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December 2015 Events and Activities in the Reno Region

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Reno Rodeo

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Big events during December, 2015 include...

Reno Bighorns Basketball - Friday, December 1, 2015. The Reno Bighorns play the Austin Spurs at the Reno Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Other December, 2015 home games will be on December 11, 12, and 30.

Polar Express on the V&T Railroad - Trips to the North Pole continue on the V&T Railroad through December 22, 2015. Plan ahead - getting advance tickets is a must for those wanting to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole this holiday season.

Reno Holiday Lights - Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Reno's official holiday lights lighting ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. in front of City Hall, at the corner of 1st and Virginia Streets. A "tree of lights" will be lit on the south side of the City Hall as well as the City's live tree on the City Plaza. The public will then be escorted by the Reno Police Department to Aces Ballpark and the Reno Ice Rink.

  • 4:30 p.m. - Salvation Army Band plays
  • 4:45 p.m. - Billinghurst Choir sings carols
  • 5:15 p.m. - Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve welcomes the crowd
  • 5:30 p.m. - Mayor Schieve leads the countdown to light the trees
  • 5:35 p.m. - The Reno Police Department leads a procession to Aces Ballpark, which includes the Salvation Army Band
  • 5:45 p.m. to close - Open skating at the Reno Ice Rink

Buttcracker 6 - Underland - December 2 - 5, 9 - 12, 16 - 19, 2015. Matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 13. Brüka Theatre presents the ridiculous parody: "Buttcracker 6 – Underland," based on the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker." Suggested for ages 8 and up. Advance tickets are $20 for students, seniors and military, $22 general admission. All tickets are $25 at the door. Shows start at 8 p.m. Reservations are available through the box office at (775) 323-3221. Tickets available online from Brown Paper Tickets.

The Nutcracker Ballet - There will be three venues performing "The Nutcracker" during the holiday season. On December 5 and 6, 2015, Bay Pointe Ballet brings their production of "The Nutcracker" to the Grand Theatre in Reno's Grand Sierra Resort. On December 11 - 13, 2015, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre presents the annual production at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno, with music by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. From December 18 through 23, 2015, Reno Dance Company will present its 14th annual Nutcracker performance at The Nugget in Sparks.

Sparks Annual Hometowne Christmas Celebration - Friday and Saturday, December 4 - 5, 2015. Come downtown on December 5 for a traditional Christmas parade from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., along with entertainment, photos with Santa, and arts and crafts. This year's theme is "All Aboard The Hometowne Express!" Parade goers can expect whistle stops, box cars, train engineers, and Santa bringing up the caboose. The tree lighting ceremony will be the night of December 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Gather 'round the tree as Mayor Martini turns on the lights. Event includes great entertainment and treats for the kids.

Home 4 the Holidays Cupcake Day - Saturday, December 5, 2015. Hundreds of cupcakes in different styles and flavors will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nevada Humane Society, 2825 Longley Lane in Reno. Visitors can sample and/or take some home to share with family and friends for a small donation. Santa Paws will be available for photos. Whether dog, cat, or other small creature, your pets are welcome to sit on Santa's lap for a holiday season photo. Susan Koppel, owner and photographer at Susan Koppel Photography, will be offering digitally retouched images for a $5 donation. Donations for Santa Paws also benefits homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. (775) 856-2000.

Magic of Santa Arts and Crafts Faire - Saturday and Sunday, December 5 - 6, 2015. This big show is in its 35th year. You can get arts and crafts from over 80 vendors while supporting local businesses. Find beautiful hand made items from toll painted snowmen and beautiful doll clothes to fine wood work. Admission is $4, kids under 12 are free. Get $1 off admission by donating a can of food to support the Northern Nevada Food Bank or Evelyn Mount. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Location is the Reno Livestock Events Center Exhibition Hall, 1350 N. Wells Avenue.

Christmas on the Comstock - Saturday and Sunday, December 5 - 6, 2015. Go up to Virginia City for Christmas celebrations that include Candy Cane Express trains, photos with Father Christmas, the Parade of Lights, Christmas in the Sierra concert, St. Mary's Art Center Christmas Art Faire, and more holiday fun during December.

