Artown’s big, but you can do it
Artown may seem like a sprawling affair. After all, there are more than 400 individual events happening in about 100 places, and more than 350,000 people attend them each July. Many are free; some are ticketed. But it’s not hard to maneuver. Just choose an event, and go.
There are a few things to know to make your Artown experiences better, however. Like the fact that the festival is 32 days this year, rather than 31, with closing night Aug. 1, or as festival organizers call it, “July 32.” Or that you can find listings of all Artown events in the Little Book of Artown found at the following locations: Artown headquarters at 300 E. Second St., Suite 1000; The Nevada Museum of Art on 160 W. Liberty St., and from Riverwalk and CalAve merchants. All events are also listed in an easily searchable format at renoisartown.com.
Most of Artown’s big, free events, including RN&R’s free Friday night concert series Rollin’ on the River, are held in Wingfield Park at First Street and Arlington Avenue. For performances there, know the following:
Seating. If you’re concerned about comfort, bring a low-back chair or blanket to Artown performances, particularly those held in Wingfield Park, which is grass-seating only. For the best seating, get there about an hour and a half before showtime, as the park closes an hour before the event to prepare for it. There is seating set aside for seniors and the disabled, and volunteers can help find these spots.
Don’t be a grass hog. If you leave your chair or seating area for more than an hour, event organizers will remove it.
Best friends and nasty habits. Pets aren’t allowed in Wingfield Park during events, and neither is smoking.
Parking. A number of downtown businesses offer validated parking at The Parking Gallery on First Street. Nearby Cal Neva is free (unless a Reno Aces game day is underway). There’s also a surface lot you can park in at Court Street by Virginia and First Streets. Or try a nearby side street and walk a couple of blocks to the park.
Bike it. As ever, you’re encourage to ride your bike. The Reno Bike Project will only be providing free bike valet service at Wingfield on opening night. After that, find a bike rack around downtown and in the First Street Parking Plaza.
Security. Yes, it’s a public park, and yes, they can kick you out of it. We know it sounds weird, but the events’ organizers are technically renting Wingfield Park and therefore have a right to kick menace-makers out of it. So play nice.
‘I gotta pee.’ There are lots of porta potties in varying states of cleanliness at Wingfield, lined up like little stinky blue soldiers ready to serve.
‘I’m starving.’ Vendors of one type or another—lemonade, beer, food, etc.—will be at the park. You can drink the beer you buy there in the park, but you’re not supposed to bring alcohol in from the outside or drink it out of the park’s boundaries. There are also a number of restaurants and bars nearby.
Trash and recycling bins. They’re there. Use them.
See something you wouldn’t normally go to see. This will definitely make your Artown experience better.