Tag Archives: Nevada Events

39 North Pole Village 2016

39 North Pole Village Returned to Sparks December 9 – December 10, 2016

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Volunteer Sweatshirt

39 North Downtown community group presented the 2nd annual 39 North Pole Village on Friday, December 9 and Saturday December 10 at Victorian Square Plaza. I have had a lot of fun with this event because I helped start it last year, and I am helping it grow each year.

The event unofficially started in 2014 with a tiny event where parents brought their kids down to Victorian Square to write letters to Santa and put them in a large mailbox. Then in 2015, we decided to add a light festival and vendors to the event and call it 39 North Pole Village. Interest in the event skyrocketed! It has been very rewarding to see the event grow and I’m proud to be co-chair of the committee that is making this happen for the Sparks community.

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Photo by: Donald Abbott

The second-year of 39 North Pole Village was at least twice as large as the 2015 event. The winter wonderland featured thousands of sparkling lights, holiday shopping booths, great food and holiday cheer. There were free pictures with Santa and a special booth where children could write letters to Santa. The highlight of the event was Engine 39, the newest member of the “Rail City” fleet. Rides are always free, so this is a great option for families that are looking to entertain the little ones.

Another new addition this year was the Veterans Resource Center of America booth run by Shane Whitecloud and crew. This booth was fully stocked with Christmas cards so event attendees could sign a card and have it sent to military folks serving overseas. It was so popular that they ran out of cards and had to find more. It was a great addition to the second annual event and nice to see our community sending holiday wishes to our military serving far from home.
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39 North Pole Village is a truly special holiday celebration. This year we added the Griswold Family Challenge. The event, inspired by Clark Griswold in the Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation movie, saw families and businesses compete for the best light display. This is a really fun competition because there is cash on the line. It costs $100 to enter the competition and $50 per entry fee goes into the prize pool. The winner this year was Salon 2000 and they won $350. I’m going to try to get a lot more businesses to compete next year, hopefully the prize money is more than $1,000 in 2017.

griswold-display

This was my Griswold Family Challenge display. I didn’t win, but the kiddos loved my display.

We also had a larger vendor tent in 2016. It was sold out to vendors renting space. The tent is heated so it is very popular at this winter event. The vendors said it was a great event for them and they all went home with quite a bit of extra money in their bank accounts just in time for the holidays. We hope next year to have so many vendors that we need two tents.

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Vendor tent at 39 North Pole Village – Photo by: Donald Abbott

We were happy with how the event turned out this year, but there was one big issue. Mother Nature. On the second day of the event it rained all day and all night, which put some pressure on the power grid and caused some of the light displays to go dark. We are going to need to invest in more electrical supplies and protective boxes since this is an outdoor winter event.

We also had a bit of flooding in the vendor tent because it was raining so hard. Our volunteers and board members jumped into action and we were able to save the light displays and reroute the flood waters as best as possible. Having events during the winter is challenging to say the least!

We have big plans for this event. I personally hope that over the next 10 years it continues to grow and eventually it is so big that the displays stay up the whole month of December. It is a lot of work to setup the displays so it is a bummer when you take them down after two days. The event needs to grow so that the displays can be built and left open to the public for the whole month.

We had several new sponsors this year and I’m sure that will also continue to grow next year. With the community’s help, we will grow a new holiday tradition for future generations!

I can’t wait to see what we accomplish with the 2017 event!
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For more information about 39 North Downtown click here.

If you would like to become a sponsor or volunteer for 39 North Pole Village, please email me at LisaJansenNV@gmail.com and I will send you more information.

 


Rib Cook-Off 2016 Entertainment Lineup Announced

Yesterday, it was my pleasure to visit local radio stations with my coworkers and announce the main stage entertainment lineup for the 28th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. Usually we aren’t able to announce the entertainment lineup until late July, so I was very excited to announce the entertainment on the last day of May. Feeling like a bit of an overachiever right now!

This year’s main stage lineup features artists from many different genres. We booked different types of acts so there is something for everyone. All shows are free and there is a fun festival vibe to be enjoyed while eating as many ribs as your heart desires.

Wednesday, August 31 – The Rocket Man Show – Elton John Tribute

I am so excited about this show! We’ve had several tribute acts at the Nugget over the last year and they are some of the most talented musicians I’ve seen. I suspect Rus Anderson’s performance will blow me away! He performs as a young Elton John in a fun tribute show with lots of energy and costumes that Elton John would be proud to wear. Wait… he was proud to wear them! He once owned these gorgeous costumes. This is going to be a high energy, fun-filled show to kick-off the event!

