The annual Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade went off without a hitch last weekend, as around 100 entries comprised of art cars, floats, and entertainment groups worked their way through Victorian Square delighting attendees of all ages.
City council member Donald Abbott joined the Sparks mayor, city council, and his mom on a Burning Man art car, complete with a DJ and throwing out candy to kids.
“It was great, there were a lot of people everywhere and it was nice and warm. People were happy, everyone had fun, and it was nice to have some sense of normalcy left,” Abbott says.
The City of Sparks art car started at Victorian Square by Scudders Performance and floated along Victorian Avenue, and other people were staged at accompanying streets. The parade was about two hours long.
“We had the 39 North Pole Village going on at the same time and people were definitely hanging out before and after the parade. It was a great pairing with the tree lighting ceremony the night before, the parade, and 39 North Village available all weekend long,” adds Abbott.
His favorite part of the parade was throwing candy to kids.
“This is one of my favorite events of the year. I love Christmas; everyone’s happy, I love Christmas music, I even have a Christmas suit and would go caroling every day if I could. Seeing the pure joy and happiness in kids’ eyes and getting so excited for something so small [candy]…it really warms my heart,” he smiles.
Abbott believes there were thousands of people at the parade, lined along Victorian Avenue from Scudders Performance to the RTC bus station.
City of Sparks Special Events Coordinator Francine Burge says that the City had 5,000 people show up for the tree lighting event the night before- a record turnoutand estimates that close to 18,000 people attended the parade.
“We had just under 90 entries. It was great; we had wonderful weather, and everyone was excited to have the parade back. We had many new entries, too, which is fun because it mixes it up a bit,” Burge says. One of her favorite parade entries was Jonathan Montelongo’s group, who won “Best Costumed Group” in the Hometowne Christmas Parade contest.
“That group was really great. They had beautiful Mexican dancers in traditional costumes and drums,” she says. Singers of the Sage won Best Community Group, D&S Tow won Best Business, Alan John Olsen won Best Business, the Parading Arabians won Best Animal Group, and the Washoe County Library System won the Best Overall award.
“It was a great turnout. We combined forces with 39 North Pole Village, and both of our numbers were up for the event this year. It was a good collaboration, a winwin for all,” she adds.
“Thanks to everyone who participated and Merry Christmas to all,” Abbott cheerily adds.