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Sights, Sounds and Flavors of Italy Come to Reno during the Eldorado Great Italian Festival

For Immediate Release

Mon, Sep 11, 2017


Sara Robbins



RENO, Nev. (Sept. 11, 2017) – 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, Oct. 7-8 in Downtown Reno.

Running from 10am to 6pm Saturday, Oct. 7 and 10am to 5pm Sunday, Oct. 8, the Eldorado Great Italian Festival transforms downtown Reno into Little Italy with a grape stomp, wine walk, an Italian farmers market, children’s gelato-eating contest, food booths and incredible free, live entertainment all weekend long.

The music lineup includes festival favorites such as Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms, Aaron Caruso, Moreno Fruzzetti, Primo Basso, and direct from Italy, Capuano n’T Rock. New this year are Vanessa Racci and Mbrascatu along with Illusionist Adam Trent who will make a special sneak preview appearance at the festival. Paul Anka will kick-off the weekend with a special performance at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino on Friday, Oct. 6.

A crowd favorite year after year continues to be the Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off and this year it will have a new way for pasta lovers to enjoy it. Italian families from across the West Coast bring their recipes to life right on the street for guests to taste. Pasta tasting muffin pans with four compartments for storing pasta and sauce sampling will be sold for $4 at the pasta booth on the corner of Fourth and Virginia streets starting at 12:30 p.m. both days. Sauces go fast so get yours while you can! Also new this year, the People’s Choice voting for best sauce will be done through text message. Each family booth will have a sign with instructions for the public to text in their vote for favorite family sauce.

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, Geno’s flatbread with smoked top sirloin, and the ever-famous mushroom ravioli with porcini cream sauce. Returning this year is a classic lasagna along with a wild mushroom and pesto lasagna.  

The Eldorado’s famous Italian dinner buffet will be served in the Eldorado Convention Center at 4pm Saturday, Oct. 7 and in The Buffet on Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8. Guests can enjoy an array of Italian specialties including antipasti, housemade pasta dishes, frutti di mare (pasta pescatore), steak Pizzaiola, chicken Marsala, fritto misto and many others as well as an assortment of homemade Italian salads and desserts, including the Eldorado’s famous gelato, cannoli and tiramisu. Adults are $28.99, ONE Club Silver members and above are $25.99 and children are $14.99.

As family and charitable giving are just as important to Italian culture as the food and wine, the festival will kick-off with the annual Paesano Open Putt for Pets on Oct. 6 at Lakeridge Golf Course. This four person scramble will benefit the Nevada Humane Society. Lunch and registration begins at 11am with a shotgun start at 12:30pm. Registration information is available by calling 1-866-802-5599. 

Visit our Great Eldorado Italian Festival event page to see this year's entertainment lineup and festival highlights.

Celebrate everything Italian with the 36th annual Great Eldorado Italian Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8. For Italian Festival information, call 775-786-5700 or visit


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