Beginning 103 Years Ago
September Events to Cap Off the Summer
Events around the Reno / Lake Tahoe area take advantage of the beautiful pleasing outdoors as the summer ends, welcoming fall. Beginning 103 years ago, the Candy Dance was organized in Genoa to pay for the purchase of streetlights. Now, the enterprising dance has turned into one of the many anticipated events in September in the area. Read on to discover the history and details of 6 local area events taking place in Reno, Lake Tahoe, Virginia City and Genoa this September.
1) Great Reno Balloon Race – September 9-11, 2022
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra St., Reno, Nevada
During early September, visitors can look up into the Reno skies and see a rainbow of hot air balloons soaring above. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Great Reno Balloon Race, the world’s largest free ballooning event. The event was created to keep visitors in Reno the weekend between the Air Races and the State Fair and has grown into a world-renowned event. In 1981, only 20 balloons took flight. This year, 100 balloons will take flight.
Starting Friday, September 9th, the schedule of events will be:
- 3:30 a.m. Gates open to Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
- 5:00 a.m. Super Glow Show
- 5:30 a.m. Dawn Patrol
- 6:45 a.m. National Anthem – Reno Silver Dollar Chorus
- 7:00 a.m. Mass Ascension Launch
- 9:30 a.m. E.L. Cord Foundation Tissue Paper Balloon Launch
- 4:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Shopping along Balloon Boulevard
Tips for enjoying the event:
Arrive early, as there is limited parking at the event site. Park for free at the University’s north lots but remember that cars must be removed from the lots by 10 a.m. Parking also will be available at the corner of N. Sierra St. and McCarran Blvd. for a donation to the event.
Bring lawn chairs, sleeping bags or blankets if you would like to sit during the event. Please use the designated blanket area or sit along the very edge of the launch field. If you bring lawn chairs, sit so you don’t block the view of those with blankets. Remember to stay clear of the balloon launch sites, and please relocate if asked to do so by an event official, pilot or launch crew.
Remember to bring your camera! The awe-inspiring sights will bring out the photographer in you. Also, don’t forget to enter your photos in the 2022 Photo Contest. Submit your favorite photo of the Great Reno Balloon Race 2022 to the Reno Gazette Journal for a chance to win a hot air balloon ride for 2. Submissions will be accepted from September 9-18, 2022. After the submission period ends, the top photos will be voted on by the public. Photos with the most votes will win a prize. The voting period will take place from September 28-October 5, 2022.
Make sure to walk around and enjoy the park! In addition to a beautiful arboretum and museum, there are huge lawn areas to the west of the concessions that are perfect for laying down a blanket. So just sit back, relax and enjoy the peaceful show!
For those seeking a no-hassle approach to the event, you can purchase a pass to the Cloud 9 VIP Club. Members to the club have access to heated indoor/patio outdoor seating on the field, catered breakfast provided by Silver Legacy at THE ROW, VIP Parking Passes with transportation from your car to the tent, and a hosted bar with champagne, bloody marys and mimosas.
2) 63rd Annual International Camel and Ostrich Races – September 9 – 11, 2022
Virginia City Fairgrounds, 458 F St Virginia City, NV 89440
The International Camel and Ostrich Races started as a prank between two newspaper editors more than 60 years ago and is now one of the most beloved and hilarious family events in the area. This event brings laughs for the entire family as jockeys, both professional and amateur, race their camels, ostriches and zebras around the track. In addition to the comical racing spectacle, the event includes a fair-like midway with vendors and treats. You and the family can even catch a ride on a camel – a photo opportunity not to be missed.
The event schedule is as follows:
- Friday, September 9
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (An evening show with discounted rates for locals)
- Saturday, September 10
10:00 a.m. – Noon
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday, September 11
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Tickets for the shows can be purchased online and range from $13 – $500. General admission tickets start at $13 and VIP Tables for 6 starts at $365. A VIP table seats up to 6 guests and is a reserved interior table allowing guests to see all the action. At the VIP table each guest will receive 1 food voucher and 2 drink coupons good at the VIP Bar or any vendor for non-alcoholic beverages.
3) The 18th Annual Tour De Tahoe – Bike Big Blue – September 11, 2022
“Parking Lot C,” Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, 50 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449
The 72-mile Tour de Tahoe – Bike Big Blue course circumnavigates the highways clockwise around Lake Tahoe in both Nevada and California. It includes a challenging 800-foot climb to a rest stop overlooking Emerald Bay and a 1,000-foot climb to Spooner Junction. There are also many short rolling ascents and descents totaling over 4024 vertical feet of elevation gain. The altitude ranges between 6,300 feet and 7,100 feet above sea level and the ride is recommended for conditioned recreational bicyclists, not for beginners. Participants must be at least 14 years of age (no children, please) and must be experienced in riding roadways.
