Great Italian Festival in Reno, NV

October 8 & 9: Authentic Italian food, live entertainment, family-friendly activities & more!

Reno, Nev. -THE ROW welcomes the Great Italian Festival back to downtown Reno Oct. 8 – 9. For the 40th year, guests may experience Italy’s flavors, sounds and style right in the heart of The Biggest Little City guests celebrating Italian culture, traditions and authentic cuisine.

The fun-filled weekend will feature 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, Oct. 8, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.


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“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, rich cuisine of our heritage in Italy to our hometown here in Reno,” said Gregg Carano, Senior Vice President, Food and Beverage.

“We couldn’t be happier that all these years later, the community has rallied around this weekend of food, fun and family. During the Great Italian Festival, everyone’s a part of our family, and everyone’s Italian.”

Gregg Carano

Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off

The Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off continues to be a crowd favorite every year. Italian families from across the globe bring their recipes to life right on the street for guests to taste. More than 20 families will compete in the cook-off each day, and sauces will be judged by an esteemed panel of judges.

Mangia!

No Italian festival would be complete without an array of authentic Italian cuisine. Spectators are invited to “mangia!” – or “eat up!,” as the Italians say – with a variety of favorites like the chicken parmigiana sandwich, Mama Lisa’s ziti, lasagna, Geno’s famed flatbread, tortellini Eldorado, gnocchi pesto, the famous mushroom ravioli with porcini cream sauce and many other delicious bites.

Cuisine can be paired with refreshing beverages such as bellinis, specialty cocktails, strawberry-basil margaritas, blood orange rosemary cocktails, vodka-berry lemonade, Tuscan mules and a wide selection of seltzer and ice-cold beer.

Festival Highlights:

  • Guests can purchase pasta muffin tins for sauce tasting for $5 at the pasta booth in front of the Silver Legacy on 4th Street starting at 2 p.m. daily.
  • Grape stomping is fun, free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
  • A kid’s play zone directly across from Circus Circus on Fifth Street offers corn hole games, a big slide, camel rides, and face painting.

Live entertainment

Guests may enjoy free, live entertainment at this year’s festival. Featured performers include Moreno Fruzzetti, Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms, Mbrascatu, Austin Giorgio and others. This year’s festival headliner, the Femmes of Rock will perform on the 4th Street stage Saturday evening. The festival’s entertainment lineup is subject to change.

More information online at the Great Italian Festival.

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