Sparks Correspondence – June 2019


We’re finally welcoming summer with open arms here in Sparks with events that celebrate sunshine, Northern Nevada agriculture, and new entertainment venues.

June kicks off with a Toby Keith concert in the recently developed arena in Sparks, followed by a pool party at the Nugget’s freshly renovated atrium pool, and then the Sierra Nevada Lavender & Honey Festival in Victorian Square that same weekend. End your June at the 8th annual Cowboy Crawl and be sure to get some authentic Mexican cuisine at Carlillos while you’re in town — you won’t be disappointed.

June 15th –– Toby Keith Headlines at the New Nugget Outdoor Event Center

To introduce the new 8600-seat outdoor amphitheater in Victorian Square, the Nugget Casino Resort is bringing in Toby Keith on June 15th to rock downtown Sparks with classic country tunes. Also held the weekend before the start of the centennial anniversary of the Reno Rodeo, Toby Keith will be playing favorite hits such as “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” and “Red Solo Cup”. Tickets range from $25-$150 and are available through Ticketmaster. For more information, visit

June 22 — Summer Pool Party at the Nugget

The Nugget is also celebrating the summer solstice and its newly remodeled atrium swimming spot with a summer pool party on June 22nd. For a $30 entry fee, bikini and boardshorts-clad guests may enjoy live music, two free drinks, a luau-style buffet, participate in a limbo contest, and a chance to win a piece of $7500 in cash and prizes. All the action starts at 6:30pm until 10pm.

June 23 — Sierra Nevada Lavender & Honey Festival

For its third year in a row, Sparks residents and visitors are invited to Victorian Square to enjoy the fun and “scent-sational” lavender and honey event held on June 23 from 10am-6pm. Along with local food and artisan vendors touting delectable purple and yellow crafts and fare, attendees can enjoy product demonstrations, family-friendly activities, learn about Northern Nevada honeybees and agriculture, and even try a special lavender and honey beer from Sparks’ very own Great Basin Brewing Company. For more information about this free festival, visit

June 29 — Cowboy Crawl 2019

At the tail end of the 100th year celebration of the Reno Rodeo, Sparks is keeping the party going by inviting all cowboys and cowgirls 21 and older to giddy on up over to Downtown Sparks for the 2019 Cowboy Crawl. This western block party starts at 4pm on Saturday, June 29 at the gathering spot next to Los Tres Hombres and includes live country music, line dancing, and a cornhole tournament. From there, enjoy drink specials at other participating bars including Mummers, O’Skis, Great Basin Brewing Company, Paddy and Irene’s, Victorian Saloon, and Sparks’ first and only wine bar thee Engine 8 Urban Winery next to the movie theater. A $5 fee includes a Cowboy Crawl wristband, souvenir cup, map, and a chance to win some sweet prizes. For more information, visit

For Authentic Mexican Food Go to Carlillos Cocina

In catching up with Sparks City Councilman Donald Abbott a few weeks ago, he mentioned that across from Revision Brewing Company on Rock Boulevard is a little diner (formerly Landrum’s) that serves the best Mexican food in all Northern Nevada. So, I had to go check it out, especially since I had just returned from Mexico.

It was exactly as Abbott described — a diner-style café with about 20 stools surrounding the bustling “kitchen,” an open grilling area in front of the customers where cooks and servers furiously cook up food to keep up with the demand. Policemen, construction workers, old-time residents, and foodies come to this 5-star hole-in-the-wall for the incredible Gringa torta, housemade horchata, or one of various egg, enchilada, salad, or combination plate specialties.

                                                                                             Carillos’ Carnitas Torta

Biting into a torta de carnitas made with carnitas (crispy pieces of braised pork), mayonnaise, beans, tomato, lettuce, swiss cheese, avocado, onions, and peppers, I inhale the rest of it in the next five minutes and then could barely get off my stool. The staff and fellow customers are friendly and passionate about the food, and you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Carlillos is located at 415 South Rock Boulevard and is open 7am-2pm Monday-Friday and 7am-1pm on Saturdays.

Enjoy the sunshine, country music, and all the fun to be had in Sparks, but remember to take the RTC bus, an Uber, your bicycle, or have a sober driver as you scoot around Sparks this June.

— Kayla Anderson