Reno knows how to throw a party, and this one is for kayakers and those who like to watch them! The city stages the grand opening of its new $1.5 million whitewater kayak park with the inaugural Reno River Festival, May 14-16

Events include an invitational pro-kayaker rodeo, a wild boater-cross race open to all, and a day of free clinics for kayakers of all abilities from novices to experts, including special programs for children and women-only clinics. Catch the premier of Scott Lindgren’s new film, Burning Time, and enjoy live music, a beer garden, and a whitewater expo as well.

Get details about the Reno River Festival at, or call (888) HIT-RENO.

An elite, invitation-only rodeo will feature some of the top rodeo boaters. Those invited include Jay Kincaid, Eric Jackson, Andrew Holcombe, Jimmy Blakney, Andrew Spino-Smith, Billy Harris, Steve Fisher, Javid Grubs, Dustin Urban, Tao Berman, Bryan Kirk, Pat Keller, Brooke Winger, Tanya Shuman, Amy Jimmerson, Tiffany Manchester, Deb Pinniger, and Lisa Beckstead.

The whitewater course is a total of 2,600 feet long, rated Class II-III for difficulty, and includes north and south channels that surround a city park on an island in the river. It features 11 drop pools, a slalom racing course, and 7,000 tons of smooth flat rocks along the shores for easy river access and spectator seating. The year-round park is designed to ensure that kayakers can play even during times of low water flows.

See clips from Scott Lindgren’s new film, Burning Time, here. Head to Reno to see the whole film!

The new whitewater park, officially known as Truckee River Park at Wingfield, is the first of several enhancements planned for 24 miles of the Truckee River to make it more attractive for kayakers. Projects planned over the next few years at publicly owned parks and dams along the river will result in more navigable boating and a more attractive river setting. Sites to be improved are at Glendale Dam, pioneer Dam, Rock Park in Sparks, Idlewild Park, Ambrose Park, Champion Park, Fisherman’s Park, and Mayberry Park.

Champion kayaker Jay Kincaid is now making the Truckee River Park course his home ground for year-round training. Check in with him at