On August 1, 1986, hundreds of Northern Nevada residents and guests gathered at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to ogle over cars of the 1950’s-60’s era and rock out to the Righteous Brothers. Although dancing to now-considered oldies-but-goodies live music was the main reason why people gathered, the classic car parade proved to be the highlight of what became known as Hot August Nights.
Now 31 years later, Hot August Nights is still packed with car-centric events, live music, and family-friendly wholesome fun. Kicking off in Virginia City August 4-5, the week-long festivities then made their way over to Reno-Sparks with plenty of opportunities to view and admire vintage cars.
The 2017 version of the event has plenty of action-packed events going on in Reno-Sparks through Aug. 13. In Sparks alone, DJ Rich West kicks off the live entertainment on the Victorian Square Outdoor Stage every morning followed by the Victorian Square Craft Fair, a classic car cruise, and live music in the evenings.
From 6 p.m. to midnight every evening, revelers can watch their favorite roadsters race each other during the popular Drag Races & Burnouts event held at the Nugget’s west end parking lot. For a $10 entry fee, cars will be on display at The General Jerry Lee Drag Racing Exhibitions in the same location.
Here’s the rest of the HAN entertainment lineup in Sparks:
Wednesday, Aug 9., DJ Rich West kicks off live music for the day on the Victorian Square Outdoor Stage from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. followed by Route 66…The Band from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Other events include the Ultimate Classic Car Competition where all Mopar/Chrysler vehicles will be judged (in the Nugget parking lot from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and a Classic Car Cruise in Downtown Sparks from 7 to 10 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 10, Hosted at the Nugget, a Classic Car Competition will be going on where all Ford vehicles will be judged from 9 to 4 p.m. followed by an Ultimate Classic Car Competition Awards on the Sparks Outdoor Stage. From 7 to 10:30 p.m., HAN fans can relive their prom by dancing with their sweethearts at Baldini’s Casino to the tunes of Ronny & The Classics. DJ Rich West plays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. followed by Lady and the Tramps and Timeless Wonder on the Victorian Square Outdoor Stage.
Friday, Aug. 11, Start your day off by checking out the Best Stock Restored and Best Stock Original Competition in Victorian Square from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then the Classic Car Competition Awards presentation on the Outdoor Stage. Later in the evening, Ronny & The Classics and The Boogie Knights will be headlining. Jerry Lee Lewis will be playing at the Nugget Grand Ballroom (tickets are $55-$95).
Saturday, Aug. 12, Catch the Celebrity Choice Show-n-Shine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jenny’s Studio of Dance Performance on the Victorian Square Outdoor Stage (at 10 a.m.) In the evening, there will be a Classic Car Competition Best in Show presentation at the Sparks Outdoor Stage with Hot Rods and Pablo Cruise bringing you some danceable tunes.
Showcasing a car in HAN? If so, don’t forget to get a $5 breakfast at Baldini’s Casino in Sparks. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, HAN participants may also get a commemorative T-shirt from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Although there are plenty of Sparks events to keep you entertained throughout the rest of the week, HAN doesn’t stop there. On Sept. 23, HAN will be hosting the Classics & Cocktails fundraising dinner and there will also be a Fall Frenzy 2017 event at Baldini’s on Saturday, Oct. 7.