In its 26th year, this summer's Hot August Nights may seem more interactive than in year's past. That's the reality as officials try to inject more energy into Reno's classic cars event.
You don't even have to be a car enthusiast to enjoy HAN this year. In fact, there are plenty of things going on that don't involve autos at all. For instance, the Atlantis is holding a competitive eating contest each night at 8pm at the outdoor stage. There are also tricycle races and hula hoop contests at the Atlantis.
Outside the Grand Sierra Resort, car lovers can test drive high performance vehicles on a closed course. Keith Severance tried out a Camaro convertible and was "blown away."
I just can't believe what the vendors are doing for us. They're actually letting us drive these high performance cars!" he said.
And they're letting people do this for free. There's also an opportunity for people - even kids - to get in the passenger seat beside a professional driver as they race through the cone-filled course. With a dashcam secured in each vehicle that rolls throughout the "hot lap" - every passenger can watch video of their reaction and then email, Facebook, or text the video to friends. It's all free.
Hot August Nights officials say they made a few changes to try to appeal to more age groups, but are making sure they stay true to the classic event that longtime HAN fans have come to love.
"You know, we're trying to change it a little bit. Not to the point where we're getting away from what we do," says Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights. "We understand that, but to give the car guys a little something fun to do. And ride in a hot rod and do something fun while they're here. And they get to do something they wouldn't normally get to do at home."