The Reno River Festival returns May 7-8, 2022 for a weekend of outdoor adventure in the heart of downtown Reno! This is the official kick-off to summer in Northern Nevada. The festival features live music performances by more than 20 local and national acts, craft beer and hard seltzer tours, food, craft vendors, the adrenaline-pumping thrills of the Reno Tahoe Adventure Park, plus new elements for 2022.

“We like to add new elements to the festival every year. It’s all about giving our community an unforgettable weekend,” says Jess Horning, co-owner and co-founder of Liquid Blue Events.”This year, we’re bringing in one of the largest cornhole events in the region, adding a brand new experience designed especially for mom, and bringing back the most unique bike ride in Northern Nevada.”

In 2022, the Reno River Festival is expanding its footprint. Riverfest is bringing in Northern Nevada Cornhole and turning a portion of 1st Street into a giant, professionally run cornhole tournament. The festival is also adding a special Mother’s Day Package, and bringing back the Reno River Roll: a moving concert through the streets of Reno. Festival favorites including concerts in the park, food, shopping, rides, and games are also returning this May.

Festival entry tickets are just $10 and are valid for both days of the festival. Kids 17 and under and dogs are free! The festival entry fee gives festivalgoers a safe and clean family-friendly environment to enjoy RiverFest and includes access to:

  • MusicFest
  • Reno-Tahoe Adventure Park
  • Vendor Village
  • Street Eats
  • Riverfest Bars

NEW in 2022, a portion of the proceeds from pre-purchased tickets go to benefit one of three charities. Festivalgoers can choose the charity of their choice at checkout.

  • Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful
  • The Nevada Humane Society
  • High Fives Foundation

Festivalgoers can upgrade their Riverfest experience with a reserved VIP table at MusicFest, Craft Beer or Hard Seltzer Tour, a ride in the Reno River Roll, registration into the cornhole tournament, a special day of adventure and pampering for mom, and much more. There are several different ticket options to choose from. Tickets are on sale now!

The Reno River Festival began in 2003 to celebrate the completion of the Truckee River Whitewater Park, and over the years the festival has showcased some of the top-ranking whitewater athletes in the world. A recent survey of local kayakers and professional whitewater athletes, however, says a change in baseflows, predicted low CFS, and the overall deterioration of the Truckee River Whitewater Park has made it unsuitable for professional whitewater competitions.

“We have brought these concerns to the attention of the City of Reno,” says Neil Horning, co-owner and co-founder of Liquid Blue Events. “The city tells us that due to increasing costs and staff restraints, there is no definitive timeline to address the maintenance issues at the whitewater park.”

The survey found significant challenges facing the return of whitewater events to downtown Reno beyond needed maintenance to the park. Many professional whitewater athletes have moved away from our area and are now scattered all over the world. Over the past two years, COVID forced the cancellation of competitive whitewater events in Northern Nevada and California. Kayakers surveyed say this part of the United States is no longer perceived as a whitewater destination, and there is a lack of interest by athletes to incur travel costs to come to the region.

The Arlington Bridge Project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2024. Many kayakers surveyed believe this would be the perfect time to bring in a professional whitewater park designer to fix the features at the Truckee River Whitewater Park.

“We are working with the City of Reno, and want to hear more from the kayaking community,” says Horning. “If you are a kayaker and have ideas on what can be done to return professional whitewater events to downtown, please send us an email.”

Emails can be sent to team@liquidblueevents.com.

This is not the first time competitive kayaking has not taken place at the Reno River Festival. The drought caused the cancellation of competitions back in 2015. In 2021, COVID forced the festival to move to June when the river flows are too low for professional whitewater competitions. Both years the community turned out in record numbers to celebrate summer and enjoy everything the festival has to offer.

Now in its 18th year, the Reno River Festival has become one of the region’s largest events and marks the beginning of event season in Northern Nevada.