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Arts and Culture

Hundreds Of Ukulele Enthusiasts Strum Away In Sparks

Hundreds of ukulele enthusiasts camped out in Sparks over weekend for the 8th annual Reno Ukulele Festival. Our reporter Noah Glick was there to capture their unique sound.

“My name is Moses Kamai and I am the President of the Northern Virginia Ukulele Society out on the East Coast.”

“My name is Frances O’Keefe and I’m from Sunnyvale, California.”

That’s the two of them playing the song Honey Baby, just one example of people being brought together through the common language of ukulele.

Aside from the music, which encompasses a vast array of different styles, there are also ukulele lessons. Douglas Reynolds is the founder of the festival.

“In 2007, we started planning to do a little ukulele festival in Minden. We did our first one there,” Reynolds says. “And the Nugget came there and said, ‘How’d you like to move it up here?’ So we did and it expanded it, and it’s just grown every year now.”

One of the event’s many devoted attendees is Tony Campbell, who has been playing the ukulele since the 1950s.

“The most fun is to join a little group like that over there,” Campbell says. “I don’t know what you’d call it, yeah, a ukulele circle.”

Next year’s Ukulele Festival is scheduled for the first weekend in April.

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