Celebrating America’s Love Affair with Cars & Rock N Roll

August is National Vacation and Concert Month, So What Are You Doing?

In keeping with our posting tradition for interesting things to do and observe during the new month, here is your August inspiration.

First, a little nostalgia for us Boomers.

Ah, the beginning of Hot August Nights in Reno, looking down Virginia Street, August 1986

During an evening night on August 1, 1986, the Reno-Sparks Convention Center was bursting at the seams with hundreds of revelers who were partying, cheering and pushing to be let in to a first-time event of a magnitude yet to be realized. Inside, 10,000 spectators were massed together in anticipation of seeing and hearing a live event of the Righteous Brothers, Wolfman Jack, and Jan & Dean!  It was that night when nostalgia was unleashed among an audience who excitedly relived their childhood years of the 50’s and 60’s-a time of innocence, prosperity, cars and the birth of Rock and Roll. The weather was HOT, the month of AUGUST was right, and so it was, HOT AUGUST NIGHTS was born!

The aim of Hot August Nights was to fill a void in tourism in Reno during the month of August and to raise money for local charities. The first concert was held in the Convention Center parking lot where most hadn’t danced to “that” music, to a live band, under the stars, since high school. The memories flooded back and so did the desire for more!  The first year of Hot August Nights was more of a nostalgia event than a car event. But it was the car parade that was the highlight of the Event for the participants and the crowds who thronged Virginia Street. The car owners were thrilled to show off their cars. They’d never had so many people “oohing and aahing” over their “works of art”. It was a proud moment for classic car owners.

In its continued mission to support the community, the Hot August Nights Foundation was established in 2007 as the charitable arm of Hot August Nights to create an instrument for individuals and businesses who share the Foundation’s mission to work together to provide children in-need or at-risk with a more meaningful and productive life. The Foundation strives to work with the community and business leaders to support in providing vital resources in an increasingly challenging world.

Noteworthy:  The Reno show is America’s largest nostalgic classic car show with over 5500 cars. They must be manufactured before 1979, and of course restored.  800,000 people show up for the event every year, from August 1st to 6th.  Yes, that’s right, 800,000.   Bring your RV because hotels will be hard to find. 

If you happen to be in the Reno area, join in and be part of the revelry.  You’ll relish every minute.  

Notable historical events that happened in the month of August:

  • Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain in August 1492,
  • Martin Luther King gave his famous speech “I have a dream” August 28, 1963,
  • Woodstock Music Festival in Bethel, NY August 1969,
  • Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959,
  • Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner August 1779,
  • Richard Nixon resigned his Presidency over the Watergate scandal, August 9, 1974,
  • Elvis Presley died in Memphis August 1977,
  • Declaration of Independence signed by 56 statesmen at the Philadelphia State House on August 2, 1776,
  • Mt. Vesuvius erupted and destroyed Pompeii in August 79 CE, and
  • Nelson Mandela was arrested August 5, 1962 for his stance on apartheid, released from prison in 1982 then became the first black President of South Africa on August 24, 1994.

And now for the rest of the month, with just a few of the obscure observances.

August 1:  National Raspberry Cream Pie Day and Simplify Your Life Week

August 4:  International Beer Day and National Smile Week

August 5:  International Hangover Day, the day after International Beer Day.  Ha.

August 6:  Friendship Day and Sisters Day

August 10:  Lazy Day

August 13:  International Left Handers Day and Annual Perseid Meteor Shower 

August 16:  Elvis Presley Day—but he has left the building

August 25:  Kiss and Make Up Day

August 26:  National Dog Day—be kind to your four footed friends

August 27:  Burning Man Day in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada

August 31:  National Trail Mix Day

Yes, I live in California and there is a ton to do here all the time, but especially in August with all the events and fairs, be it at the beach, the mountains, the incredible museums or the 1000’s of foodies scattered everywhere.  However, there are many “best places” throughout the US worth visiting this month.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

Door County Wisconsin.  Absolutely one of the best places to visit in August.  It’s known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest for its beautiful coastal communities.

Olympia Washington.  The capital is located about 60 miles south of Seattle.  

Boston is one of the best places on the East Coast to visit in August, so much history and only a short drive to Martha’s Vineyard.

Vans U.S. Open Surfing Championship.  It’s an annual affair located in Huntington Beach, and you know it as Surf City.  

Memphis.  A great summer getaway and known for its BBQ and music culture.

Lake Tahoe.  Both north shore and south shore offer the best in boating and sailing with its crystal blue waters, along with breathtaking mountain vistas.

Cannon Beach Oregon.  Come visit for the cool temps and the wild Pacific and some of the best kite flying west of the Mississippi.

Jekyll Island Georgia for that East Coast crown jewel, beach vibe.

And I will leave you with one of my all-time favorites, Mackinac Island Michigan.  It’s like stepping back in time with historic Victorian architecture, automobiles are not allowed, and of course the grandeur and magnificence of the Grand Hotel celebrating its 136th anniversary.

Whatever it is you do this August, enjoy to the fullest.  Just remember, school starts soon, so now is the time to get your kiddos and grandkids equipped for that big, first day.   

It’s not too late to plan your trip.  Hotels start clearing out mid-to-late August, so get out there and enjoy each day to the fullest.  And, stay RELEVANT.

Your Number One BoomerGal, Connie.

Editorial contribution by Traveling Lifestyle and Wikipedia