72 Hours in Reno-Tahoe Over Labor Day Weekend 2016

The last gasp of summer in the Reno-Tahoe area actually goes out with a bang. If you are in the area for Burning Man...well then your weekend is already planned. However, if you want to visit this outdoor haven during the Labor Day Weekend, there are dozens of other things to do. Here are three distinct itineraries if you have 72 hours to burn.

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off, August 31-September 5, 2016
Thousands of people come to the annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off in Sparks (Reno's twin city) and nearly 240,000 barbecue pork ribs are served during this Labor Day Weekend event. This year, a dozen world famous rib cookers will be vying for over $14,000 in cash prizes and participants can try as many ribs as they can eat. This year a beer garden, live entertainment by Eddie Money and Bob Marley's The Original Wailers and a craft show will be available.

If you want to stay near the cook-off, the Nugget Casino Resort has rooms available. If you haven't had enough of barbecue, visit Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall and Bar-B-Que for custom cocktails, two dance floors and the Mechanical Bull Pit.

Labor Day Lake Tahoe Fireworks Extravaganza, September 4, 2016
South Lake Tahoe celebrates the end of summer with a bang. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. and features nearly an hour of fireworks displays over the lake. The best ways to see the fireworks are from the M.S. Dixie II, an authentic Mississippi paddlewheeler or from the beach at the Edgewood-Tahoe golf course.

If you want a quick escape from the crowds, stay at the Beach Retreat & Lodge in South Lake Tahoe. Their rooms look out on the lake and their private beach has an over-the-water bar and restaurant with continental cuisine and signature cocktails.

Civil War Days and Battle Trains, Virginia City, September 3-5, 2016
If you are a Civil War history buff, head up to the historic mining town of Virginia City to watch Yankees and Rebels shoot it out on an authentic Virginia & Truckee steam train. Costumed Civil War re-enactors will also roam the streets and wooden sidewalks of the town, music will play in the bars and other special events are planned during this three-day event.

If you are not scared of ghosts, rent a room at the Gold Hill Hotel, just down the street from Virginia City in Gold Hill. The oldest hotel in Nevada has several resident ghosts, western decor, a cozy bar and restaurant that serves classic surf and turf meals and decadent desserts.

Christina Nellemann is a writer living in the Reno-Tahoe area and is not afraid of ghosts.