Tag Archives: Event Recap

Brew HaHa 2016 Event Recap

One of my favorite annual events to produce is Brew HaHa. This year we celebrated Brew HaHa’s 21st birthday. The beer tasting event is a fan favorite for beer enthusiasts in Reno and all over the west coast. With 76 breweries pouring 3-4 types of beer you should easily be able to find some new favorites. Many breweries launch or market test new beers at the event. The variety and different styles of beer poured at Brew HaHa gives fans something to look forward to every January.

This is truly a community event. All of the beer at Brew HaHa is donated by breweries and local distributors. Beer comes from all over the country. Highlights from this year’s event included a raffle with more beer swag than anyone could imagine, live music by Whitney Myer, and the extremely impressive Artist Village. The Artist Village featured 40 artists. It is fun to see guests at the event interacting with the artists and buying art directly from the artist. The event gives artists an opportunity to network and share their art with the community while also helping Sierra Arts raise funds to support arts programs.

3-9-16 BrewHaHa Check

Sierra Arts Foundation Check Presentation 2016

This year Brew HaHa 2016 was an enormous success!  We raised $38,752 for Sierra Arts Foundation. The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Sierra Arts. The funds will support Sierra Arts community arts programs, such as the Elder Care Concert Series, the Arts Integrations Project, and my personal favorite Arts in Education program.

This is one of my favorite events because it is so unique. There are a lot of beer events, but Brew HaHa is special because it has its own vibe and unique atmosphere. Everyone that works the event is fabulous! I have fun working with the brewers and distributors to make sure all the beer makes it to the event and everything goes well. The Sierra Arts Foundation employees and volunteers are top-notch. We have so much fun working together it doesn’t even feel like work.

I absolutely love this event! What’s not to love? We work closely with the Sierra Arts team to throw the biggest kegger in northern Nevada. Finally all those skills I developed having parties in my youth are paying off. I’m now using those skills to raise funds to support the arts community, and that is something to be proud of.

The next Brew HaHa is scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2017 at Nugget Casino Resort.

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Star Spangled Sparks Event Recap

Following a long tradition, this year the Nugget Casino Resort hosted the 16th Annual Star Spangled Sparks 4th of July fireworks show. This event was a tradition started under the Ascuaga family ownership of the Nugget Casino. The Nugget began hosting the fireworks show after several other shows in the area were canceled due to a lack of funding. Local legend is that John Ascuaga stood up after other fireworks shows were canceled and declared someone needed to provide fireworks, so he volunteered to put on the fireworks show to save the community’s Fourth of July celebration.

The fireworks were a success this year, we shot them at 9:49pm which was only a 4 minute delay. I’d call that show on-time. Not too shabby for a show with 5,000 pounds of fireworks. About 50,000 people filled Victorian Square to enjoy the FREE fireworks show. We had a good crowd this year. The police report for the annual event is usually about three pages long, this year it was only one page. Everyone enjoyed the show and the cooler weather helped keep everyone calm and relaxed.

Fox 11 Morning Show - Star Spangled Sparks

Lisa Jansen & Lauren Garber talking about Star Spangled Sparks with Bill Frankmore on Fox 11 Morning Show

The weather was a little rough on us leading up to the event this year. Our pyro team had to work around the daily thunder storms. Turns out it is a little dangerous to put together explosives on the roof of a casino in thunder storms. The rain is also an issue. The techs couldn’t put the explosives together if they got wet. So the crew worked around the weather and then at the last minute we had additional pyro team members show up to help finish the last part of setup. It was a challenge but it all turned out well in the end. The event attendees enjoyed the show and were delighted with some of the new types of fireworks.

We are already making plans and discussing next year’s Star Spangled Sparks event. The event has become extremely expensive. It costs approximately $150,000 to host this event. We’ve been lucky to have sponsors help cover some of the expenses over the years, but in the end the Nugget has spent about $100,000 each year to make sure Reno/Sparks has a great fireworks show on the 4th of July. The Nugget plans to continue hosting Star Spangled Sparks, but is looking for more community support in the form of local business sponsorships.

Drone Video:

July 4, 2015

Director of PR Lauren Garber & Director of Special Events Lisa Jansen AKA Team #NuggLife

Next year the event will look quite different. There are two new housing developments going into Victorian Square that will change the look and feel of Star Spangled Sparks. The Nugget has worked with the City of Sparks on these developments and made a land-swap to guarantee there is still room for special events over the summer.

The community doesn’t acknowledge or appreciate it yet, but at some point they will wake up and realize the new owners of the Nugget are committed to supporting a vibrant downtown area and keeping special events alive in the old rail city. The new owners continue to donate to local causes and support the community, they may not have a public image like the Ascuagas with their involvement of these causes, but they are there in the background supporting area programs, special events, and charitable organizations. Both Star Spangled Sparks and the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off will continue to grow and be events locals can be proud of that make our community a great place to live.

If your company would like to become a sponsor of Star Spangled Sparks please contact me at Lisa.Jansen@NuggetResort.com


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