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In the heart of the Truckee Meadows is the busy community of Sparks, and offers a brief glimpse into the fascinating history of the area. Also known as Rail City, Sparks was originally established in the early 1900s by order of the Southern Pacific Railway Company, and was home to a large switching yard. To entice workers, the company generously offered employees old Wadsworth yard deeds to land that would be laid to the new roadhouse. To further incentivize workers, the company promised to pack up and ship every house in Wadsworth to the new town, completely free of charge. So, it was with great anticipation and goodwill that the town of Sparks was born.
Though Sparks has come quite a long way since it’s humble start in the railroad industry, the positive, hardworking vibe remains. Sparks is a magnet for great events, with a list of annual get-togethers that people can’t refuse. Downtown’s Victorian Square draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Nugget’s annual Best in the West Rib Cook-Off, Hot August Nights, traditional holiday celebrations like Hometown Christmas, various fun runs and marathons, and plenty more. Also lending to the atmosphere of Sparks is the extraordinarily designed parks and recreation system, which includes tons of neighborhood parks, a range of recreational sports facilities and a great variety of recreational programs for children and adults alike. Just a few miles from the downtown, the Sparks Marina is ideal for a refreshing swim, and there are always boaters and fisherman out and about. Paddle-boarders, kayakers, and even the occasional windsurfer are also common. Another family-friendly destination is Wild Island, home to an enormous water park, go-karts, miniature golf, bowling to name a few.
For even more recreational options, Sparks offers great golf in town, plus more than 50 courses within an hour’s drive. There’s no shortage of fantastic shopping at the Legends at Sparks Marina, an excellent shopping destination bursting with designer names, plus the adjacent sportsman’s paradise Scheel’s. Although this is a chain store, Sparks is home to Scheel’s largest store in the nation, and is sure to satisfy any and all outdoor equipment needs imaginable.
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