboard Competition - begins at 10 a.m.
  • Cabela's Fishing Kayaks Clinic – 11 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Cabela's Inflatable Personal Flotation Devices Clinic – 12 noon to 1 p.m.
  • Music in the Park: Oddly Enough – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Cabela's Inflatable Personal Flotation Devices Clinic - 12 noon to 1 p.m.
  • Cabela's River Wading and Fly Tactics Clinic - 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Music in the Park: GrooveSession – 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cabela's Truckee River Set Up and Tactics for the Spin Fisherman - 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cabela's Canoe Camp[ing Gear and Trip Idea for Our Area - 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Music in the Park: Jelly Bread – 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Awards for Stand-Up Paddleboard, Slalom, and Boatercross – 5 p.m.
Musical entertainment on the Wingfield Park Amphitheater stage includes several bands over two days, including local favorites Whitney Myer and Jelly Bread. All concerts are free.

Reno River Festival Events

Whitewater Kayaking Competitions - These are the classic Reno River Festival events and where it all began. Both pro and amateur kayakers will compete for prizes and glory in the Truckee River rapids. You'll see the paddles and water fly in freestyle, slalom, and boatercross competitions. Check the above schedule for the times of each event.

Freestyle is open to all paddlers in three divisions - men, women, and junior. Slalom has mens and womens divisions, with paddlers navigating through gates on a course in the Truckee River's south channel. Boatercross, with mens and womens divisions, involves heats of four paddlers at a time trying to be the first across the finish line. Winners of each heat advance to the final round, where the overall winner will be determined

Stand-Up Paddleboard Slalom - In stand-up paddleboard, racers shoot down the Truckee River in timed runs and must complete a series of moves along the way. Picture standing on a surfboard-like platform and maneuvering through the rapids with a long paddle and you get the idea. This is an open competition and all paddlers are welcome to give it a go.

About Dogs at the Reno River Festival - The policy prohibiting dogs at Reno events is in effect at the Reno River Festival. Only legitimate service dogs will be allowed in the event area. Security will turn you around, so please leave pets at home.

Truckee River Whitewater Park

The Truckee River Whitewater Park was an immediate hit when it opened in 2004. It created something of a moving park in the heart of the city, providing a place for people to relax, stroll by the water along the Riverwalk, play in the water on hot days, float along on tubes, and kayak the class II - III rapids. It was a significant milestone in the redevelopment of downtown Reno.

It's a little confusing, but the Truckee River Whitewater Park is a component of downtown Reno's Wingfield Park. The Whitewater Park was built along and within the Truckee River flowing through Wingfield Park. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, or put together as the Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield.

Reno River Festival Videos and Pictures

I've produced a few short Reno River Festival videos for your viewing pleasure. If you are new to the Reno River Festival, these and my pictures will give you a look at what goes on during this fun event. You can also enjoy my still pictures of action around the Reno River Festival, including muckers participating in the Run Amuck race. (Note: Run Amuck will not be held at the 2013 Reno River Festival.)

Parking for the Reno River Festival

You can park in downtown Reno at the Parking Gallery, corner Sierra and First Streets (entrance is from First Street), at Reno High School on Booth Street, and at the McKinley Arts Center on Riverside Drive and Bell Street. Street parking around downtown Reno is metered until 6 p.m. except on Sundays, which is free all day. The big government parking lot at the corner of Court and Virginia Streets is free and open to the public on weekends. If you end up parked in the hinterlands, the Sierra Spirit bus system offers free transportation around the downtown area and north on Virginia Street to the University of Nevada, Reno. It runs everyday, every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Stops are designated by the yellow Sierra Spirit signs along the route.

Street Closures During the Reno River Festival

With the 2013 Reno River Festival shortened to two days and some events being eliminated, only one main street will be closed on May 11 and 12 - Arlington Avenue between First Street on the north and Court Street on the south. This section of Arlington includes a bridge over the Truckee River. Routes outside the closure zone that will get you close to the Truckee River Whitewater Park include Ralston Street, Sierra Street, Keystone Avenue, California Avenue, and Second Street.

Sources: Reno River Festival website, press releases from The Bauserman Group, Reno, NV.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.