August used to be the slow season for tourism in Reno, NV.

In fact, back in 1986, Reno officials were so concerned about August slow season that they created a special event at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to fill the tourism void. The event was not a car show, but a concert featuring the 1950s and ’60s music of the Righteous Brothers, Wolfman Jack, and Jan & Dean. The nostalgia-filled show not only attracted 10,000 spectators, but also drew classic cars for an accompanying car parade down Reno’s Virginia Street.

Hot August Nights was born.

Since that night 30 years ago, Hot August Nights has expanded and now takes over large parts of Reno during the first week of August. The event still has that unmistakable nostalgia flavor, but now the cars are the stars of the show. Although live ’50s and ’60s entertainment is still a key component, it takes somewhat of a backseat to the cruise-ins, car shows, car parades, motorsports auctions, drag racing, and burnout contests found all around the city. Many of the town’s major hotels and resorts participate by hosting car shows, and the citywide event attracts vehicles and spectators from across the United States and overseas.

Hot August Nights has evolved into a hot-rodding pilgrimage — a true bucket list experience for rodders!  

During the past 30 years, the show has evolved dramatically. Thanks to Summit Racing, there’s a “Big Boy Toy Store” where hot rod enthusiasts can purchase parts and talk to aftermarket manufacturers. There are several prestigious awards handed out, and a huge car auction from Motorsports Auction Group now fills the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. Show organizers have even added autocross and drifting for the 30th anniversary show, which begins August 2!

Our point is, there’s lots to do at Hot August Nights. So, if you’re planning on being there for the 30th anniversary celebration, you’ll want to check out the event schedule below.

Complete Hot August Nights Event Schedule

If you can’t make the show, watch for our Hot August Nights coverage beginning on August 3.

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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.