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Reno River Festival at Wingfield Park

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The Reno River Festival will be at Wingfield Park in downtown Reno on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 - 8, 2016. This event is free to attend and has become one of the top draws among Reno's other big annual events.

The 2016 Reno River Festival will be bigger and better than ever. Thanks to El Nino, there is plenty of water in the Truckee River for whitewater events along with some new events - the Reno River Roll and the USA Freestyle Kayaking National Championships.

Whitewater kayaking competitions are the main reason for the Reno River Festival, but there is much more - free music and yoga in Wingfield Park, lots of food and drink (not free), free kayak, canoe, and flyfishing clinics, an Adventure Park, Smuggler's Village, Craft Beer Village, and Pub N Grub Village. You can freely enjoy the white water kayaking during both days. Some events, such as slalom and boatercross, are fast and provide plenty of exciting action. You don't have to get wet to have fun, but it is an option.

Reno River Roll

The Reno River Roll is a new event at the 2016 Reno River Festival. This event will celebrate all things bicycle with a casual 5-mile costumed slow ride. It starts at the brand new Virginia Street Bridge and finishes in at the Reno River Festival in Wingfield Park. The Reno River Roll is open to all ages and to all types of bicycles. Riders will follow a live mobile band and the Coors Light Girls Racing Team, Dolan Automotive, the RPD Bike Squad, and more. Costumes are encouraged as there will be a costume contest on the main stage of the River Festival, complete with some cool prizes. Register early to get a nap sack goodie bag.

USA Freestyle Kayaking National Championships

This championship event will be held during the 2016 Reno River Festival. USA Freestyle Kayaking National Championships will bring the best kayakers in the country to the Truckee River Whitewater Park for the biggest kayaking competition of the year.

Reno River Festival Schedule of Events

The schedule posted here is subject to change. To get the latest information, refer to the official Reno River Festival schedule.

Reno River Festival Schedule - Saturday, May 7, 2016 (The schedule will be posted when it becomes available.)

Reno River Festival Schedule - Sunday, May 8, 2016 (The schedule will be posted when it becomes available.)

Reno River Festival, Wingfield Park, Reno, Nevada
Photos © Stan White

Parking at the Reno River Festival

You can park near the event at the Parking Gallery, corner Sierra and First Streets (entrance is from First Street), at Reno High School on Booth Street, and at the McKinley Arts Center on Riverside Drive and Bell Street. Street parking around downtown Reno is metered until 6 p.m. except on Sundays, which is free all day. The big government parking lot at the corner of Court and Virginia Streets is free and open to the public on weekends. If you end up parked in the boonies, the Sierra Spirit bus system offers cheap transportation around the downtown area and north on Virginia Street to the University of Nevada, Reno. It runs everyday, every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Stops are designated by the yellow Sierra Spirit signs along the route.

For more about parking, refer to "Where to Park in Downtown Reno."

Truckee River Whitewater Park

The Truckee River Whitewater Park is the stretch of river that flows through Wingfield Park. The whitewater features are used for most of the boating competitions during the Reno River Festival. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, or put together as the Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield.

On hot summer days, this park gets crowded with people playing in the Truckee River and tubing through from putins further upstream. Kayakers use the whitewater park year round and lots of people enjoy simply strolling the walking paths through Wingfield Park.

Reno River Festival Street Closures

The Reno River Festival has a fairly small impact on downtown Reno traffic. Only one main street will be closed on May 9 and 10 - Arlington Avenue between First Street on the north and Court Street on the south. This section of Arlington includes a bridge over the Truckee River. Nearby streets, however, get crowded, there won't be any parking, and there will be lots of pedestrians. It is simply best to park a bit further away (see above) and walk to the event.

About Dogs at the Reno River Festival - Do not bring your dogs. The policy prohibiting dogs at Reno events is in effect at the Reno River Festival. Only legitimate service dogs will be allowed in the event area.

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