The event schedule is as follows:
- Saturday, September 10
Noon – 8:00 p.m. Pre-Registered Rider Check-In and Complimentary Bicycle Safety Inspection
(Tahoe Sports LTD, 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd Ste 7, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150)
- Sunday, September 11
5:30 a.m. Pre-Registered Rider Check-In and Complimentary Bicycle Safety Inspection (“Parking Lot C,” Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, 50 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449)
6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Race Start Times – 15 Minute Intervals
The ride features an After Ride Pool Party in the Swimming Pool area at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with a delicious meal and live music by Deep Fryed Mojo. Additional After Ride Party Meal Tickets are available to purchase for guests when you register online or at event check in.
Additionally, Captivating Sports Photos will be taking photographs of you on the course. These photos will be free to download compliments of Bike the West. The link for download will be shared within a few days after the event.
4) The 56th Annual STIHL National Championship Air Races – September 14 – 18, 2022
Reno Air Racing Association, 14501 Mt. Anderson St., Reno, NV 89506
The STIHL National Championship Air Races is the last event of its kind, carrying on the tradition of the Cleveland Air Races of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. The event was first organized in 1964 by Bill Stead and has been cancelled twice. The first time was in September of 2001 when all aircraft in the United States of America was grounded following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. The second time was in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event is held every September just north of Reno and has become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. For one week, the high desert north of Reno becomes home to hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews. Over the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 1 million spectators and generated more than $600 million for the region’s economy. The event features seven racing classes, a large display of static aircraft with military and civil flight demonstrations.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online or on the day of the event. General admission tickets start at $5.40 and VIP tickets start at $210. VIP tickets give you exclusive access to VIP areas to enjoy between races, Air Races admission, pit passes, private grandstand, parking, continental breakfast and lunch, gift speakers, and official merchandise.
From September 14 – 18, 2022, the races commence at 7:30 a.m. and finish at 5:00 p.m. Each day there are at least 24 different races/events scheduled for enthusiasts to enjoy. Some of the special highlights of the event are:
A F-18 Tactical Demonstration with the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) “Flying Eagle.” The squadron is the United States Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F/A-18 Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron at Naval Air Station Lemoore. According to the squadron’s website, the “Tac Demo” team flies the single-seat F/A-18E and two-seat F/A-18F as close to the “edge of the envelope” as safety and prudence allow.
A F-22 Raptor Demonstration with the U.S. Air Force’s premier combat-ready air-to-air dominance stealth fighter aircraft team. The team performs precision aerial maneuvers at airshows around the world to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the world’s premier 5th generation fighter aircraft. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
The USAF Heritage Flight will feature the F-22 Raptor flying alongside its historic World War II-era counterpart in a dramatic display of our nation’s air power history. These formations serve as a living memorial to the people who have served— or are currently serving—in the U.S. Air Force. For Reno Air Race fans, the pilot of the P-51 Mustang in the Heritage Flight will be none other than seven-time Reno Air Races Unlimited Gold Champion (2009—2014 and 2016) Steven Hinton!
Airsports by Jim Peitz who will be flying his certified aerobatic F33C Beechcraft Bonanza and delivering an amazing demonstration of airsports that will leave all who see it completely mesmerized. The specialized Bonanza is capable of a wide range of aerobatic maneuvers, including loops, point rolls, barrel rolls, snap rolls, Cuban eights and hammerheads. Mr. Peitz has performed in a wide variety of air show planes, including nine years in a Christen Eagle, followed by a 15-year run in an Extra 300L and now the F33C Beechcraft Bonanza for over 11 years. He is the recipient of the most prestigious award in the air show industry, the International Council of Air Shows Sword of Excellence.
And finally, one of the finest certified aerobatic airplanes in the world, the British single-engine, two-seater GB1 GameBird will be flown by its designer and renowned aerobatic champion Philipp Steinbach. The GB1 GameBird was engineered from the outset to be the best aerobatic and touring airplane in the world. Watch as this aerobatic wonder, piloted by Philipp Steinbach himself, graces the skies of Northern Nevada while entertaining the crowd at the STIHL National Championship Air Races!
