The “Island Luau” brought a variety of activities and entertainment to Victorian Square, all with a Polynesian flare.
Chef Joe Eidem demonstrated how to make a traditional Luau feast in the St. Mary’s Amphitheater. Hawaiian dancers from Halau o Kawaiolaakane, a hula school in Sparks, performed traditional Hawaiian dances for those gathered in the amphitheater.
Across the street from the amphitheater, Kanekoa, a Hawaiian ukulele rock band from Maui, performed at a free outdoor concert on the stage next to the Great Basin Brewing Company.
The Kidz Zone, an outdoor Exploratorium on the sidewalk near the train in Victorian Square, provided materials for children to make musical instruments.
Ashley Coscuna came to celebrate her fiancé’s birthday and enjoy the Hawaiian band with her family. Sitting at a table outside the Great Basin Brewing Company with her parents, sister, daughter and fiancé, Coscuna isn’t a stranger to Victorian square’s events.
“We have seen them play a few times,” Coscuna said. “I haven’t been to as many farmers markets this year as I have in the past, but I feel like now it’s really family friendly. I had no hesitation as to whether we would bring our daughter. We are really enjoying being out here.”
Reno resident Kim Johnson used to come down to Sparks for the farmers market in years past. Last week, she said she came to visit friends who live in downtown Sparks and enjoy the Thursday night concerts with friends.
Asked how 39 North Marketplace compared to the former Farmer’s Market held in Victorian Square, Johnson said, “I like the changes. There’s definitely a more hometown feel, and they’ve had great bands every time I’ve come.”
While most residents lounged outside enjoying the Hawaiian band, some residents shopped at farmers and vendors booths that lined Victorian Square. NevadaGrown gave away cantaloupe samples, and fresh produce was available from a variety of local producers like Snyder Family Farms, Cipponeri Farms, Minton Farms, Chucks Farms and K&J Orchards.
Race trucks from Wild West Motorsports Park east of Sparks, part of the nationally renowned Lucas Oil-Off Road Racing Series, took over the east entrance of Victorian Avenue. Pro drivers signed autographs and gave away swag.
At the west end of Victorian Ave, Kyle Zisk, a sales rep for Tesla Motors, answered questions on Tesla’s Model S sedan parked outside the former W.R. Adams & Songs Jewelers shop. The Model S uses one of the batteries Tesla will build at its gigafactory east of Sparks.
Held in the Downtown Sparks Dining District on the corner of Victorian Avenue and 10th Street, 39 North Marketplace ran from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights this summer. The event brought regional farmers, vendors, artists and musicians together. Residents enjoyed free entertainment, cooking demos, food and health tutorials, and a Kidz Corner with hands-on activities for children at this community-style summer event.
The marketplace was sponsored by 39 North Downtown, a nonprofit group of Sparks business owners and residents devoted to revitalizing downtown Sparks through development and activity. When the Sparks Farmer’s Market told the city of Sparks it was no longer going to operate in downtown Sparks, 39 North Downtown took the opportunity to create 39 North Marketplace.