40th Annual Great Italian Festival in Reno brings the sights, sounds and flavors of Italy
October 8 & 9: Authentic Italian food, live entertainment, family-friendly activities and more!
Reno, Nevada – Classes welcome group Big Italian Festival Return to downtown Reno from 8 to 9. For the 40th year, guests can experience the flavors, sounds and style of Italy in the heart of the largest small city where guests celebrate Italian culture, traditions and authentic cuisine.
This fun-filled weekend will see homemade Italian food, live entertainment, artisan shopping, cooking competitions, family-friendly activities and more. The free event will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 9.
“The great Italian festival is a Carano family tradition. It started four decades ago with my father, Don Carano, and his desire to bring the authentic and rich cuisine of our heritage in Italy to our hometown here in Reno,” said Greg Carano, Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage.
“We couldn’t be happier that after all these years, the community has rallied around this weekend of food, fun and family. During the Great Italian Festival, everyone is part of our family, and everyone is part Italian.”
Cooking a great Italian festival sauce
The great Italian festival sauce concoction continues to be a crowd favorite every year. Italian families from all over the world bring their recipes to life on the street for guests to savor. Over 20 families will compete in the cooking round each day, and the sauces will be judged by a respected panel of judges.
No Italian festival would be complete without an array of authentic Italian food. Spectators are invited to “Mangia!” – or “Eat!” As the Italians say – with a variety of favorites like Chicken Parmigiana sandwich, Mama Lisa’s ziti, lasagna, famous Gino bread, El Dorado tortellini, gnocchi pesto, famous mushroom ravioli with creamy porcini sauce and many more for other delicious bites.
Food can be paired with refreshing drinks such as bellini, specialty cocktails, strawberry-basil margherita, rosemary cocktails, blood orange, lemon juice, vodka, Tuscan mules, and a wide selection of soft drinks and iced beers.
- Guests can purchase boxes of macaroni muffins to savor the sauce for $5 at the pasta kiosk in front of Silver Legacy on 4th Street starting at 2 p.m. daily.
- Grape taming is fun, free and open to the public from 11am-5pm on Saturday and 1pm-5pm on Sunday.
- The children’s play area located directly across from the Circus Circus on Fifth Street offers corn hole games, a big slide, camel rides and face painting.
Guests can enjoy free live entertainment at this year’s festival. Among the featured artists are Moreno Fruzzetti, Eurorhythms Ray Massa, Mbrascatu, Austin Giorgio and others. This year’s festival, Fams of Rock, will perform at the Fourth Street Theater on Saturday evening. The festival’s entertainment lineup is subject to change.
More information online at Big Italian Festival.