Probably the biggest Independence Day celebration in the Reno, Nev., area will be in Sparks, where the city and its Chamber of Commerce have daytime festivities and John Ascuaga’s Nugget springs for nighttime fireworks.
“We started 11 years ago doing fireworks, and 10 years ago the Sparks chamber began a daytime event at the Sparks Marina,” recalled Michael Traum, the Nugget’s public relations manager.
As the economy cut nearby municipalities’ ability to do a big fireworks display, Traum said the Nugget’s 20-minute, state-of-the-art pyrotechnic display is probably the only one this year in the Washoe Valley.
The show is again presented by Lantis Fireworks and Lasers, with choreographed music simulcast on KKOH (780 AM). Fireworks will be fired off from both the Nugget towers and the nearby Union Pacific rail yard.
Star Spangled Sparks’ daytime events draw about 15,000 people. Day events are at Sparks Marina Park, farther up Interstate 80 from the Nugget off Sparks Boulevard. There will be arts and crafts, food booths, tethered hot-air balloon rides, entertainment and children’s games.
An especially fun event is the Model Dairy milk carton parade of boats and boat races, Traum said. And there’s Sparks Idol, an “American Idol”-style local talent competition.
Daytime events wrap up between 3 and 4 p.m., and activities shift to downtown Sparks’ Victorian Square, the same venue as the Nugget Rib Cook Off over Labor Day.
There is easier parking at Sparks Marina Park, and the nearby Legends outlet stores are providing free shuttle service from the outlets to Victorian Square and back.
At Victorian Square, in front of the Nugget, there will be a kids’ area with rides, live entertainment and food and drink vendors.
As the evening progresses, the Nevada Air National Guard will fly a C-130 Hercules aircraft over the event, followed by the national anthem. The fireworks will begin approximately 9:45 p.m.
Traum suggested visitors arrive early to secure a viewing location and perhaps bring low-back chairs, small blankets and a light jacket or sweater.
You can become a “Friend of the Fireworks,” which includes access to exclusive viewing and a hospitality area. Contact Shelli Fine, Nugget special events manager, for details.
Where: 1100 Nugget Ave. Sparks, Nevada (adjacent to Interstate 80).
Phone: (800) 648-1177
On the Web: www.janugget.com
Hotel rooms: 1,600
Specials: Non-peak time room rates can be as low as $44 a night.
Pyrotechnics: The Nugget Casino Resort plans to host a 20-minute, state-of-the-art fireworks display, choreographed with music simulcast on KKOH (780 AM).