Thursday, September 1 – The Garage Boys

We are pleased to feature the Garage Boys at the Rib Cook-Off this year. They are a band out of Las Vegas and they have a big following in northern Nevada. They are high energy and they know how to rock. The Garage Boys will sing some of their original songs and also perform those covers that everyone loves. From the 80s to today, Classic Rock to Country, they have it covered. The crowd is going to go crazy when The Garage Boy take the stage!

Friday, September 2 – Vertical Horizon

I love the ‘90s! Who doesn’t? That is why we booked Vertical Horizon for Friday night. Vertical Horizon has released three albums. Their big hit was “Everything You Want,” which sold over two million copies. The song was the most played single of 2000. This pop rock band is incredibly talented! Vertical Horizon has several radio hits that are sure to take you back to the ‘90s Friday night at the Rib Cook-Off.

Saturday, September 3 – Jessie James Decker

About 8 years ago my dear friend Valerie introduced me to Jessie James music. Val was obsessed with the Blue Jeans song. It is a catchy tune and it gets stuck in my head every time I hear it. Since then Jessie James has gone on to release several hits. She recently married Eric Decker, the famous NFL wide receiver that plays for the New York Jets. She also stars in a popular E! reality TV show documenting her life with Eric. I really admire Jessie James! She is a savvy business woman with her own clothing and accessory line, reality show, and hit internet channel with online beauty tutorials. She believes in empowering women through her businesses. I admire her for her dedication. She has also traveled to the Middle East to visit troops stationed overseas. She has kept true to her vision and her dreams even when the record companies were trying to mold her into something else. She is a very funny, sassy, flirty, and somewhat unfiltered personality on her TV show. The crowd will fall in love with her during her first song.

Sunday, September 4 – Eddie Money

He has two tickets to paradise and by that I mean the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. We are excited to feature the legendary music of Eddie Money. From the late ‘70s until today he has had a huge career and puts on one hell of a show. I predict the VIP Rib Village will sell out Sunday night once the word gets out that Eddie Money is the performer that night.

Monday, September 5 – The Original Wailers

This is the last day of the festival. The concert is in the early afternoon. Burners returning from Burning Man stop by to get their fill of ribs on the way home. We wanted to book an act that would be peppy, bring a happy festival vibe, and draw people from every age group as well as attract the Burning Man crowd as they head home. We found our perfect match in The Original Wailers. Their music is internationally known. The band, with Bob Marley on the microphone, sold over a billion dollars worldwide with their unique beats, memorable and touching lyrics, and amazing guitar sounds. I saw the band a few years back in Lake Tahoe and they put on a great show. I will never forget the experience of seeing them live on stage. They were fantastic! The show will be packed as we enjoy our last concert at Rib Cook-Off 2016.

The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off will be held August 31 – September 5, 2016 in Sparks, Nevada. The six-day BBQ festival is the largest BBQ festival in the country and features a fantastic entertainment lineup. The event features approximately 40 artists on two different stages. Today we announced the entertainment for the Main Stage. We will announce the entertainment lineup for the Floor & Decor West End stage in the next few weeks. We are just fine tuning the lineup right now.  Stay tuned!

For more information or to buy tables at the VIP Rib Village please visit www.nuggetribcookoff.com.


Reno Sculpture Fest 2016

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Reno Sculpture Fest 2016

The 2nd annual Reno Sculpture Fest was held on May 6 – 8 in downtown Reno, Nevada. The event featured 30 art installations including larger-than-life sculptures, art cars, sound stages for live performances, interactive activities, and after parties. I was really excited after the inaugural event last year. I feel like Sculpture Fest has a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing what it grows into over the next few years.

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The top two factors that make this a great event:

  • Larger-than-life sculptures – There is something so humbling about seeing an enormous piece of artwork. It gets your imagination working and inspires you. I am awestruck by the artists and their sculptures. The sculptures at this event do not disappoint!
  • Location! Location! Location! – Having the event right under the Reno Arch is perfect! This makes it easy to get to the event because there are several nearby parking options. The location also enables event attendees to take fabulous pictures with the world-famous Reno arch in the background. Every picture is like a post card promoting Reno. Great photo ops for locals and tourists alike!

