Head to Reno for Dine the District on Oct. 14 | SierraSun.com

Head to Reno for Dine the District on Oct. 14

Downtown Reno is quickly becoming a hub of creativity, wellness and culinary prowess, showcasing new initiatives to revamp Midtown and inviting locals and visitors to get a piece of the magic for themselves.

According to officials with the Riverwalk Merchants Association, some people unfortunately haven't visited Reno in years and therefore haven't gotten to experience it as a growing culinary and leisure leading destination.

"You'd be amazed how many people in Reno don't go downtown or haven't been in 10 years," said Britton Griffith-Douglass, president of the Reno Riverwalk Merchants Association.

"People may have a poor perception of the area that isn't necessarily reality. You'll hear people say they've heard about a restaurant or shop, but haven't visited," she added.

Griffith-Douglass explained three main purposes of the Riverwalk District Merchants Association.

The first initiative is beautification by means of painting, planting flowers, and cleaning.

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The second is charity and giving back to the local community.

The third imitative is community; being able to raise funds to keep engaging events available in downtown Reno.

This weekend, the association will host their Dine the District event, a self-guided food tour in which guests get to make their way through various shops downtown, sampling bites as they follow the map.

"The Riverwalk district is known for its monthly wine walks, they're a great way for people to come out and have a great time. We noticed that people had the stroller effect, where they wanted to bring family or relatives out and want to enjoy a cocktail, but not necessarily an entire event revolving around alcohol," Griffith-Douglass said.

She explained the event is not only a fun alternative to a drinking event, but also a great way to connect local businesses with the community.

Guests will get to experience a lot of the downtown Reno culture in a short amount of time as they visit dozens of stops along the tour and shops, who don't normally serve food will also be able to participate as host locations for different restaurants in participation.

"It allows us to reach out to someone who might be brand new to the district, just getting their brick and mortar setup, and invite them to participate in this event as a low obstacle and really loose barrier entry for an event. We seek them out and help them share their business with people," Griffith-Douglass said.

Valerie Moore is a Riverwalk Merchants Association member and manager of the Wild River Grille in downtown Reno.

She agrees that events, such as Dine the District, and the initiatives of the association as a whole benefit multiple people.

"Everybody benefits from a beautiful and active downtown river district. Wild River Grille has operated in the Riverwalk for 10 years and this event really connects the new culinary scene to the community, while supporting the growth of our downtown district. It's an exciting time to be part of such a fun and popular event," Moore said.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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