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December 2017 Events and Activities in the Reno Region

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Big events during December, 2017 include...

Sparks Annual Hometowne Christmas Celebration - Friday and Saturday, December 1 - 2, 2017. Come to Victorian Square on December 2 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 "The Twelve Nevada Days of Christmas." Get a picture with Santa and check out the Community Faire with information on how you can give back to your community this holiday season. The tree lighting ceremony will be the night of December 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Gather 'round the tree as Mayor Martini turns on the lights. Event includes live music entertainment.

Spirit of the Season - Saturday and Sunday, December 2 - 3, 2017. The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Dr. Jason Altieri welcome special guests with a variety-style combination of singers, dancers, performers, students, Santa Tappers, Santa Claus and more. Performances at the Pioneer Center will be at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $16 to $70 and available online. The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is in downtown Reno at 100 S. Virginia Street.

Magic of Santa Arts and Crafts Faire - Saturday and Sunday, December 2 - 3, 2017. This big show is in its 37th 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 Evelyn Mount or a toy for Casey's Project. 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.

Polar Express on the V&T Railroad - Trips to the North Pole continue on the V&T Railroad through December 30, 2017. Plan ahead - getting advance tickets is a must for those wanting to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole this holiday season.

Buttcracker 8 - The Biggest Little Buttcracker in the World - November 24 - 25, 30 and December 1 - 2, 6 - 9, 13 - 16, 20 - 23, 2017. Shows start at 8 p.m. Matinees on December 10 and 17 start at 2 p.m. Brüka Theatre presents this ridiculous parody and hysterical, historical time travel adventure. The show takes a trip through the history of Reno, celebrating 150 years of the BIGGEST little city in the world. Based on the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker." Suggested for ages 12 and up. Advance tickets are $22 for students/seniors, $24 general admission. All tickets are $30 at the door. Reservations are available through the box office at (775) 323-3221. Tickets (with service fee) are available online.

Victorian Holiday Tea, Tour & Social at the Lake Mansion - Sunday, December 3, 2017, 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Join Arts for All Nevada at the holiday decorated mansion for this festive event. You will enjoy tea sandwiches, scones, desserts and tea. It's optional, but you are invited to dress the Victorian Holiday theme and wear a "tea hat." Seats are limited and reservations required. Tickets are $30 and available online through the website. For information, call (775) 826-6100, x 2#. The Lake Mansion is at 250 Court Street in Reno. There is free parking at the event and more parking nearby.

Reno City Lights - Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Toast the season with holiday beverages, signature appetizers by Mark Estee of Chez Louie, join in the holiday spirit with Dickens-style Great Basin Carolers, and special bagpipe performance featuring Ray Palmer, Major Piper for the Sierra Highlanders. Hosted at the Fred W. Smith Penthouse in the Nevada Museum of Art 160 W. Liberty in Reno. Tickets are $125 per person, $100 per person for reservations of 10 or more. This event is a benefit for Veteran's Guest House.

City of Reno Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony - Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Come to downtown City Plaza (between City Hall and the Truckee River) for this free festive event. City dignitaries and others will be on hand to light up the holiday season in Reno. There will be entertainment and we will also announce the next 20 honorees for the Reno People Project. At the conclusion of the event, there will be a procession to Greater Nevada Field for open ice skating.

The Nutcracker Ballet - There will be three venues performing "The Nutcracker" during the holiday season. From Friday through Sunday, December 8 - 10, 2017, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre presents its annual production at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno, with music by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Grand Sierra Resort will be hosting "The Nutcracker" in the Grand Theatre for two matinee performances by Bay Pointe Ballet. Shows will be Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3, 2017, both at 2 p.m.

The Nugget in Sparks and Reno Dance Company will present "The Nutcracker" in the Celebrity Showroom. Performances will be on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, December 16 - 17 and 22 - 24, 2017.

Annual Share Your Christmas Drive-By Food Drive - Friday, December 8, 2017, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. KTVN 2 News and other community sponsors will be collecting food donations at 3 different locations - Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Governor's Mansion in Carson City and Carson Valley Inn in Minden. Volunteers will be on hand to unload donations for you.

Reno Bighorns Basketball - Sunday, December 10, 2017. The Reno Bighorns play the South Bay Laker at the Reno Events Center. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. This Season of Giving game supports the Washoe County Library System. Other December, 2017 home games will be on December 12 and 28.

Christmas on the Comstock - Starting on December 2, 2017. Go up to Virginia City for Christmas celebrations that include Candy Cane Express trains, photos with Father Christmas, the Parade of Lights, Christmas craft fair, St. Mary's Art Center Holiday Faire, children's art program, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" at Piper's Opera House, The Grinch Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl and Christmas in the Sierra Concert.

