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Purple background with snowflake logo and text that reads City of Reno presents Reno Winter Light Festival

Winter Light Festival

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Join us in downtown Reno this holiday season for free family fun, festivities, and interactive public art.

The Reno Winter Light Festival will kick off with the City of Reno Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 7 at the City Plaza. Come out early for a Makers Faire and check out local artisans and goods. There will also be food and drink options. Tree Lighting Ceremony will start at 5:00 pm. Santa will be on site from 3:00 - 7:00 pm for free photos with the kids!

Starting Saturday, December 7, three temporary public art pieces will be on display through the duration of the Winter Light Festival. Visit Harrah's Reno outdoor event plaza on Virginia Street for "You Are Here....Elsewhere" by Vous etes ici ailleurs, a projection art piece based on interactive maps. With the play of lights, the video projections, the pictograms, and the geographical coordinates, the human mapping turns into a playground.

Wander over to Wingfield Park to view "Fish Out of Water" by artist Bland Hoke. Otto the giant goldfish will be hanging out over the Truckee River during the day and illuminated at night. 

Image of artistic installation of plastic reeds in a grassy field and trees       Projected images on building and ground of children's drawings of maps and neighborhoods


And, take a stroll through the park to experience "Sonic Dichroic Reeds" by artist Hugh Livingston. The piece features sound from local fauna--birds and insects--with 6 foot reeds made from dichroic glass that sway in the wind and reflect sunlight during the day. At night, they are transformed into brilliantly lit bouquets. You'll also come across "Orchidelirium" by artist Alysia Crissman, a giant orchid plant with interactive, colorful lighting.

illuminated goldfish sculpture suspended over Truckee River at Wingfield ParkGiant orchid sculpture with colored lights

On Saturday, December 14, closing night of the Winter Light Festival, come down to City Plaza for the Fire & Ice Show. This exciting event features an ice carving competition and fire art and dancers. Professional and amateur ice carvers will carve creations into large blocks of ice. Watch them create these works of art and then vote for your favorite! There will be fire sculptures and art and fire dancing as part of the show.

Saturday, December 7 - Kickoff to Winter Light Festival and City of Reno Tree Lighting

Noon - 8:00 pm: Holiday craft fair with food, beer, and wine by Wandering Wyld Events at the City Plaza

3:00 - 7:00 pm: Free photos with Santa for the kids

5:00 - 6:00 pm: Tree Lighting Ceremony with live entertainment

Saturday, December 14 - Fire & Ice Show

5:00 - 9:00 pm: Ice Carving Contest and Fire Dancers at the City Plaza 

Beer garden and food trucks.


Map showing events during the winter light festival

Want to volunteer or perform?

We are looking for volunteers from nonprofit groups to work the Winter Light Festival as docents and light security for the artwork. Volunteers will earn $14 an hour which will be as a donation to the organization they are volunteering for. Please fill out the form below if you are interested.

Sign up to Volunteer at the Winter Light Festival.

We are also looking for nonprofit groups to perform during the festival. We will give out 8 grants of $800 for groups to perform at the Winter Light Festival on various evenings and days throughout the event. Please fill out the form below if you are interested.

Sign up to Perform at the Winter Light Festival.

For questions, please contact Megan Berner, Public Art Program Coordinator, at or (775) 326-6333.