With more than 50 booths featuring artists from across the West Coast, Rockabilly Riot’s Tattoo Expo will highlight some of the region’s best ink.
“You’ll get a chance to be tattooed by someone you otherwise may not even know,” said Jeffery Williford, co-owner of the Ruby Lantern, which is sponsoring the expo. “Some of these guys have a waiting list of two to three weeks out. You have a better chance of actually seeing them here.”
While the expo, which will run Friday through Sunday at the Carson City Community Center, will be a tattoo haven for enthusiasts, it will also be a chance for the more casual observer to learn more about the art.
“There’s still a lot of mystique about tattooing,” Williford said. “People don’t always feel comfortable coming into a tattoo shop, whereas when it’s in the open like the expo will be, it’s less intimidating.”
And more and more people are showing interest in getting inked, Williford said, partly due to the mainstreaming of the culture through reality television.
“It’s no longer just a subculture of bikers and outlaws,” he said. “You see every walk of life getting tattooed. Soccer moms to school teachers, people you wouldn’t expect want to do a whole sleeve.”
The expo, which also features contests and shows throughout the days, is one of several events scheduled during the Rockabilly Riot car show Thursday through Sunday at Mills Park.
Registration for the car show begins 10 a.m. Thursday and concludes that evening with a prom at 9 p.m. at the Gold Dust West Casino.
The following two nights will feature bands in different locations followed by street dance parties beginning at 9 p.m. outside of Jimmy G’s Cigar Bar.
A body paint show will be at 9:45 p.m. Friday at the Carson Nugget. A pin-up contest featuring Marilyn Caruso and Goldie Golden will be at 4:45 p.m. Saturday in the Marv Teixeira Pavilion. Grand prize is $1,000.
“I love everything about the pin-up scene and the talented young women who are driving the movement,” said Shanda “Goldie” Golden. “I am in awe of how pinup models pose. It’s like a beautiful slow-motion dance.”
A burlesque show will follow at 9:45 p.m. Saturday at the Carson Nugget.
More than 550 rat rod cars are expected for Rockabilly Riot’s debut event in Carson City.
Distinguished as a custom car that exaggerates the hot rod style of the 40s through early 60s, it isn’t your average classic car show.
“These are traditional, running daily driven cars,” explained producer Paul Sampson. “There’s no trailer queens.”
Joel Dunn, executive director of the Carson City Visitors Bureau, is anticipating a entertaining show.
“As a fellow wrencher and car enthusiast, I truly look forward to admiring the craftsmanship and countless hours the participants have put into their rides,” he said.
For a complete list of events, go to rockabillyriot.com.