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Victorian Square goes backwoods
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
May 24, 2013 | 3001 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo -- The Redneck Rodeo Truck Show kicks off Country Crossroads weekend at John Ascuaga's Nugget with prizes being handed out for dirtiest truck, and many others, Friday evening.
Courtesy photo -- The Redneck Rodeo Truck Show kicks off Country Crossroads weekend at John Ascuaga's Nugget with prizes being handed out for dirtiest truck, and many others, Friday evening.
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SPARKS -- Victorian Square has hosted weekends of hot-rod cars, fire-wielding barbeques and sidewalk shaking choppers bringing plenty of diversity to downtown Sparks. But there has never been a place for citizens to drop out of a 10-inch lifted truck and feel at home.

That problem was solved Friday evening as the second annual Redneck Rodeo Truck Show rolled into the Rail City for the first time. John Ascuaga’s Nugget brought the event over from the Grand Sierra Resort to kick off it’s third annual Country Crossroads weekend, sending the hotel and surrounding areas into a country frenzy.

“It is a great fit for our community and a great fit for the Nugget, especially when you bring in all these country acts going on this weekend,” Lauren Garber, public relations manager for the Nugget, said.

The event ran from 4-9 p.m. and enabled truck owners to register their trucks for free to win prizes from the Reno Rodeo, Summit Racing and the Nugget. Trucks were judged on the following categories:

•People’s Choice - Best Redneck Truck

•Most Truckable

•Dirtiest

•Best Dodge – Sponsored by Reno Dodge

•Best Granddaddy Rig – Classic Truck

•Best Nevada-tude

•Most Patriotic

•Best Hick Chick Truck

“The categories are just really fun,” Garber said. “The trucks people bring to the Redneck Rodeo Truck Show are not necessarily trucks that you could bring to show off at Hot August Nights or many of the other car shows we have in town. It is a very unique event and these unique categories really add to the fun nature of the event.

“It is an event for people who have incredible trucks, whether they are redneck or not, they can bring them down and show them off.”

Being able to waive the entry fee for the Truck Show came thanks to a partnership with Reno Dodge, Coors and Dynagraphics, allowing the Nugget an entirely free event for the Memorial Day weekend. The weekend didn’t end with the announcement of the winners of the Redneck Rodeo Truck Show, however, as Country Crossroads began immediately after with upstart country group Gloriana taking the Celebrity Showroom stage.

“Reno is a huge audience and we have a ton of country fans here in our community and also in neighboring cities,” Garber said of the third annual event. “This is really a way to celebrate a three-day weekend with some great country artists.”

Garber said the weekend offers a perfect blend of country music for all generations of country music fans. Tonight Jerrod Niemann brings the country noise and closing things up Sunday will be Dwight Yoakam closing a mix of new with a splash of classic.

“It really goes across the spectrum of country artists and it just really plays to what our community really likes to hear, which is country music,” Garber said. “This is a great place for country artists to come. They feel at home here and the Celebrity Showroom is a great place for them to perform. It is a little bit smaller than some of the stages but it is an intimate show and we are really looking forward to it.”

The combination of the Redneck Rodeo Truck Show and Country Crossroads brings a niche of country entertainment unique to the Reno-Sparks area. Garber cited the hotel’s strong relationship with the Reno Rodeo and John Ascuaga’s home-grown roots as the foundation for the weekend festivities.

“It really fits our demographic really well and it also fits our brand really well,” she said. “John Ascuaga has a ranch. He raises cattle and is an original cowboy so it’s great. He listens to country music and a lot of us here at the Nugget do too, as do our casino patrons and people who come in from out of town.

“It is a way to get all those country artists together and have a whole country-themed weekend here at the Nugget. Our guests really respond to that. They come in from out of town and the surrounding area and they really like going country for the weekend, and we like it too.”

The country summer is just beginning as the Nugget will host its Cowboy Crawl on June 15 just before the Reno Rodeo rolls into town, providing even more country spirit to the region. Garber said young events like the Redneck Rodeo Truck Show and Country Crossroads have to earn their brand before they attracts thousands of people, but the Nugget is excited about the Memorial Day weekend’s future.

“We are hoping to grow it year after year,” she said. “It’s only in its third year so it’s still in its infancy. It usually takes about five years to get your event out there and get everybody excited about it. We are working on building that brand recognition for our Country Crossroads event.”
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