With the tagline, “Celebrating America’s Love Affair with Cars and Rock N’ Roll”, Hot August Nights is in full swing this week with classic car show-n-shines, cruising, concerts and more.
The 30th anniversary of HAN kicked off in Virginia City on July 29-30 with a show-n-shine on C Street and a poker walk coinciding with a classic car show. “We had around 350 cars [in Virginia City] which superseded last year,”
said HAN Public Relations Manager Heather Libretti. She noted that last year’s kickoff event had 200 participants, so HAN is already off to an exceptionally well start. “We’re already breaking records,” she added.
On Monday, Aug. 1, the cars moved over to South Virginia Street for the official kickoff party and “Mill Mile” Cruise starting at the Peppermill Resort. The Atlantis Casino Resort and Peppermill parking lots were filled with classic cars, a craft fair, and even a Guinness Book of World Records hula hooping contest.
Throughout the rest of HAN week, guests and spectators will be treated to hundreds of events hosted all around Reno and Sparks. Between the autocross, donut eating contest, and the hundreds of other events, “There’s no way you can hit every event in one day,” Libretti says.
But the number one event-not-to-miss in Sparks is definitely the Drag Races and Burnouts. “You’ve gotta go to the drags; it’s amazing,” says Libretti. “How fast they get off the starting line is insane; it gets your heart pumping,” she adds. “The smell of burning rubber and the sound of it is like nothing you’ve ever heard before.”
Libretti says that it’s fun to take bets on who is going to win each race.
Last year the Drag Races and Burnouts averaged about 130 participants, but they are expecting a higher turnout for HAN’s 30th year. “A lot of people register the night of,” Libretti says.
The Drag Races and Burnouts will be held every evening Aug. 3-6 in the Nugget Resort Casino’s west parking lot. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with races beginning at 6 p.m. The competition is open to all vehicles from 1976 and older. Entry is free to classic cars already registered in HAN and a $75 charge applies to all non-HAN cars that want to compete on the 1/16th mile track. Nightly cash prizes are awarded to those with the fastest race time and reaction times. Every evening, the top four in each category compete in a runoff and to qualify for Saturday night’s Grand Finals.
Besides the Drag Races and Burnouts, Libretti says that spectators have to attend a cruise. “Car owners are showing them off in their element; the cars are gorgeous,” she says. When asked what Libretti’s favorite car is, she takes a long pause. “Each car is different in its own way; there’s a huge variety from custom to original models.”
According to a study conducted in 2011, visitors like seeing the classic cars the most, but entertainment is also highly ranked. Victorian Square hosts free concerts each night Aug. 2-6 with bands including Ronny & The Classics, Satisfaction (a Rolling Stones tribute band), Adbacadabra (an Abba tribute band), Summer of Love, and Lady an the Tramps (in case you missed them in Virginia City).
Coming back to the Nugget’s Celebrity Showroom Wednesday-Saturday is also Orbison and The Everly Brothers Reimagined for only $20 each night.
New events added to the HAN lineup this year include a pro drifting event on Saturday, Aug. 6 and a Swap Meet with over 400 cars being auctioned off. This year HAN is also offering the largest total show-n-shine prize purse in the world to date with over $160,000 in cash and prizes.
For a complete schedule of events for what is going on this week, visit https://hotaugustnights.net/event-schedule/.