TOCCATA presents "Messiah" - Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus brings its annual production of Handel's "Messiah" to five Reno-area locations. Tickets are available at the door 30 minutes prior to the concert, or can be purchased online. General admission is $30 adults, $25 seniors, $5 students aged 19 to 23 with valid ID. Preferred seating is $40 and $15 for youth/students.

  • December 12, 3 p.m. - Cornerstone Church in Incline Village, 300 Country Club Dr.
  • December 13, 3 p.m. - Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Carson City, 3597 N. Sunridge Dr.
  • December 16, 7 p.m. - Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Reno, 501 California Ave.
  • December 18, 7 p.m. - St. Theresa Catholic Church in South Lake Tahoe, 1041 Lyons Ave.
  • December 20, 3 p.m. - St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in South Reno, 100 Bishop Manogue Dr.

Reno City Lights - Tuesday, December 8, 2015. Enjoy an evening of holiday beverages, signature appetizers by Silver Peak and festive entertainment by The Great Basin Carolers-Dickens Style. Hosted by Dolan Lexus of Reno, 7175 South Virginia Street. Tickets are $125 per person, $100 per person for reservations of 10 or more, $150 at the door. This event is a benefit for High Sierra Industries (HSI) and Washoe Ability Resource Center (WARC), two non-profit organizations joined in 2009 to better serve people with disabilities in Northern Nevada.

A Christmas Carol - Laughing Owl Productions of Reno is presenting this classic story, dramatized with flair and wit in a version first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. This adaptation of the ageless story captures Dicken's ironic point of view while it creates a panaoramic view of Victorian London. Performances in 2015 will be December 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 23, 26 at 7:30 p.m. and December 13, 20, 27 at 2 p.m. Advance tickets online are $15. It will be $20 at the door. The venue is at 75 S. Wells Avenue in Reno. (775) 384-9967.

Hands ON! Second Saturdays - Saturday, December 12, 2015. Come to the Nevada Museum of Art for a day of fun family activities and free admission for all. The theme on this Second Saturday is "Winter Wonderland and Museum School Open House." Enjoy free admission and activities at the Museum. Participate in hands-on art projects and storytelling. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Reno Santa Crawl - Saturday, December 12, 2015. The Reno Santa Crawl draws thousands of Santas and Mrs. Santas to the largest event of its kind in the country. The main event is in downtown Reno, but there are other related activities during the weekend, like the Santa Dash 5K Run and Santa skiing at Mt. Rose. The list of participating bars and restaurants is extensive. Get your Santa on and join the fun. The Reno Santa Crawl supports local schools through If you like this sort of thing, learn about more crawls from "Beer Crawls in Reno."

Science Saturdays at the National Automobile Museum - Saturday, December 12, 2015. Join in on adventures that are out of this world, with "Christmas in Space." Admission is $12 per person for children and adults, which also includes admission to the Museum. For participants age 8 and up. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required approximately two days before the event. Call the Museum at (775) 333-9300 for more information.

8th Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Festival - Saturday, December 12, 2015. The Gingerbread Festival is a fun family event and holiday tradition. Listen to holiday music performed by area choral groups and musicians, create your own mini-gingerbread house to take home, have your face painted and even enjoy a visit with Santa Claus. Admission is free and the event will be from 12 noon to 3:30 p.m. There are 8 different categories for the Gingerbread House Contest (you don't have to enter to come enjoy the festival). Judging will take place on Saturday morning. All entries will be on display at the Gingerbread Festival at Wilbur D. May Museum (1595 North Sierra Street, Reno) later that day. Only the first 100 entries will be accepted due to limited space. The entry fee is $10. You can register online or mail the form and fee to the May Arboretum Society. Entry deadline is December 7, 2015.

Holiday Art Show at Reno Town Mall - Saturday and Sunday, December 12 - 13, 2015. Come select great gifts from award-winning local artists. The show will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The Reno Town Mall is at 4001 S. Virginia Street (across from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center).