Northern Lights Tahoe - Through December 31, 2017. This festival of lights features the north Tahoe communities of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. There will be many special activities at various venues during the festival, including concerts, a Santa crawl, opening day at Diamond Peak ski resort, holiday craft fair, holiday sing-a-long, and lots more. Note that many activities are adults only. Check the website for a complete schedule of events.

TOCCATA presents "Messiah" - Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus brings its annual production of Handel's "Messiah" to five Reno - Tahoe 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 18 to 23 with valid ID. Preferred seating is $40 and $15 for youth/students. (775) 313-9697.

  • December 9, 2017, 3 p.m. - Cornerstone Church in Incline Village, 300 Country Club Dr.
  • December 10, 2017, 3 p.m. - St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Reno, 100 Bishop Manogue Dr.
  • December 16, 2017, 3 p.m. - Douglas Community Center in Gardnerville, 1329 Waterloo Lane.
  • December 17, 2017, 3:30 p.m. - St. Theresa Catholic Church in South Lake Tahoe, 1041 Lyons Ave.
  • December 23, 2017, 5 p.m. - Squaw Valley Olympic Village Lodge, Olympic Valley, CA

Egg Nogged! - December 2 and 9, 2017. Join Nogg, a shy, clumsy and unpopular elf on her daring and magical journey to save Christmas. December 2 show in the Meadowood Mall Center Court at 11:30 a.m. December 9 show at 4 p.m., 39 North Pole Victorian Square in Sparks. Presented by Laughing Owl Productions.

Hands ON! Second Saturdays - Saturday, December 9, 2017. Come to the Nevada Museum of Art for a day of fun family activities and free admission for all. Participate in hands-on art projects and storytelling. The Museum School will be having an open house and the art projects will have a holiday "Winter Wonderland" theme with ornament and card making. There will be performances of "The Grinch" by In-Tune Tales. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Reno Santa Crawl - Saturday, December 9, 2017. 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 Ski Crawl at Mt. Rose. The list of participating bars and restaurants is extensive. Buy a cup, 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."

Home 4 the Holidays - through December 31, 2017. There's no place like Home for the Holidays and Nevada Humane Society is asking for your help in finding homes for 1,200 dogs and cats during the Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Drive. Fees waived on cats over the age of five, as well as select senior pets and those who have been at the shelter longer than others. Adoptions are available at Nevada Humane Society shelters in both Reno and Carson City. (775) 856-2000.

Science Saturdays at the National Automobile Museum - Saturday, December 9, 2017. Join in on adventures that are out of this world, with "Celebrating 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.

10th Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Festival - Saturday, December 9, 2017. 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 9 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 4, 2017.

Home 4 the Holidays Cupcake Day - Saturday, December 9, 2017. 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 $10 donation. Donations for Santa Paws also benefits homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. Santa Paws will also be available on Friday, December 8, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (775) 856-2000.

Reno Wind Symphony: Holiday Celebration - Saturday and Sunday, December 16 - 17, 2017. 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 "Grinch that Stole Christmas." Tickets are free, but you must pick them up at MacLean Financial Group or Heritage Bank of Nevada. The Saturday performance is at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Both will be in the Nightingale Concert Hall, Church Fine Arts Building on campus at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Ugly Sweater Wine Walk - Saturday, December 16, 2017. 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. 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).

Winter Break Camps and Activities - December 25, 2017 to January 12, 2018. Winter break activities for children and families around Reno and Sparks include camps and other things to do from several area organizations.

Monthly Reno Beer Crawl - Saturday, December 23, 2017. 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.

The Unbelievables Christmas Extravaganza - November 21 to December 31, 2017. The Unbelievables will perform in the round in the renovated Eldorado Theatre with VIP seating and is a family-friendly spectacle for all. This show has circus acts, spectacular ballroom dancers and angelic voices singing your favorite Christmas carols. Shows are nightly Tuesday through Sunday with additional matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available online and start at $29.95.

Christmas Day - Monday, December 25, 2017.

Nevada Chamber Music Festival - Wednesday through Monday, December 27, 2017 - January 1, 2018. The series of concerts will culminate with a New Year's Day, all Mozart program at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Tickets are available online.

New Year's Eve Parties - Sunday, December 31, 2017. Enjoy lots of parties and fireworks while bringing in 2017. There will be celebrations in Reno, Sparks, and up at Lake Tahoe.

New Year's Eve Dining - Sunday, December 31, 2017. Here are some dining spots for satisfying your appetite while bringing in the New Year in the Reno / Sparks area.

Christmas Tree Recycling - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 through Sunday, January 7, 2018. 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 - Friday through Sunday, December 29 - 31, 2017. This frigid festival features hot music from several many 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.

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