Tips if you go next year:DSC00067

  • Go early in the day. The early morning hours are best. We went in the late afternoon and the event was awkwardly crowded. We couldn’t read about the art on the small signs and it just felt like we were in the way when trying to look at the sculptures and take pictures. We also saw more than our fair share of burners, street performers and panhandlers that afternoon. My friends that went in the morning had a much better experience. They had time to enjoy the art and the event was much less crowded. They were also able to take some really great photos with the morning lighting.
  • Bring your camera! My camera stopped working after our first twenty minutes at the event. It was operator error, but still a bummer. Thank goodness for cell phones! Don’t just bring a camera, bring a backup camera.

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I look forward to seeing what Reno Sculpture Fest has in store for fans in 2017. I like Burning Man, but I hope Sculpture Fest starts moving away from a Burning Man theme and there is IMG_4792more focus on sculptures of all sizes. The sculptures make this event truly unique, hopefully more artists are drawn to the event next year and it continues to grow.

This is a great opportunity for artists to show their work and to rally for art sculptures and culture. Potential art donors and sponsors should be drawn to this event. There is a great opportunity to build an artisan marketplace for sculptures and specialty artwork. I could see this eventually becoming a major event for people looking to purchase artwork.

 

Did you go to Sculpture Fest? Comment below about your favorite piece of artwork. Got pictures? Please share them!   

 


Best Holiday Events to Attend: Sparks Edition

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Photo Source: pixabay.com

The holidays are a magical time of year. There are so many traditions and more special events to attend than one can put on the calendar. To make the most of your family time this holiday season, don’t miss these three special events. They all offer family fun at an affordable price. Enjoy the season!

 

Sparks 29th Annual Hometowne Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
This year the theme of the parade is “All Aboard The Hometowne Express!” and you should come down to Sparks to see one of the best holiday parades in the great State of Nevada. The traditional Christmas parade will feature a train theme this year. Enjoy entertainment, photos with Santa, and arts and crafts. Don’t forget to bring a toy for the annual Toys-For-Tots toy drive.
Cost: FREE
Parking: Surface lots around the parade route, in the parking garage by the theater or the garage on C Street.
Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade Facebook Page

 

39 North Pole Village – New Event!
Friday, December 11, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The Nugget Casino Resort and 39 North Downtown are partnering to bring you this new event that will turn downtown Sparks into a holiday winter wonderland. The event will feature thousands of sparkling lights, holiday shopping booths for unique gifts, great food, family fun and holiday cheer. Santa will be there to read special letters and take requests. Stop by the Hot Chocolate Holiday Train and take in a special showing of “The Polar Express” in the Amphitheater. This is an inaugural event that is sure to become a new holiday tradition for families in northern Nevada.
Cost: FREE (Christmas light donations are appreciated)
Parking: Surface lots around the event, in the parking garage on C Street, or in the Nugget parking garage.
39 North Pole Village Facebook Page

 

The Nutcracker
Friday, December 18 – Wednesday, December 23
Reno Dance Company’s 14th annual Nutcracker appearance will be held in the Celebrity Showroom at the Nugget Casino Resort. The Nutcracker ballet is based on the story “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice” written by E.T.A. Hoffman, and is always popular during the holiday season. The story takes place on Christmas Eve and has become a special tradition for many families that take in the show each year the week before Christmas. Proceeds from the show benefit Reno Dance Company.
Cost: Tickets are $26.95 for regular seating. $21.95 for seniors, and $19.95 for children under 12. VIP booth seating is available for $36.95 per ticket. Click here for show times, ticket purchases and additional ticket information.
Parking: Nugget Casino Resort parking garage or surrounding parking lots.

It truly is the most wonderful time of year. Enjoying time with family and friends is important, so please share this information with your loved ones. We hope to see you at all of these great events in Sparks!

Do you have a tradition or favorite special event you attend during the holiday season? Please share your traditions by posting a comment.


Top 7 Events to Attend at Reno Craft Beer Week

Reno Craft Beer Week April 18 - 25

Image Credit: VisitRenoTahoe.com via Reno Craft Beer Week

Event season is officially here! It starts today with the kick-off to Reno Craft Beer Week. This event is a region-wide ode to craft beer. There are many types of beer events for beer devotees and those that want to become beer aficionados. The beer week events highlight the Reno-Tahoe beer culture.

The Reno craft beer scene is thriving! The craft brewing community is constantly growing and the culture is one of collaboration and support for brewers as they evolve their craft. Reno Craft Beer Week is April 18 – April 25 and there are many events to attend each day including beer dinners, tastings, beer education events, tap takeovers, bus tours, and dance parties.

