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Dancing an Irish Jig

Reno really is Artown; it's not just a slogan. For the entire month of July, the city celebrates the arts with more than 400 family-friendly events held at venues throughout town. Events include art shows, museum tours, theater performances, historic walks, concerts, movies in the park, and more. Most events are free to boot! On this particular Saturday, my family and I decided to check out the Irish Music Festival, Hirishfest.

As we drove along the Mt. Rose Scenic Byway on our way to the new Winters Creek Lodge on the East Bowl of Mt. Rose Ski Resort, we noticed many drivers leaving the event were wearing green shirts. My husband is Irish, but we completely spaced our green. I wondered if we'd get pinched, or is that just a practice on St. Patrick's Day?

When we arrived, the festival was nearing the end and people were packing up for the day – we got our customary late start and didn't get there until about 5 p.m. But after we roamed around the modern lodge and marveled at the expansive views of Washoe Lake, Little Washoe Lake, Washoe Valley, Pleasant Valley, and the Virginia Mountain Range, the band began tuning up their instruments.

We sat at a picnic table on the patio outside the lodge and tapped our toes to the lively tunes of Contraband. An Irish festival wouldn't be authentic without Guinness, so my husband did his part and got a Black and Tan. We watched a lady dance with her children as she shook the tambourine. My 14-month-old daughter joined in the fun and paced circles around the tables. We tried to teach her to clap in appreciation when the band finished a song, but she was always just a few seconds too late. The band played for about an hour and ended their set with bag pipes. A man began to dance an Irish jig in delight.

This year marks the 15th annual Artown celebration in Reno, and I can't wait to see what's on the schedule for the rest of the month. We didn't get pinched by the way.

  • Posted by Nicole Purviance on July 19th, 2010