The September calendar of events in Reno/Sparks is in full swing with classic special events like the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off, Reno Air Races, and Great Reno Balloon Race. In addition, the Nevada Museum of Art features new exhibitions and collections, and events, and the Offbeat Music Festival might be where you hear the music of a favorite new band.

Check out all the cool things happening in Northern Nevada with this September calendar of events in Reno, Sparks, and beyond.

September Calendar Of Events In Reno and Sparks

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

  • When: Wednesday, September 1, 2021–Monday, September 6, 2021
  • Where: Victorian Square, Victorian Avenue, Sparks
  • More information

The annual Labor Day Weekend event spans more than six city blocks in the heart of downtown Sparks, where two dozen of the country’s barbecue outfits compete for nearly $20,000 in prize money and bragging rights. About 350,000 to 400,000 barbecue enthusiasts participate in the festivities each year, consuming more than 250,000 pounds of ribs. Additional activities include an arts and crafts vendor show, beer garden, kids’ carnival, VIP area, and entertainment performing on two stages. Admission is free.

Virtual Educator Evening: The Pedagogy of Play

Virtual Educator Evening - The Pedagogy of Play - September calendar of events in Reno

  • When: 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 1, 2021
  • Where: Virtual
  • More information

Educator Evening is a free professional development series on the first Wednesday of every month, offering state-approved professional development hours. September features a conversation with Jennifer Oxman, researcher, and senior project manager on the Pedagogy of Play initiative at Project Zero, a research organization based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The program is hosted virtually on Zoom.

Mountains, Cliffs, and Mesas

  • When: Thursday, September 2, 2021 ­– Thursday, September 30, 2021
  • Where: Lake Mansion, 250 Court St., Reno
  • More information

During this series of classes, learn how to depict mountain ranges with various art tools, including the palette knife and the hothead fan brush. Instructor Karen Hayes will discuss how to create texture for rocks and changing surfaces with diverse settings and subjects with one-on-one creative guidance to paint a 16″ x 20″ canvas masterpiece.

  • Thursday, September 2, 2021: Cliffs by the Sea by Oliha Darchuk
  • Thursday, September 16, 2021: Mesa and Sage by Martha Mans
  • Thursday, September 30, 2021: Snowy Mountain by Juan Alcantara

Each class takes place in the Garden Pavilion. Accessible street parking is available on Flint Street. Cost: $35.

Virtual Art Discussion: Sculpture Garden & Museum Design

Virtual Art Discussion Sculpture Garden Museum Design - September calendar of events in Reno

View a selection of art from the comfort of your home with a Virtual Art Discussion about the museum’s design and sculptures. Virtual Art Discussions are led by experienced docents that will share interesting perspectives and invite inquiry and discussion. This program will be hosted on Zoom. Please have Zoom downloaded with audio and video features turned on. A Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants the morning of the program. Cost: $10.

A Closer Look: Landscapes in Nevada

  • When: 1-2 p.m. Friday, September 3, 2021
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno
  • More information

Museum docents lead attendees through current exhibitions, including The Latimer School: Lorenzo Latimer and the Latimer Art Club, facilitating conversations centered around landscapes in Nevada and beyond. Cost: Free with admission or $10.

Ales & Tales

  • When: 4-7 p.m. Saturday, September 4, 2021
  • Where: Animal Ark, 1265 Deerlodge Road, Reno
  • More information

Adults 21 and older can enjoy local brews, activities, and a relaxing atmosphere as the animals enjoy the cool evening. Reservations aren’t required. Cost: Adults, $20; seniors, $19. Full price for members.

Laurel Picklum: Adaptation

  • When: Thursday, September 4, 2021
  • Where: The Depot Gallery, 831 Victorian Ave., Sparks
  • More information

The exhibit runs from 8 a.m. Saturday, September 4, 2021, to 5 p.m. Sunday, September 26, 2021. Artist Laurel Picklum grew up in California raised by nature-loving scientists. Her life has been filled with creativity through drawing, painting, and music, as well as an ever-growing appreciation for biology and the natural world. Learn more about the artist and her work at

Ann M. Wolfe on Art, Nature, and the Founding of the Nevada Museum of Art

  • When: 6-7 p.m. Friday, September 10, 2021
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno
  • More information

Join Ann M. Wolfe, Andrea and John C. Deane Family senior curator and deputy director, for a look at the history of the Nevada Museum of Art with an emphasis on the organization’s early ties to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Bohemian Club, Fallen Leaf Lake in the Sierra, and the University of Nevada. Wolfe will discuss the roots of the Latimer Art Club from the 1910s and the critical role it played in the founding of the institution. Cost: $10. This registration is for a live in-person ticket. For Zoom-only registration, click here.

