Eldorado Great Italian Festival in Reno, Nevada

Downtown Reno Becomes Little Italy

Street performers at the Eldorado Great Italian Festival in Reno, Nevada.
••• Street performers at the Eldorado Great Italian Festival in Reno, Nevada. Photo © Stan White

The Eldorado Great Italian Festival is a fun, family-friendly affair. Just strolling Virginia Street during the festival is entertaining, with street performers, free music from two stages, and good food and drink readily available. People really get into the Italian spirit for this festival, giving it a boisterous yet friendly atmosphere. 

Eldorado Great Italian Festival Activities

Here are some of the activities you can enjoy.

If you really get into it, you can become a participant and play bocce ball, stomp grapes, and let the kids get involved in activities designed just for them.

  • Free musical entertainment on two stages.
  • Wine Walk - Sample 20 California and Italian wines. The walk is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
  • Grape Stomping Contest - The public can sign up on Saturday after 10 a.m. for an available stomp time. Sunday stomping times start at 11 a.m. and will be reserved for members of the media, politicians, and local celebrities. The grape stomping stage is in the train trench plaza on the south side of the Eldorado.
  • Sauce Cook-Off Pasta Bowls - For sampling the sauces in the sauce cookers competition and voting (ballots given with each pasta bowl purchase). Bowls are $3 and available daily starting at 2 p.m. Get yours at the pasta booth at the corner of 4th and Virginia Streets.
  • Italian Farmers Market - Fresh fruits and vegetables on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Eldorado's Famous Italian Dinner Buffet - Served in the Eldorado Convention Center on Saturday and in The Buffet on Sunday, both starting at 4 p.m. Check the Eldorado website for Italian food specials.
  • Kids' Gelato Eating Contest - At 3 p.m. on Sunday only at the grape stomp stage.

Entertainment at the Italian Festival

Lively music is a big part of the Eldorado Great Italian Festival.

Two outdoor stages provide a steady stream of tunes from a variety of bands, singers, and Eldorado Hotel Casino show performers. It's free to enjoy the stage entertainment - just show up and swing to the Italian music. The Rome Stage is located at 4th and Virginia Streets, and the Venice Stage is located at 3rd and Virginia Streets.

Festival Street Closures and Parking

The Eldorado Great Italian Festival results in numerous street closures in downtown Reno. To save yourself some time and hassle, refer to the downtown Reno road closures and restrictions map before driving to the city center during the festival. This map is also good for showing traffic restrictions during other special events held in downtown Reno.