By Steve Beauregard (Updated today, December 31st, 2017)

Between parties, ball drops, fireworks and over-the-top revelry, the self-described, “Biggest Little City in the World” is not little when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve.

Reno, Nevada has a New Year’s Eve fireworks display bigger than many cities in the world. In fact, the downtown Reno’s 2018 NYE fireworks show is even bigger than that of its cousin to the south, Las Vegas.

Each year, Reno hosts a New Year’s Eve fireworks show on Virginia Street in the heart of downtown that lasts 13 minutes. Compare that to the 8 minute show that takes place at the same time on the Las Vegas Strip.

This December 31st, as is tradition, thousands of thousands of locals, along with tourists from California and all points throughout the world, pack tightly upon Reno’s main casino drag on Virginia Street to welcome in 2018 in grand style. (Virginia Street is closed off to traffic on NYE and is pedestrian only.)

Reno, NV New Year's Eve Fireworks

Reno, NV New Year’s Eve Fireworks

The city of Reno, along with downtown casinos, join forces to produce a fantastic fireworks display visible from all points downtown, and throughout the city for that matter.

The show will began at midnight, of course, and will have fireworks being shot off from Harrah’s Reno, and from two different rooftop levels at the Silver Legacy Resort & Casino – both of which are on Virginia Street downtown.

The fireworks are synchronized to an array of hits from 2017. If you’re not downtown but still want to hear the fireworks’ accompanying music, you can tune in to Alice 96.5, as they will be playing the choreographed melody.

KRNV News 4, Reno and Tahoe area’s NBC affiliate, will broadcast the fireworks display, although fireworks on TV never come close to matching the awe-inspiring techno-color nighttime display seen live.

Where to watch the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Reno

Considering they’re one of the casinos shooting off fireworks, the courtyard in front of Harrah’s Reno is prime fireworks viewing.

Actually, any spot on Virginia Street will offer a good vantage point for the fireworks. However since the Silver Legacy shoots off fireworks from two different levels, standing directly underneath the Silver Legacy doesn’t provide a good a view as it does if you’re a little north on Virginia Street (towards the arch).

Although the fireworks are shot off from just two different casinos, the show is sponsored by the city of Reno and four casinos: Harrah’s Reno, the Silver Legacy, The Eldorado Hotel Casino and Circus Circus Reno.

Other Reno New Year’s Eve Parties

The fireworks may last just 13 minutes, but you won’t spend the last day of 2017 being bored.

Reno casinos go all-out with a variety of dining, drinking and entertainment options to help you make New Year’s Eve 2017/2018 a night you won’t forget. Or maybe you will forget it.

Every casino has parties you can attend – for a price.

For the five Circus Circus/Eldorado/Silver Legacy bars below, you’ll have to pay a $20 cover charge for each bar. (Or purchase an all-access pass – more on that below).

In addition to the $20 cover, you can pay an additional $50 to have all-you-can drink, from 9 PM to Midnight.

Downtown Reno casinos have a couple of different all access passes that get you into New Year’s Eve parties.


For $60, you can get a wristband that gets you entry into the following clubs and bars on New Year’s Eve:

The Brew Brothers
El Jefe’s Cantina
Rum Bullions

All-Access Premium

For $100, you get VIP entry at the five bars listed above, along with a hosted “premium bar” (i.e. open bar) good at all bars at Circus Circus, Silver Legacy, and the Eldorado, from 9 PM to Midnight.

Your unlimited drinks here include Grey Goose, Jack Daniels, Patron, Crown Royal and the like.

Downtown Reno New Year’s Eve Parties Without a Cover Charge

Want to celebrate NYE for free? Or at least without spending all your money just to get inside?

Try either Roxy’s Bar and Lounge, El Centro, or the Cin Cin Bar, all at the Eldorado

Drinx and the Silver Baron Lounge, both at the Silver Legacy Casino let you drink without paying a cover charge.

At the Circus Circus Reno, you can drink without a hefty cover charge at the Blast Bar, and the Village Bar.

At Harrah’s Reno, you can party at their Club Sapphire without paying a cover. Shots are $4, while draft beers will set you back $5. There will be free party favors and champagne at midnight.

Other NYE Specials on New Year’s Eve in Reno

All the other casinos, both downtown and on the outskirts, all have New Year’s Eve Specials. Most of the major casinos offer patrons (even those of you just on the casino floor), free party favors and a champagne toast.

Other Reno-area casino NYE promotions range from the $45 Steak and Seafood Champagne Dinner at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino, to the Grand Sierra’s “A Night to Remember” party at the LEX nightclub, with an open bar and $50 starting ticket price.

At the Grand Sierra’s Silver State Pavilion, you can party from 9:30 PM to 1 AM on New Year’s Eve, with the band, Hindsight. Your cover charge gets you two drink tickets, along with a champagne toast.

Tickets cost $115.15 (after taxes and fees) for two people. (The $115.15 is total for two people combined).

Weather in Reno on New Year’s Eve

Be sure to bundle up if visiting Reno for New Year’s Eve 2018. While it won’t be anywhere near as cold as New York City, it’s typically pretty cold here on December 31st.

In fact, historically, the average high temperature in Reno on December 31st is just 44 degrees, while the average low is 24 degrees. However it looks to be much warmer this year.

Today, December 31st, the forecast for calls for a high of 55 degrees, and a low of 36 degrees. predicts the temperature in Reno at midnight tommorrow will be 40 degrees.

(Photo courtesy of the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority)