Hot August Nights

Posted by Rebecca

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada’s Festival City.  It is called that because the city hosts 30 festivals a year.  Well, sorry Edmonton, but Reno has you beat.  I was able to come across 37 annual festivals that range anywhere from 2 days to an entire month, that take place in the general Reno area.  In addition to that, there are dozens of other events that go on in the area every year.

Some of these festivals and events are odd – like the International Canned Beer Festival, International Camel Races, and the Great International Chicken Wing Society Cook-off.  (We like calling things international because it makes them sound more grandiose….)  And some of these are more prestigious affairs such as the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival; or huge annual showcases and gatherings on which our local economy depends like the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off, Street Vibrations and Hot August Nights.

The other night I was irritated to realize the Hot August Nights festivities had begun.  Like says, “It’s the largest classic car and nostalgia event in the United States with venues spread across the Reno Sparks area. Cars are the stars and rock ‘n’ roll rules through the dozens of concerts, controlled cruises, show ‘n’ shines, a sock hop and much more!”  Sounds amazing, right?  It’s pretty cool – watching beautifully restored vehicles from every decade in the last 100 years cruise around town.  In addition, all sorts of old bands and band members play free concerts all over the area.  For instance, this year we’ve got Herman’s Hermits, Bill Medley , Paul Revere & the Raiders, and the Village People to name a few.

So back to my laments….  I live within walking distance of 2 of the large hotel/casinos that host the event.  It’s a classic car event, meaning mufflers are optional.  Also, I live in a paper-thin walled trailer.  Ugh!  All evening I was assaulted with the sound of motors and the growl of engines roaring up and down Virginia Street.  I had plenty of yard work to do, so I sucked it up and headed outside.

Then the music started from one of the free concerts.  Before long I found myself singing and bopping along to one oldie after another.  Soon enough I didn’t even notice the varrrooooms of muscle cars and aaaahhhhoooogggaaas of 1920’s Model-somethingorothers.  I had a great time digging, laying pavers, and picking up dog poop (well, maybe not that part), completely lost in the unexpected soundtrack of my evening.

Ok, Hot August Night’s, you can stay.  But tell your ugly cousin, Street Vibrations, that I would appreciate it if all those motorcycles would take a different route, far away from my home; because for me that festival is nothing more than three long days of trailer vibrations.  Double ugh!

Rebecca Knabe


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