After coming off yet another successful Best in the West Rib Cook-off, Sparks is embracing the beginning of fall with fun outdoor events, including Riding on the River family bike riding event on October 7, Sparks Fire Department’s annual pancake breakfast/1st Alarm 5k run on October 14, the Sparks Mayor’s Cup on October 22, and Northern Nevada’s most famous autumn event, the October 22 PumpkinPalooza.
Back for its sixth year, PumpkinPalooza is regarded as one of the top fall festivals in the country with its full day of family-friendly contests and activities. Top crowd-pleasers of the festival include the pumpkin pie-eating contest, pumpkin seed-spitting, and marshmallow shooting, but the top event of the day is the Pumpkin Derby where teams put together a race car made out of a pumpkin. If you’re in the area on October 22, this is an event not to miss in downtown Sparks. (For the full list of what’s going on, visit https://pumpkinpalooza.org.)
While you’re in Victorian Square enjoying the family-friendly fun events, consider grabbing a bite to eat at Great Basin Brewing Company, Cantina Los Tres Hombres, or visit the Nugget Casino Resort’s famous Oyster Bar.
If you’re in the mood for something filling and unique, then venture up to Holman Way and try out some true southern comfort food at M&M’s Southern Café. Items on the menu include frog’s legs, alligator, hush puppies, and delectable beignets. M&M’s is located next to Scolari’s.
If you are into history and fine spirits, consider taking a distillery tour through Seven Troughs. Named after the Nevada mining district that was once a short-lived booming industry, Seven Troughs Distilling Company pays homage to the early 1920’s era with its throwback process of making whiskey, vodka, bourbon and using more ingredients from local suppliers. To make its craft spirits, Seven Troughs distillers mash sweet grains in wooden vats by hand and then ferment it in oak barrels to create a unique taste. Seven Troughs takes pride in its work and loves to share its passion with customers. Feel free to visit them at 1155 Watson Way Suite 5 in Sparks.
It’s also not too early to start thinking about your booth design for the 39 North Pole Griswold Challenge. Coming to Victorian Square December 7-9, the 39 North Pole Village will feature a holiday light display contest inspired by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’s loveable disaster, Clark Griswold. Families, friends and business are invited to decorate a 10×20 space with a Christmas theme or holiday tradition for a chance to win a cash prize based on the number of entries. For more information about entering the Griswold Challenge, visit 39NorthDowntown.com.
— Kayla Anderson