Artown is Returning
Artown is returning to Reno this summer, and your County Commission was proud to sign on as a sponsor, donating the use of Rancho San Rafael Regional Park for the 31-day event.
It’s been over a year since we’ve enjoyed live music. Over a year since we’ve bought tickets to a baseball game or Broadway play. We missed the sound of motorcycles revving their engines, the sight of bulls bucking their riders, and the smell of smoky BBQ sauce dripping off of char-grilled wings.
The return of special events is so important to our area – for our mental and emotional health as well as our economic health.
These special events are a part of our community and a big reason we love where we live. They’re also economic drivers bringing in visitors who pay for our services with their sales and lodging taxes. As diversified as our economy is, we will always need tourism revenue, and special events are a major attraction for tourists.
This year, however, special events also bring an opportunity for spreading coronavirus, something we’ve all been struggling to contain for over a year. This threat and fear is not taken lightly, and I assure you that there is no desire by the County Commission to just throw open the floodgates and forget the lessons of 2020.
So I applaud the measures that events like Artown are taking to ensure public safety while bringing back community celebrations and fun.
Holding Artown in a single, large location like Rancho San Rafael was a brilliant first step. The park is large enough to provide ample social distancing. In fact, this year Artown will be seating spectators in “pods” -- groups of four, spaced six feet apart in a checkerboard fashion so every seat is a great seat. Tickets will be sold per pod, not per person. For those of us who like a little breathing room at events, this is a welcomed change, and one I hope is here to stay.
The local restaurant industry has taken a beating in the last year, so Artown is supporting them by featuring a different restaurant on each of its 31 nights. Grab-and-go dining is easy, manageable and hygienic. Spectators will be encouraged to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic under the stars.
Artown has removed intermissions from its concerts, eliminating the likelihood of congregating. Small measures like this can have big impacts on stemming the spread of COVID as we return to the summer activities we love.
One thing that the pandemic has taught us is how interdependent we are as a individuals and a region. We can each contribute to the economic stability of our community by patronizing restaurants, shops, and events, and in turn, they can take care of their patrons by providing ways to keep us healthy and safe.
Commissioner Kitty Jung