Your Plan for This Weekend


Scott McGrewI think the news industry – and by that I mean everything from TV to newspapers to radio – could do a better job of telling me what’s GOING to happen and not just what HAS happened. Especially when it comes to interesting things to do and see around the area.

Have you ever had that happen to you? You watch the news and see a story about how the Barnum and Bailey Circus let everyone in free over the weekend and you missed it? Ever had a neighbor say “wow, were you at Marina Green Saturday? The Who was giving a free concert, and then out of nowhere, the Rolling Stones show up and start jamming along!” And you think “hey wait a second, why doesn’t anyone tell ME about this AHEAD of time?”

I bring this up because I’m taking the boys up to Reno this weekend, and thought instead of blogging about it AFTER, I’d clue you into what’s going on beforehand.


Reno Air Race has become a tradition for us. It’s a three day long race at the smaller airport just north of Reno (not the main international airport) where small planes of all shapes, sizes and speeds race in a circle around tall pylons. Some races might only be biplanes. Others are just jets. The “open” class mixes everyone up. Here’s a FAQ about the whole thing.

It’s a thrilling thing to watch – its probably far more dangerous than anyone lets on (certainly we keep my wife in the dark about it) but what a sight, to see a dozen airplanes flying wingtip to wingtip fighting for position. The best part is it’s still casual – not terribly corporate like the Indianapolis 500 or the Kentucky Derby. It really is a bunch of guys (and a few women) gathering in the desert to race airplanes. For an extra 10 dollars, you can buy a pit pass and walk amongst them as they work on their planes. Grab a hot dog, grab a seat in the stands (spring for a seat – general admission leaves you nowhere to sit) and watch the pilot you just met compete for first place. Between races, there’s entertainment like jet cars and the Air Force Thunderbirds.

This late in the game you’re unlikely to find good lodging in Reno itself, but we’ve always stayed at Squaw Valley anyway. Once you’re done with the races, it’s nice to get away to the peacefulness of Tahoe. Sunday we take tram to the top of the mountain and go swimming at the pool that no one knows about up there.

So go. The only qualification is you have to like airplanes. Find tickets at ticketmaster, sign up for willcall, or just go and buy tickets onsite (I promise they’re not going to sell out). Find a hotel through Squaw or something closer via Orbitz, and just go. Get an early start Saturday morning and you’ll be there by late morning. See the rest of the races on Saturday, and catch them again on Sunday. I’ll see you up there.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter


One Response to “Your Plan for This Weekend”

  1. yo Says:

    finally someone gets it.

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