Greek Festival (Greek Food TO GO)

  • When: Friday, September 10, 2021–Saturday, September 11, 2021
  • Where: 4795 Lakeside Drive, Reno
  • More information

The 2021 Reno Greek Festival has been canceled and replaced with Greek Food TO GO. Preorder your favorite Greek dishes here.

The Great Reno Balloon Race

The Great Reno Balloon Race - September calendar of events in Reno

  • When: 4:30-11 a.m. Friday, September 10, 2021–Sunday, September 12, 2021
  • Where: Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra St., Reno
  • More information

Soaring high above the Reno skyline, more than 80 beautiful hot-air balloons take flight. It has been one of Reno’s most colorful and spectacular events for over three decades and is located just 2 miles from downtown Reno. The Great Reno Balloon Race is free to the public. The glow show begins each day at 5 a.m., followed by dawn patrol at 5:30 a.m. and the mass ascension launch at 7 a.m. The super glow show goes big on Friday morning as 25-30 glowing balloons are choreographed to music.

Waiting For Godot

Waiting For Godot - September calendar of events in Reno

  • When: Friday, September 10, 2021–Sunday, October 3, 2021
  • Where: Brüka Theatre, 99 N. Virginia St., Reno
  • More information

After a 16-month shutdown, Brüka Theatre reopens with Samuel Beckett’s Absurdist masterpiece, Waiting for Godot for its 29th season, “Onward.” This iconic play challenges its audiences to confront life’s most difficult questions while searching for meaning in a world where nothing is certain. Brüka Theatre guests will need to show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theater, and they must be fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine. Masks are required for the audience except while eating or drinking in designated locations. Show dates: September 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 29, 30 and October 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m. and September 12 and 19 and  October 3 at 2 p.m. General admission tickets are $30.

International Camel & Ostrich Races

Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada
  • When: Friday, September 10, 2021–Sunday, September 12, 2021
  • Where: Virginia City Fairgrounds, 458 F St, Virginia City
  • More information

Each year, jockeys maneuver camels, ostriches, and zebras as they race around the track in historic Virginia City to the cheers and laughter of thousands of spectators. Friday is a special evening performance, Hot Camel Nights. Sunday is Dolan Auto Group Family Day with free camel rides for the first 100 kids. After the races, join the Camel Hump to C Street, where thirsty camels have been known to duck into a bar or two. Daily tickets can be purchased online with General Admission, Premium, and VIP seating options available.

Legends of Beer Festival 2021

  • When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, September 11, 2021
  • Where: The Outlets at Legends, 1310 Scheels Drive, Sparks
  • More information

This festival starts with a fun run in the morning and then a “beer-mile” relay competition leading up to the beer festival that pits local brewery/bar staff against one another and a public beer-mile relay race for the more serious runners. All events are available individually or as packages. The festival will include beers from around the region and non-beer options such as seltzer, cider, and more. General admission to the festival includes unlimited beer tastings.

Cheetah Dash

  • When: 5:30-7 p.m. Saturday, September 11, 2021
  • Where: Animal Ark, 1265 Deerlodge Road, Reno
  • More information

In an enclosure demonstration, cheetah cubs Amani, Jabari, and Tambo will learn the ropes of high-speed runs in the cheetah yard. No photo blinds will be available. This event will feature a Keeper Talk, a video presentation, and biofacts. This event is open to the public. Cost: Adults $45; Seniors $40; Children (8-12 years old) $35. Children must be at least eight years old to attend. Reservations are required due to limited seating; RSVP to

Out of the Shadows Ghost Walk

  • When: 6 p.m. Saturday, September 11, 18, 25, 2021, and Saturday, October 2 and 9, 2021
  • Where: Third & Carson Street next to the St. Charles Hotel (Firkin & Fox Pub), Carson City
  • More information

The Carson City Ghost Walk explores and relives Carson City’s rich and intriguing history in seasonal tours, led by Madame Curry, a witty community spirit based on the widow of Carson City’s founder, Abe Curry. The Carson City Ghost Walks evening walking tours are a delightfully spooky and enjoyable way to experience Carson City’s Victorian era. Arrive at least 10 minutes before the walk begins. Cost: $15 in advance with an additional online fee; $20 at the door.

Tour de Tahoe

  • When: Sunday, September 12, 2021
  • Where: Tahoe Sports Ltd, 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd Ste #7, South Lake Tahoe
  • More information

The annual ride provides an opportunity to cycle around 72 miles of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline, including an 800-foot climb overlooking scenic Emerald Bay and a 1,000-foot climb to Spooner Junction.