Reno Craft Beer Week is a great week-long event to attend if you are an out of town visitor looking for a unique Reno experience. This event is a beer lover tourist’s dream! This time of year the Reno hotel room rates are affordable, the weather is nice, and the beer is flowing. It is a great time to drive over the hill from California for a little getaway and to attend Reno Craft Beer Week.

Since there are so many events at Reno Craft Beer Week here are my recommendations for the top 7 events to attend…

Saturday, April 18, 2015
Social Science: The Art of Beer
Tickets: $20
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Discovery Museum
490 S. Center Street, Reno, NV

This event is for the smart beer drinker that wants to understand the science behind brew. At the event they will teach attendees how beer is made and examine different varieties of brew. Rumor has it there are also a few games at this event as part of the science demos. This is a great opportunity for beer fans to #NerdOut

Sunday, April 19, 2015
Strange Brew Festival
Tickets: $50
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Brewer’s Cabinet
475 S. Arlington Ave, Reno, NV

What should you expect at a Strange Brew Festival? Only the most uniquely crafted brews around. This is a completely unique festival for beer geeks. The beers are insane and will tantalize your taste buds. A few of the brews include Cotton Candy Lager, Joshua Tree Ale, Mango Habanero Sasion Beer, Cask of Seaweed & Black Tea Saison, Coffee Stout, Thai Chili Reese’s Peanut Butter Stout, Chipotle Lime Pineapple Ale, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Saison, and Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout to name a few of the exotic offerings. There is live music and proceeds benefit the Reno Build Project, which provides start-up funds for new local businesses.

Monday, April 20, 2015
Our Bar High Sierra Tap Takeover
Tickets: FREE
5:30 p.m.
Our Bar
211 W 1st Street, Reno, NV

Our Bar is one of my favorite bars in Reno! For some strange reason I can’t help but have fun there. They have darts, nice employees, and a fantastic location. For Reno Craft Beer Week they are letting High Sierra Brewing Co. take over their taps and serve rare beers. This should be the perfect way to spend happy hour on Monday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Craft Beer Cocktail Competition
Tickets: FREE
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
1864 Tavern
290 California Ave, Reno, NV

The theme of this competition is Outlaw Beer Cocktail. Contestants sent in recipes and the best 8 were selected to compete. Each drink must contain at least .75 oz of Great Basin Outlaw Milk Stout and then they are allowed up to six total ingredients. This event is open to professional bartenders and amateurs so it should be interesting to see what they come up with and who wins this competition.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Sour Fest 2015 at Chapel Tavern
Tickets: FREE
2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Chapel Tavern
1099 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV

Sour Fest 2015 at Chapel Tavern

Image Credit: RenoCraftBeerWeek.com

You know when your gut tells you an event is going to be great? I have that feeling about this event. I love Chapel Tavern, and the campaign for this event always puts a smile on my face. For Sour Fest 2015 they will tap 14 types of sour beer from 4 different local brewers. Get there early because they will be pouring until they run out, when it is over it is over. No re-taps. Game over.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Roving Dinner & Beer Pairing / Reno Provisions & The Brewer’s Cabinet
Tickets: $50
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Reno Provisions
100 N. Sierra St., Reno, NV

If you are available Thursday night repeat after me “Shut-up and take my money” because that is the kind of event this Roving Dinner is, get tickets if you can! You can’t miss this culinary experience. The dinner pairs custom brews, live music, and a silent auction. The custom beer was crafted in partnership between The Brewer’s Cabinet and local restaurants. Proceeds benefit Reno Build Project. Click here for video about the partnership between the brewers and the chefs.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Cerveza Chilebeso Bottle Release Party & Sparks Rotary End Polio Now Fundraiser
Tickets: FREE
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Taps & Tanks (Great Basin Brewing Co)
1155 S. Rock Blvd, Suite 490, Reno, NV

Nothing screams local community more than Rotary and local craft brews. This is the first time they will be releasing Cerveza Chilebeso in bottles. You can pick up bottles to go at this event or stay for the party. There will be live mariachi music and this is a fundraiser for Sparks Rotary as part of the Rotary International Global Polio Eradication Initiative. For each pint purchased, $1 will go toward the cause. There will also be a silent auction and raffle. Make sure to come thirsty and be ready to support local brew and the local Rotary Club.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Backwash
Tickets: $45 in advance, $50 at the door
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Freight House District at the Aces Ballpark
250 Evans Ave, Reno, NV

This event is a competition for home brewers. The event was created by local home brewers and beer enthusiasts as a fundraiser for Project Great Outdoors. Backwash is a celebration of home brew with more than 75 contestants coming from all over the west competing for Yelper’s Choice and Brewer’s Choice awards. The winner will have their beer brewed and featured on tap at Silver Peak. Project Great Outdoors is a non-profit organization that serves under-privileged youth in our community by guiding them through self-discovery adventures in the great outdoors.

