Washoe County’s largest regional park, Rancho San Rafael, is celebrating 40 years of fun with a birthday celebration this Saturday.  

The day will lift off at 6:30 a.m. with a five-balloon launch sponsored by the Great Reno Balloon Race, immediately followed by a full day of activities, music, food, and family fun.  

Children’s activities and a petting zoo in the Nevada Farms and Families area, guided hikes and a mountain bike ride, a public storytelling session, Chevy Summer Salute show and shine, and food and ice cream trucks are just a few of the scheduled events. 

Milton Merlos flamenco guitarist will help wake up the day with lively dance music from 7:30 to 10 a.m., while Escalade Band will keep the energy high with Motown and old-school funk over the lunch hours. Enjoy some traditional Irish music by the Sons & Daughters of Erin in St. Patrick’s Grove.  

History buffs will enjoy the Main Ranch House tours from noon to 2 p.m., and may want to join local historian Alicia Barber, Ph.D., at 12:30 p.m. in the Main Ranch House for a presentation on the history of the house designed by prominent architect Paul Revere Williams in 1936. Admission is free to the Wilbur D. May Museum’s exhibit of Rancho San Rafael Past, Present, and Future.  

Explore Rancho San Rafael’s beautiful and expansive trails with a mountain bike tour hosted by Biggest Little Trail Stewards at 8 a.m. or a hike guided by the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation at 9 and 11 a.m. 

Other activities include a pie-eating contest, kite flying, farm animals, and composting and gardening demos, as well as children’s crafts in the Discovery Room. Check out the Chevy show ‘n’ shine and the live mural painting and art show happening all day too.  

Looking for a new four-legged family member? The Nevada Humane Society will be on site with dogs up for adoption and looking for their forever homes.  

Help Washoe County celebrate four decades of fun and history at Rancho San Rafael this Saturday. For a full list of activities and event details, click here.

(Washoe Life)