The 2021 STIHL National Championship Air Races

  • When: Wednesday, September 15, 2021–Sunday, September 19, 2021
  • Where: Reno-Stead Airport, 4895 Texas Ave., Reno
  • More information

The STIHL National Championship Air Races is the fastest motorsport on Earth and features days of airplane racing action. Ticket prices vary and can be purchased here.

Earth As Lover

  • When: Noon-1 p.m. Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno
  • More information

The book “Assuming the Ecosexual Position: The Earth as Lover” describes how Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens came together as lovers and collaborators. Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens have been life partners and 50/50 collaborators on multimedia projects since 2002. Cost: $10.

Fall into the Holidays Craft Fair

  • When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • Where: Sparks Recreation Gym, 98 Richards Way, Sparks
  • More information

Join in for the inaugural Fall Into the Holidays Craft Fair. Proceeds will benefit the Community Arts Fund and Sparks Parks & Recreation Leisure Without Limits programs for people with disabilities.

“Sleeping Beauty” with the Reno Philharmonic

  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday, September 18, 2021, and 2 p.m. Sunday, September 19, 2021
  • Where: Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St., Reno
  • More information

The 2021 fall season for the A.V.A. Ballet Theatre opens with the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the haunting score to this ballet. Re-staged and re-choreographed by Alexander Van Alstyne, it’s the story of a beautiful princess cursed by the evil Carrabosse. Professional dancers from throughout the country will star in the lead roles and the large cast from A.V.A. Ballet Theatre. Ticket prices vary.

Hounds & Hot Rods

  • When: 9 p.m. Sunday, September 19, 2021
  • Where: Baldini’s Casino Convention Center, 865 S. Rock Blvd., Sparks
  • More information

The final Show & Shine will benefit S.P.C.A. of Northern Nevada. All year’s makes and models are welcome.

Art for Recovery

  • When: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, September 23, 2021
  • Where: Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute, 85 Kirman Ave, Reno
  • More information

The annual Art for Recovery fundraiser will benefit the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute at Renown Health. The fundraiser is a family-friendly event, free to the public, and features an art auction, craft vendors, kids’ activities, and refreshments.

Street Vibrations Fall Rally

Street Vibrations Fall Rally - September calendar of events in Reno

  • When: Thursday, September 23, 2021–Sunday, September 26, 2021
  • Where: Reno, Sparks, Tahoe, Carson City, and Virginia City
  • More information

Street Vibrations Motorcycle Festival celebrates music, metal, and motorcycles, offering poker runs, live entertainment, ride-in shows, stunt and bike shows, and more to more than 50,000 riding enthusiasts. Major event venues are planned in Reno’s Neon Line, historic Virginia City, Reno Harley-Davidson, Carson City Motorsports, and Battle Born Harley-Davidson in Carson City. Register as a Street Vibrations VIP participant at the Roadshows event headquarters in the Copa Room of the Sands Regency Casino Hotel. For $75, registered VIPs get an official 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.

Land Art: Past, Present, Futures

Land Art Past Present Futures - September calendar of events in Reno

  • When: Thursday, September 23, 2021–Friday, November 19, 2021
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno
  • More information

Commemorating 50 years of Land Art, the Nevada Museum of Art convenes its triennial 2021 Art + Environment Season Land Art: Past, Present, Futures. The three-month season of virtual programs brings together prominent artists, art historians, and critics who have shaped the pioneering genre alongside contemporary artists, scholars, and social activists.

Wyld Market @ The Virgil

  • When: 1-5 p.m. Saturday, September 25, 2021
  • Where: The Virgil, 301 Vassar St., Reno
  • More information

Wyld Market is popping up on Wells Avenue with 40+ vendors, live art, live music, food trucks, and tasty local drinks. There will be dozens of crafts from hundreds of makers across the Sierra.

Reno Ukulele Festival

  • When: 9 a.m.-5 p.mThursday, September 30, 2021–Saturday, October 2, 2021
  • Where: Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks
  • More information

The festival will feature ukulele lessons for beginners, free entertainment, and a marketplace of musical instruments and other wonders, open to the public Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

OffBeat Music Festival

November Events in Reno/Sparks: Off Beat Music Festival

  • When: Thursday, September 30, 2021–Saturday, October 2, 2021
  • Where: The Virgil, 301 Vassar St., Reno
  • More information

The Off Beat Music Festival is a citywide, multi-venue festival that’s all about discovering the amazing new things being created right here in Reno – music, food, art, and more. Performances are at a mix of venues from small bars to large theaters, creating a “festival crawl” where you have the option of discovering new music from a choice of 80 performances over three days at different locations around the core of Reno.

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