More than 6,000 cars are registered to participate in the different events the Reno-Sparks area offers this week. Monetary prizes this year include more than $100,000 in the Sparks Show-N-Shine competition, where locals can flaunt their cars to the public and a handful of judges.
“More than 10,000 classic cars will cruise Reno-Sparks,” said Ashley Brune, Hot August Night’s public relations manager. “Thirty-eight states and two countries are represented.”
“There’s a high boost with more people coming out this year,” Sparks city councilman Ed Lawson said. “We expect quite a few people to show up this year — 20,000 to 30,00 people per night in downtown Sparks. During the peak of the recession, attendance was low, but we have picked up. This year is going to be a great one.”
A huge difference this year, Lawson added, is the Barrett-Jackson auto auction, a first-time event in Hot August Nights history. Held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, auto lovers will be able to bid on classic and historic automobiles.
The auction will be held Aug. 8-10. For the winners with the high bids, they can take their prize from the convention center straight to the Victorian Avenue nightly cruise, as cruise and event registration is included with the winning price tag.
“You don’t need to leave Victorian Square to check out great cars,” Lawson said. “Sparks is a great place to come if you have a family. We have a lot going on for everyone.”
Hot August Nights has already parked in downtown Reno to kickoff the week-long celebration of classic cars and rock n’ roll, but the Rail City launched its festivities today, bringing thousands of people to Victorian Avenue and downtown Sparks for dozens of activities throughout the week.
The fun kicks off early Tuesday morning, as it will continue through Saturday in Sparks, with the Ultimate Classic Car Competition at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, allowing contestants to enter various manufactured cars from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and nightly awards are announced at 6 p.m. Tuesday’s car competition will occur alongside the Victorian Square Craft Fair and the Kid’s Carnival (beginning Wednesday) happening daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the area between the Nugget and Bourbon Square Casino.
The ever-popular cruises down Victorian Avenue begin at 7 p.m. each night through Saturday and are considered “controlled cruises” with the exception of Tuesday night’s open cruise. Cruises crowds of people pack both sides of Victorian Avenue to catch a glimpse of jazzed-up classic cars and, as the Hot August Nights organization aims to, bring some nostalgia to the 1950s and 1960s era of “innocence, prosperity, cars and the birth of Rock and Roll.”
Sparks-based company Summit Racing Equipment is joining the events this week hosting a Show-N-Shine event Tuesday from 2-6 p.m. and an Under-21 Show-N-Shine competition from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Awards and prizes will be handed out as part of the event at 960 Glendale Ave. in Sparks.
The events under the scorching sun are just the beginning. Evening entertainment will highlight the three main Sparks venues (Bourbon Square Casino, the Nugget and Victorian Square) with acts like Night Flight, 60’s Summer of Love, Chasen 50’s, Hot Rods, Ronny & The Classics, Baker Street Band, Lil’ Elmo and the Cosmos, Steppen Stonz, Midnight Decoy, Sonny Turner, Tower of Power and Vibra-Tones.
The evening will also feature the return of the Drag Races and Burnouts in the Nugget’s west parking lot for a third consecutive year. Vehicles 1972 and older, and of American or European make, will add even more excitement with the burnouts and drag races on about an 1/8-mile track beginning Wednesday and continuing through Saturday night. Cash prizes will go to the top three finishers each night and the winners from the week will race at 11 p.m. Saturday.
The Nugget spearheaded bringing back the evening event after a near 10-year hiatus in the area. Stephen Ascuaga, Chief Operating Officer at the Nugget, said it is an event that will be eye catching and exhilarating for Sparks visitors.
“Pushing back the drags until later in the evening will allow even more people to attend, making the event bigger and better than last year,” Ascuaga said.
If one owns a classic car and is interested in participating in Hot August Nights, it is not too late to register for the week-long event. The event is open to American cars and European classics made before 1972. The entry fee is $170 per car and proof of insurance of the car is required. Hot August Nights is also accepting volunteers. If you wish to volunteer, volunteer sign-up is done through the Hot August Nights website.
