This annual event closes off the streets of downtown Reno so the city can celebrate everything Italian. From bocce ball tournaments to gelato eating contests, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy.
Take a gander through the Great Italian Festival and discover booths dishing up traditional Italian fare like spaghetti, meatballs, and gelato. Alongside, festival-goers can explore a spaghetti sauce cook-off with some contestants that have been participating for 20 years or more. Inside the Eldorado Resort, there’s a gourmet Italian buffet that begins at 4pm each day.
Known for their own delectable Italian specialties, the Eldorado will prepare several Italian favorites for sale throughout the festival. There will also be food available at booths hosted by the Garlic Growers Association of Gilroy and the Castroville Artichoke Growers. Get there early for the $1 pasta bowls that go on sale at 2pm every day, and stroll through the last big farmers’ market of the season.
Three stages will be set up throughout the downtown area, and live bands will perform on the 3rd & 4th Street stages and in the Eldorado Casino Cabaret. Festival goers can enjoy Italian melodies from The Gaylords, Moreno Fruzzetti, Dean Regan & The Triple Crown Trio, Those Darn Accordions, Tom Serafini of Expresso 5, Bella Ciao, Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms, The Steve Balich Polka Band, The Italian Duo and Gene Ferrari.
The Scintas will be performing in the Eldorado Showroom on Saturday, October 11th at 7 and 9:30pm. Tickets for the show start at $19.95, call 800-648-5966 or 775-786-5700 in Nevada for reservations. Look for the booth to enter the drawing for a free trip to Italy, which will be given away at 3pm on Sunday inside the Eldorado at the Casino Cabaret.
Besides the spaghetti sauce cook-off, several contests take place throughout the festival for old and young alike. The kids can get their fill of sweet treats with a gelato eating contest, and adults may enjoy the grape stomp competition. For a special feel of Italy, join the bocce ball tournament, going on both days.
A Long Tradition
This year, the Great Italian Festival celebrates 27 years of fun, food, and festivities. The festival begins at 11am each day, and ends at 4pm. As always, the Great Italian Festival is free, and free parking is available inside the Eldorado or Silver Legacy parking garages on Sierra Street. The main festival takes place on Virginia Street in front of the Eldorado Resort and Casino.