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Eldorado Great Italian Festival

October 8 - 9, 2016

Citywide Event

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Every year in October, the Eldorado has brought the sights, sounds and flavors of Italy to downtown Reno during the Eldorado Great Italian Festival. The festival is held each year during Columbus Day weekend and is a celebration of Italian culture and traditions. A wine and food event called Vintage Eldorado and the annual Paesano Open Putt for Pets charity golf tournament give guests a chance to celebrate the Italian Festival all week 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. 

There are plenty of offerings street side as well — traditional Italian fare including housemade pastas, deep-fried ravioli, sausage sandwiches, garlic bread, New York steak flatbread, chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs and more!


Festival Highlights

  • Pasta bowls for sauce tasting
  • Grape stomping
  • Wine walk featuring delicious Italian and California wines
  • Italian Farmers Market with fresh fruits and vegetables 
  • The Eldorado’s Famous Italian Dinner Buffet
  • Children’s gelato-eating contest


 Congratulations to the 34th Annual Eldorado Great Italian Festival Winners!

 Sauce Cook-Off Winners:
This year the Capurro family, who hail from the Liguria region of Italy, took first place honors.  The Alessi/Artana (Billings) family of Palermo/Turin came in second place and the Lazzarone Family of the Asti region of Italy took third.  A total of 40 sauces were judged over the two-day event with scores given for flavor, aroma, appearance and consistency.  The crowds crowned the Buccellato family the people’s choice winner on Saturday and the Finazzo family for Sunday.

Each sauce cooker’s booth was also judged for their decorations.  Many hung Italian flags, grapes, bread baskets and other Italian-inspired décor.  This year’s best decorated booth was the Ragusano family.  The Alessi/Artana family booth came in second and third went to the Lopriore family.
Grape Stomp Winners:

Each year the Eldorado invites members of the local media to participate in a special stomp on Sunday afternoon.  Members of Reno’s radio stations, television studios and print publications are a competitive bunch and this year’s stomp was no exception.

The SWAG Radio team came in first place this year with Rudy Palaminos and Tony Tone stomping and mucking their way to victory.  Sean Patrick and Travis Christensen of KNEWS radio brought the second place trophy home and third place was a tie between Jessica Levity and Shayden Ward from KTHX Radio and Aaron Klatt and Zoe Meneley-Gilbert from KBUL Radio. 

Congratulations to all our Eldorado Great Italian Festival winners for 2015!  The Eldorado would like to thank all the guests, volunteers and sponsors that make this annual festival a hit year after year.