On Aug. 1, 1986, the Reno-Sparks Convention Center hosted the first Hot August Nights event, showing off classic cars and hosting a live performance from the Righteous Brothers and Wolfman Jack. The first year of the event brought together 10,000 classic car appreciators, allowing them to celebrate the 1950s and 1960s — a time when life moved at a slower pace and the event continues to grow each year. Many locals look forward to the traditional Hot August Nights Events, such as the car cruising, firework shows and celebratory sock-hops and Prom dances.
At all Hot August Nights events, participants can enter a raffle to win a 1971 Corvette T-top with a 350 engine and 330 horse power. Proceeds from this raffle will benefit the Hot August Nights Foundation, an organization that provides low-income Nevada high school students with college and trade school scholarships and during family financial hardships. The drawing for the Corvette T-top will be drawn Saturday, Nov. 30.
For more information about Hot August Nights, visit hotaugustnights.net.
Hot August Nights Schedule
6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday: Downtown Sparks Show-N-Shine Competition Staging and Set-Up at the Nugget main stage
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday: John Ascuaga’s Nugget Ultimate Classic Car Competition at Victorian Square; awards presented at 6 p.m. on the Nugget main stage
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday: John Ascuaga’s Nugget Best Stock Restored and Best Stock Original Competition- all models; awards presented at 6 p.m. on the Nugget main stage
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday: Celebrity Choice Show-N-Shine at the Nugget main stage
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday: Jenny’s School of Dance Performance on the Nugget main stage
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday: John Ascuaga’s Nugget People’s Choice Award at the Nugget main stage. Pick up judging ballot at John’s Club Booth inside John Ascuaga’s Nugget. Open to ages 21 and older. Awards presented at 6 p.m.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday: Alan Taylor’s “Grand Marshall’s Award” Show-N-Shine, judging done by car enthusiast celebrities
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday: DJ Rich West on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday: Kids Carnival at Victorian Square
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday: Sparks Victorian Square Craft Fair at Bourbon Street/Nugget east parking lot
Noon: Hollywood Classic Free Movie Marathon in the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Celebrity Showroom; Wednesday- Rio Bravo; Thursday- A Hard Day’s Night; Friday- The Sting; Saturday- Hairspray
2 p.m.: Hollywood Classic Free Movie Marathon in the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Celebrity Showroom Wednesday- The Graduate; Thursday- Young Frankenstein; Friday- Some Like It Hot; Saturday- American Graffiti
4 p.m.: Hollywood Classic Free Movie Marathon in the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Celebrity Showroom Wednesday- The King and I; Thursday- Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Friday- Grease; Saturday- Saturday Night Fever
4 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday: Steppen' Stonz on the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Casino Cabaret stage
5:30 p.m. Tuesday: Night Flight on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
5:30 p.m. Wednesday: Hot Rods on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
5:30 p.m. Thursday: Baker Street Band on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
5:30 p.m. Friday: Route 66 on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
5:30 p.m. Saturday: Vibra-Tones on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday: Duo Brasilerio on the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Orozko Lounge stage
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday: Thom and the Tikis at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Trader Dick's Lounge
6 to 10 p.m. Saturday: Thom and the Tikis at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Trader Dick's Lounge
6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday: Duo Brasilerio on the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Orozko Lounge stage
6 p.m. to Midnight Wednesday through Saturday: Drag Races and Burnouts in the John Ascuaga’s Nugget west parking lot
7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday: Open Cruise at Victorian Square (cars from 1972 and older)
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday: Controlled Cruise in downtown Sparks
7 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday: Karaoke at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Trader Dick's Lounge
7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: Chasen 50’s on the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Casino Cabaret stage
8 p.m. to Midnight Friday and Saturday: Decoy at Bourdon Street Casino
8 p.m. to 1 a.m.Thursday through Saturday: Chasen 50’s on the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Casino Cabaret stage
8:15 p.m. Tuesday: 60’s Summer of Love on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
8:15 p.m. Wednesday: Ronny and the Classics on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
8:15 p.m. Thursday: Lil' Elmo and the Cosmos on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
8:15 p.m. Friday: Sonny Turner on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
8:15 p.m. Saturday: Tower of Power on the Sparks Stage at Victorian Square
10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday: DJ Steve West at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget's Trader Dick's Lounge