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Artown events to check out this weekend

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We are officially halfway through the month of July which means there are only a couple of weeks left to check out the 21st annual Artown Festival right in the heart of the "Biggest Little City."

Artown is one of the largest arts and cultural festivals in the country that showcases more than 500 exhibits and performances, most of which are free to the public, that are brought to use by more than 100 different organizations, businesses and local art partners.

Here are some of the events to check out this weekend:

1. Shrek the Musical - We've all heard the saying 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' but this weekend it's 'beauty is in the eye of the be-ogre." Our favorite lean, green loving machine, Shrek, will be making an appearance Friday, July 14 in Theatreworks of Northern Nevada's production of Shrek the Musical. The Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and Broadway musical can be seen at the Destiny Community Center tonight at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for this event cost $10 for children, students, seniors and military members, and $12 for adults.

2. Peter and the Starcatcher - The Tony-winning Peter and the Starcatcher is the magical prequel to the century-old story of how an orphan comes to be Peter Pan. This whimsical show is one the whole family is sure to love, and it cwan be seen Friday July 14, Saturday July 15, Sunday July 16 and all throughout the end of July at the Reno Little Theater. For showtimes and tickets, check out renoisartown.com.

3. Next to Normal - Artown provides a wide array of musicals, and Next to Normal fits right in. It's described as a darkly funny award winning musical that skillfully navigates through some of life's most painful moments with brilliant humor and touching honesty atop a powerful score making it the feel everything rock musical you don't want to miss. Next to Normal will be playing multiple shows at the Bruka Theatre throughout the end of July. For showtimes and tickets, go to renoisartown.com.

4. Arts for All Nevada: Summer Family Art Festival at the Lake Mansion - This event is free, open to the public and great for the whole family. There you will find eight art creation stations, face painting, a free book for each child, tours of the historic mansion built in 1877 and the exhibit, Creativity Explored: Abilities in Art. The event will be held Saturday, July 15 at 10 a.m. at the Arts Nevada at the Lake Mansion located at 250 Court Street in Reno. Registration is not required and children must be accompanied by an adult.

5. Tiny Art Show - Ever tried fitting something big in a tiny space? Well that's exactly what artists are challenged to do at this event. Artists will be fitting their big, creative ideas into 8x8 maximum pieces. At the event, you will find experience works by visual artists from around the region, delicious food by Nom Eats, a funky vinyl set by DJ Elzo, and a plethora of delicious, complimentary snacks. This free event will be held Saturday, July 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pitch Black Printing Company.

6. 24-Hour Mural Marathon - Starting July 15 at 10 a.m. you can come and watch qualifying artists from around the country will be competing in a 24-hour marathon to paint an original mural in a space of about 14' by 20' on the side of the Circus Circus Hotel. The winner of this event will win a $2,000 award. All murals will remain on the walls of the hotel until next year's competition.

7. Game-A-Thon - If you love video games, you won't want to miss this. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. you can join the Reno Video Game Symphony for a day of video game related demonstrations, art, music and game playing. You can even bring your own personal game console and play for the day or participate in a tournament. This event will be held at the Reno Collective, and tickets cost $10.

8. Art Paws - Want to enjoy Artown but don't want to leave your pet at home? Well now you can bring Fido to Artown's only "bring your dog" event called Art Paws where you and other pet-owners will celebrate responsible pet ownership and K9 culture. There you will find different types of artwork from sculptures, paintings and even custom collars. There will also be pet demonstrations and contests. And for the humans, there will be a live local band, a beer garden, and a silent auction and raffle. This event will be held at the McKinley Arts and Culture Center. This event is free, and all proceeds will benefit three local animal-aid organizations.



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