 
Reno Craft Beer Week is a new event and it has amazing growth potential! For additional information and a full list of all Reno Craft Beer Week events click here. Please try to attend a few of these events and support your local brewers. If you attend any of these events, don’t forget to post pictures on social media and use the official event hashtag #renocraftbeerweek.


Rodeo Idol at Gilley’s

Rodeo Idol - April 22 at Gilley's

Image Credit: Reno Rodeo

This year the Reno Rodeo is having a competition to select National Anthem singers for the 96th annual event scheduled for June 18-27. Every night the rodeo starts with the National Anthem. Rodeo fans expect top notch singers and this year Reno Rodeo will not disappoint their fans. So far they have filled 5 spots for the anthem, now they are looking to fill the last 5 spots through Rodeo Idol singing competition.

The contest started with singers submitting video of their national anthem singing. The panel of Reno Rodeo judges selected a group of semi-finalists to be voted on by the general public. Voting is taking place right now on Facebook. The contest on Facebook runs April 1 – 15. Click here to vote if you have a Facebook account.

The top 10 contestants selected on Facebook will take the stage at Gilley’s in the Nugget on Wednesday, April 22 for the final round of judging. The contest starts at 8:00pm, but I suggest you get there early to get good seats because it is going to be packed. Each contestant will sing one cover song of their choice to warm-up and then they will sing the national anthem. Bob Richards from KBUL Nash 98.1 FM Moo Crew Mornings will be the MC for the contest. Winners will receive four tickets to the rodeo the night they perform, tickets to the sponsor lounge for dinner, and other great prizes.

The Nugget is excited to be hosting this event at Gilley’s and to be working with Reno Rodeo. Please click here to vote and we hope to see you at Gilley’s Wednesday, April 22 for Rodeo Idol!

Gilley's - Nugget Casino Resort, Sparks, NV

Image Credit: Nugget Casino Resort

Related Links:
Reno Rodeo Website
Rodeo Idol Contest Facebook Page
Gilley’s at the Nugget


Matt Weaver’s Brew HaHa Interview

BrewHaHaI’ve always thought my job would be perfect for a reality show, as long as I could remain anonymous and they would somehow protect the guilty parties that make my job insane.

I have a fascinating job! I kick-off the year with a big New Year’s party on the casino floor, then host one of the biggest beer events on the west coast, plan a country concert music series in June, set off fireworks over the 4th of July, celebrate classic cars in August, and then I’m in charge of the biggest rib festival in the country over Labor Day weekend.

The craziest things happen when you produce events. When I interview potential interns I ask them how well they handle random people and situations, because that is the life of an event producer. For the last few years I’ve been trying to figure out a way to capture some of the fun and document the craziness, without making a deal with Bravo TV of course, so I decided to buy an iPad and find a way to document my life as an event manager on my own. If I get enough video views I might just have to upgrade to a real camcorder.

This was the first interview I’ve taken since I bought the iPad. The interview was taken at Brew HaHa, the annual Sierra Arts Foundation Fundraiser that was held this year on Friday, February 13 at the Nugget Casino Resort. My friend Matt Weaver from Morrey Distributing was a good sport and let me interview him.

Here are a few lessons I learned from my first interview…

1. I need to buy microphones. Sorry the audio levels are awful. We tested several locations at the event for the interview and it was just too loud. Finally we decided the entrance hallway would be best. We had to yell at each other the whole time, which was a little awkward and made me want to end the interview after two questions.

2. Try not to watch what is going on behind you and act natural. Watch out for those girls having too much fun around the 40 second mark.

3. I wanted to capture the essence of why the distributors and the brewers support this event, but I wasn’t able to do it justice because it was so loud and hard to host the interview in those conditions. I’ll have to try again next year.

4. If you are going to do interviews after working 15 hours you must add lots of eye makeup to hide the dark circles under your eyes better.

5. I need to learn how to edit video. I am using iMovie and I’m clueless! I look forward to developing iMovie skills as I develop Mad About Events Blog. Until I develop more skills I better try to do one take interviews. Editing may not be an option for a while.

If you enjoyed this video make sure to follow Lisa Jansen’s YouTube Channel. I will be uploading more interviews and video taken at events.

Special thanks to the lovely Bre Reinhardt for being the iPad camera operator.
Image Credit


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