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“Weird Reno” walking tour explores the city’s colorful past

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 8:07 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Reno is about to get a little bit weird.

“We use the word weird with affection,” stressed illusionist Jinger Leigh.

She is part of the world-renowned magic act “Kalin and Jinger”, who created the “Weird Reno” walking tour. It was something for them to do while providing entertainment during this pandemic.

“We felt cooped up; we felt isolated. We felt disconnected,” explained illusionist Mark Kalin. “And so we responded the way we know how to respond, which is to create magic. To create some opportunity to connect.”

They’ve called Reno home for the last twenty-plus years, and felt this was a fun way to explore the city’s colorful history.

“Ghost stories; somebody’s gone missing. A pizza parlor right down the street with an opium den in their basement from the 20s,” added Kalin.

It includes stories about the mob, mysteries and true crimes.

“There’s a lot of interesting history that people will learn and walk away with,” said Jinger. “But it’s also speckled with bits of magic throughout.”

Tricks are performed during this interactive history lesson. The entire event takes about an hour and a half, which includes a three-quarters of a mile trek through downtown Reno.

“It really is a celebration about what makes Reno so great,” said Kalin. “And at the end, everybody has a little bit of magic that they’re holding right in their own hands.”

It’s done with safety precautions in place, like social distancing and everyone wears a mask. And since most of it is done outdoors, it’s the perfect thing for a pandemic.

“It’s perfect timing. People are eager and ready to come out,” added Jinger. “It’s all about building connections to the people and the places around us. And discovering where we live through the magic of our past.”

Weird Reno is held every Friday and Saturday night at 6 p.m., and Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets are currently $22 through Easter, then $25 per person after that. You can get more information by clicking on the link below.

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