Get ready to revel in seasonal spirit at the 30th anniversary Sparks Hometowne Christmas Celebration in downtown Victorian Square. The event’s annual tree-lighting ceremony happens on Friday, Dec. 3, followed by the Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3. According to Sparks officials, the theme for this year’s special anniversary celebration is a “Season of Giving.”
The event kicks off Friday with the bright sparkle of the tree-lighting ceremony from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Sparks Mayor Geno Martini will flip the switch on the city’s permanent living Christmas tree, and there will be complimentary cookies and hot chocolate, along with festive live music.
The following day starts with the Ugly Sweater Run at Scheels from 10 to 11 a.m. Registration is available at Scheels Customer Service, and the fee is $20 or a new toy, all of which will benefit Toys for Tots. As for the spectacular Christmas Parade, it’s set for Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Cherie Jamason, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, will serve as Grand Marshal, kicking off the parade in a brand-new Tesla, courtesy of Tesla Motors.
Along with seasonal costumes, floats, animals and candy, the parade will also include the “Mayor’s Own Marching Band,” which is made up of more than 250 music students from Sparks Middle School, Dilworth Middle School, Shaw Middle School, Sparks High School and Spanish Springs High School.
Prior to the parade, attendees can check out the Hometowne Community Faire from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the old Silver Club, where representatives from local nonprofits will be on hand to share information about their various missions. There will also be free train and schoolhouse tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a free Hometowne Sparks Artists Show at the Sparks Museum & Cultural Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In the days leading up to the Sparks Hometowne Christmas Celebration, be sure to take part in the City of Sparks Facebook “Give Back Challenge.” Log on to the City of Sparks Facebook feed and find the Give Back Challenge page, where you can post a pledge on how you and your family will give back this year.
“We are challenging everyone to find a way to give back,” said Francine Burge, Sparks Special Events Supervisor. “All the pledges will be put into a random drawing to win a VIP seating experience for the 2017 Hometowne Christmas Parade. The winner will be announced at the tree-lighting ceremony.”