Hands on Holiday at Galena Creek Visitor Center - Sunday, December 13, 2015. Celebrate the holiday season with your family by coming out to help decorate the Galena Creek Visitor Center tree, and enjoy holiday-themed crafts, cookie decorating, and yummy holiday treats. Make snowman picture frames, reindeer puppets, miniature paper Christmas trees, and much more. The event is from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Take a nice family hike before or after the program. Fee is $5 per person or $15 per family up to six. For more information, call (775) 849-4948.

Reno Wind Symphony: A Holiday Celebration - Sunday, December 13, 2015. Truly one of the highlights of this concert is the recitation of the poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by KOH Radio personality Ross Mitchell, accompanied by the Reno Wind Symphony. Ross also will be the vocal soloist, once again, on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." It's a perfect musical beginning to your holiday season. Tickets are $5, free for students with ID. The performance is at 3 p.m. and will be in the Nightingale Concert Hall, Church Fine Arts Building on campus at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Buy Local Holiday Faire - Saturday and Sunday, December 19 - 20. Come find the perfect Christmas gift and support local Nevada small businesses. Santa will be there, too. The Faire will operate during open hours at the Reno Town Mall, 4001 S. Virginia Street (across from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center).

Ugly Sweater Wine Walk - Saturday, December 19, 2015. Join the monthly wine walk from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. when the Riverwalk Merchants Association hosts the popular event along the Truckee River and neighboring streets in downtown Reno. A portion of the proceeds this month will support Justin Hope. Visit 5 or more stops and enter to win over $800 in prizes. Go to any of the participating merchants with $20 and receive your wine glass and hand stamp (with photo ID), then make the rounds sampling wines at numerous businesses in the area. This is a 21+ event. Pets and strollers are not advised. For more information, call 775-825-WALK(9255).

Christmas Day - Friday, December 25, 2015.

Monthly Reno Beer Crawl - Saturday, December 26, 2015. This event is in downtown Reno where all of the participating bars, pubs, and restaurants are within walking (or crawling) distance. It costs $5 to participate and you can just show up at one of the start bars - advance tickets not required. Crawling is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Nevada Chamber Music Festival - Saturday through Thursday, December 26 - 31, 2015. Ten concerts will culminate with a New Year's Eve celebration. Along with local performers will be world renowned musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Concert details and tickets are available online.

Winter Break Camps and Activities - December 28, 2015 - January 8, 2016. While school is out for winter break, there are a whole bunch of camps and other activities for both kids and adults to enjoy. Check out "Winter Break Camps and Activities in Reno and Sparks" for a big list of things to do.

New Year's Eve - Thursday, December 31, 2015. Enjoy lots of parties and fireworks while bringing in 2016. There will be celebrations in Reno, Sparks, and up at Lake Tahoe.

Christmas Tree Recycling - December 26, 2015 through January 10, 2016. This program is an excellent way to give your Christmas tree a new purpose while keeping it out of the landfill or letting it be illegally dumped in our open spaces.

Snowglobe Music Festival - Tuesday through Thursday, December 29 - 31, 2015. This frigid festival features hot music from several bands. It is for all ages and held at Lake Tahoe Community College, One College Drive in South Lake Tahoe. It is best to visit the website for all the information about tickets, attending, nearby facilities, etc. There is a good FAQ that will answer most questions.

PTSD Discussion Group Meetings - December 9 and 23, 2015, 6 p.m. VFW Post 9211 is sponsoring a PTSD discussion group that meets at the historic "Battle Born" bunker post every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. All individuals with a diagnosis of PTSD are invited to join this group. This is NOT restricted to veterans or VFW members. Any member of the community is invited, including civilians and service persons such police, firefighters, and medical personnel. VFW Post 9211 is located a block west of the Virginia Street / Moana lane intersection. The Post number is (775) 825-7007. Direct questions to the Post Surgeon, Dr. Schwartz, at (775) 409-4561.

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