Here are some quick tips to make your Air Race experience enjoyable:
- Wear sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to protect against the sun
- No outside food and drink allowed, unless you are a box seat ticket holder (one bottle of water is allowed into the races)
- Weather conditions can change throughout the day, dress in layers for best comfort
- Wear comfortable shoes
- A separate ticket is needed to enter the Pits
- Smoking is prohibited
- No dogs (except for service dogs)
- Children five and under are free
- Parking is cash only
- General admission tickets allow attendees into the concession area behind the grandstands, static displays, the Drone Zone as well as non-reserved seating in the general grandstands
- Reserved Seating Tickets ensure guest an assigned seat in the reserved grandstand – located across from the home pylon – plus all the benefits of a General Admission Ticket
- Remember, ticket prices go up at the door so buy tickets in advance for savings.
5) Street Vibrations – September 22 – 25, 2022
Street Vibrations Motorcycle Festival is a celebration of music, metal and motorcycles, offering poker runs, live entertainment, ride-in shows, stunt and bike shows and more to more than 35,000 riding enthusiasts. This event is so big it takes place at several locations throughout the region. Major event venues are planned in Reno’s Neon Line (by the Sands Regency), historic Virginia City, at Reno Harley-Davidson, Carson City Motorsports and Battle Born Harley-Davidson in Carson City.
Rides to what Mark Twain called “the fairest picture the whole earth affords,” – Lake Tahoe – provide unparalleled natural beauty. Flirt with Lady Luck during poker runs and scavenger hunts. Swell with pride in your country at the ceremonial flag raising and national anthem. And, see if you’ve got what it takes to win the Good Vibrations® Slow Bike Races or cheer on your favorites.
Enjoy more than 15 local and regional bands on 2 outdoor stages throughout the rally. Visit and shop more than 100 vendors selling everything for your motorcycle and more.
You can register as a Street Vibrations® VIP participant at the Roadshows event headquarters in the Copa Room of the Sands Regency Casino Hotel. For just $75, registered VIP’s get an official t-shirt, ride pin and hog tag, entry to poker runs, scavenger hunts, VIP party, patriot cruise, slow bike races, and secured VIP parking. The event is open to all motorcycles and is FREE to the public.
6) The 103rd Annual Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Fair – September 24 – 25, 2022
Corner of Nixon and Main Street, Genoa, Nevada
The Genoa “Candy Dance” originated in 1919 as an effort to raise money to purchase streetlights for the small, but enterprising community of Genoa. Lillian Virgin Finnegan, daughter of then prominent Judge Daniel Webster Virgin, suggested the idea of a dance and making candy to pass around during the dance as an incentive for a good “turn-out” of couples. This first “Candy Dance” raised the needed funds for streetlights. However, after the money was raised the town of Genoa realized the monthly electric bill had to be paid. The candy makers were then called upon each year to help promote the “Candy Dance” and pay a year’s worth of electricity for the streetlights throughout the town. This annual event became the “Big Event of the Season” with couples visiting from Reno, Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville and surrounding areas.
The Arts & Crafts Faire (Faire) was added in the 1970s, and later became a two-day event. The first Faire was held on the front lawn of a private residence in Sierra Shadows on Genoa Lane with 12 vendors. A few years later the popular Faire was moved to the Mormon Station Historic State Monument grounds, its current location. Expanding proved necessary and now Faire exhibitors are found throughout the major part of the downtown area. With all the people visiting the Faire these days, the streets in and out of Genoa are temporarily closed during the day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Shuttles bring people from the main parking lots on Genoa Lane and Foothill Road, as well as the limited parking lot at the Genoa Cemetery. There is also a shuttle that runs from the Carson Valley Inn and Douglas High School to the Genoa Lane parking lot.
The “Candy Dance” is still held each year with music from a live band playing everything from rock-n-roll, country-western, swing and hop to waltzes for all ages. Everyone is invited to the Saturday night dinner and dance. A limited number of tickets are sold to the event. This year’s dinner will take place on Saturday, September 24th in the Genoa Town Park from 4:30 to 10:00 p.m. with dinner service starting at 5:30 p.m. Dinner is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The dance and No-Host bar will start at 4:30 p.m. and there will be live music. Tickets may be purchased at the Genoa Town Offices by phone 775-782-8696, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner and Dance Only tickets will also be available at the at the entrance, if room allows. The funds raised by the Town of Genoa during the Candy Dance weekend provide a substantial portion of the town’s annual budget.