The 2019 holiday season officially kicks off with the Christmas Tree Lighting in Victorian Square this Friday, December 6, followed by the Hometowne Christmas Parade happening Saturday, December 7.
At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, City of Sparks Mayor Ron Smith will flip the switch on the big beautiful blue spruce tree that permanently resides in Victorian Square next to the gazebo on the corner of Victorian Avenue and Victorian Plaza Circle. The Fuerza Latina Band will be playing live music and the Sparks Rotary Club will be pulling the winning tickets for the Mad Money Raffle going on, giving people the chance to win substantial cash prizes. Proceeds from the raffle go towards Rotary programs, such as the new all-abilities playground planned for the Sparks Marina. Living Stones Church will also be serving up complimentary hot cocoa and cannoli treats from Grimaldi’s Pizza.
The next day, the City of Sparks is celebrating a “Christmas Around the World” theme at its 33rd annual Hometowne Christmas Parade, inviting people to share their favorite Christmas traditions whether it’s throwing shrimp on the barbie in Australia or singing villancicos in Mexico. The Hometowne Christmas Parade begins at 1 p.m. and launches from Victorian Avenue/Pyramid Way. It travels west to 16th Street; normally people post up along Victorian Avenue as the marching bands, animals, costumes, floats, classic cars, and community displays go by.
Great Basin Brewing Company community partners Tom and Bonda Young will be the Grand Marshals this year, and the Mayor’s Own Marching Band comprised of around 200 students from Sparks’ middle and high schools will be performing live Christmas hits to boost the holiday cheer. City of Sparks radio partners Lotus Radio, Cumulus Communications, Reno Radio Group, and KWNK will be announcing live broadcasts of the parade and Entravision will be translating the day’s events in Spanish.
A float carrying Santa will conclude the procession, and Santa will also be available to take pictures and listen to wish lists in the Sparks Museum & Cultural Center Gallery from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and after the parade 2:30-3:30 p.m. Photos with Santa cost either a canned food donation or one dollar and Santa’s helpers consist of Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.
It’s a weekend not to miss, with the whole community coming out to celebrate Santa, the winter weather, and longstanding holiday tradition in this highly anticipated event. For more information about the 33rd annual Hometowne Christmas Parade, visit https://cityofsparks.us/.
Can’t make the parade? No worries, because this is just the start of it. Here are some other events happening in Sparks this holiday season:
December 10: Make holiday cookies with Mrs. Claus at Scheels from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This is a free event; find Mrs. Claus on the second floor behind the archery department.
December 12-14: Visit the 39 North Pole Village in Victorian Square with live entertainment, photos with Santa, and hundreds of twinkling lights from 4-9 p.m. daily.
December 21: Those ages 21 and up are invited to participate in the 5th Annual Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl taking place in Victorian Square starting at 6 p.m.
December 24: Save doing dishes and treat the family to Christmas Eve Dinner at David’s (Red Hawk Golf & Resort) with seatings starting at 3 p.m. Call 775-321-5942 to make reservations.