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Eldorado Great Italian Festival

Dates & Time

Oct 7 - Oct 8


Citywide Event

For the 36th year, the Eldorado is bringing the sights, sounds and flavors of Italy to downtown Reno during the Eldorado Great Italian Festival. Held each year during Columbus Day weekend, the festival is a celebration of Italian culture and traditions and includes live entertainment, a sauce cooking contest and of course, pasta – lots of pasta. Don’t miss the Eldorado Great Italian Festival, October 7 & 8 in Downtown Reno. The legendary Paul Anka kicks off the festival on October 6!

The Eldorado Great Italian Festival transforms downtown Reno into Little Italy with a grape stomp, wine walk, an Italian farmers market, food booths and incredible free, live entertainment all weekend long.

A crowd favorite year after year continues to be the Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off. Italian families from across the West Coast bring their recipes to life right on the street for guests to taste. People’s Choice ballots for favorite sauce will be given with the purchase of pasta.

No Italian Festival would be complete without plenty of homemade Italian food. Spectators are invited to “finire di mangia” – or “eat up” as the Italians say with plenty of delicious foods like chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, meat ravioli with Bolognese, tortellini Eldorado, Gnocchetti pesto, Italian sausage and peppers, fried ravioli, fried calamari and the ever-famous mushroom ravioli with porcini cream sauce. Complete your meal with a delicious dessert of homemade gelato, cannolis or Nutella ricotta Crespo, a sweet ricotta crepe with strawberries and Nutella drizzle.

This year's festival highlights include:

  • Pasta muffin tins for sauce tasting will be sold for $4 at the pasta booth in front of the Reno Ballroom starting at 12:30pm daily. Don’t wait, they go fast!
  • Grape stomping is fun, free and open to the public Saturday starting at 10am. Members of the media, politicians and local celebrities stomp Sunday starting at 11 a.m. The grape stomping stage is located on the train trench plaza on the south side of the Eldorado.
  • A wine walk featuring 20 delicious Italian and California wines with unlimited tasting will run from 12:30 to 4pm. Saturday and Sunday for $25 per person, per day or $40 per person for two days.
  • An Italian Farmers Market with fresh fruits and vegetables will run all day Saturday and Sunday. 
  • The Eldorado’s Famous Italian Dinner Buffet will be served in the Eldorado Convention Center at 4pm on Saturday and in The Buffet Saturday and Sunday for $28.99 for adults, $25.99 for ONE Club Silver members and above and $14.99 for children 10 and younger.
  • A children’s gelato-eating contest will be held at 3pm on Sunday for kids ages 3 through 11 at the grape stomp stage.
  • Kiddie Land will be located directly across from the Eldorado on Virginia St. While the adults mangia on great Italian food and wine, the kids can play.


Entertainment Schedule

Rome Stage
4th & Virginia Street


10:30am-12pm - Corey Pesaturo

12:30-2:00pm - Moreno Fruzzetti

2:00-2:15pm - Adam Trent

2:30-4:00pm - Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms

4:30-6:00 pm - Vanessa Racci



10:00-11:30am - Primo Basso

11:30-11:45 - Adam Trent

12:00-1:30pm  - Capuano n' T Rock (Direct from Italy)

2:00-3:30pm - Aaron Caruso

4:00-5:30pm - Mbrascatu


Venice Stage
3rd & Virginia Street


10:00-11:30am - Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms

12:00-1:30pm - Mbrascatu

2:00-3:30pm - Aaron Caruso

4:00-5:30pm - Capuano n' T Rock (Direct from Italy)



9:30-11:00am - Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms

11:30am-1:00pm - Vanessa Racci

1:30-3:00pm - Cory Pesaturo

3:30-5:00pm - Moreno Fruzzetti


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