Casino Entertainment

Casinos: Tahoe’s Valhalla festival gets underway

Memorial Day has come and gone, and now warm-weather festival and special-event season is upon us. While the casinos are bringing in major artists, there’s plenty to do outside as well, with some of it slightly off the beaten track.

South Shore’s historic Tahoe Tallac site has been home to a wide range of attractions, including the annual Valhalla Art, Music and Theater Festival.

Now in its 34th year, the months-long festival gets its new season underway with the popular Valhalla Renaissance Faire at the Camp Richardson Campground, running Saturday, Sunday and June 7 and 8.

Following the fair is a series of artists in residence: Lainie Vreeland, June 18-25; Kelly Lynn Smith, June 26-July 2; John Holland, July 5-7; Millie Meng Behar, July 17-23; and Kit Knight, Aug. 8-17. Their work can be seen free of charge at the Valhalla Grand Hall.

In addition, there are daytime concerts on the lawn and evening concerts in the Boathouse Theater, ranging from jazz to old-world European gypsy music. Musician James Garner is set to bring his Johnny Cash tribute show there July 5.

Theater in the Boathouse includes family attractions such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (July 10-13 and 17-20) and adult fare such as “August: Osage County” (July 24-27, July 31-Aug. 2). There’s also a series of cultural attractions, highlighted by the Washoe tribe’s Wa She Shu It’Deh Festival (July 26-27; free).

Ticket prices vary and many events are free. The historic site is 2 miles past the intersection of Highways 50 and 89. Stay on 89 and look for the “Valhalla” sign. (

Spring Fever car show

Reno’s Spring Fever Revival Classic Car Show this weekend provides an early Hot-August-Nights feel, spotlighting a few special auto-enthusiast niches, such as hot rods, muscle cars and pickup trucks. Free concerts will include the Motown sounds of Nathan Owens, early rock ’n’ rock from Billy Richards’ Coasters, and the group ’60s Summer of Love. (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in downtown Reno; free).

The Virginia and Truckee Railroad has built up steam for a new season, ready to run 75-minute trips from Carson City to Virginia City, a journey through sagebrush flats along the Carson River and up the grade to the old Comstock.

The weekend trips feature either a 1914 Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0 or a 1914 Baldwin-built Mikado 2-8-2 steam engine, leading 1914 Pullman cars. Special trips are on the schedule, such as a Toast of the Canyon Wine Trip the last Saturday of each month. ($52 general, $32 children 3-16, $48 seniors; departure 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday from the Carson City Depot;