Jolly holiday

The city of Sparks will kick off the holiday season and its centennial celebration with the 18th annual Sparks Hometowne Christmas event on Saturday, Dec. 4. The festival’s theme, “Centennial Christmas—Celebrating 100 Years of Sparks,” is the first of many birthday celebrations the city will mark from now into next summer. There will be arts and crafts vendors, holiday entertainment and foods and beverages to keep visitors occupied on a chilly December day. The parade will start at 1 p.m. and feature marching bands, floats and historical entries that refer to Sparks’ early years. A few of Sparks’ longest-lived residents, Amy Ballard, Erma Martini and Bill Reeder, will serve as grand marshals of the parade. Santa Claus will pose for photos at the Santa’s Castle attraction. After the parade, the Sunshine Generation from Jenny’s Studio of Dance, the International Folkloric Parade, Sparks High School Chamber Singers and Reed High School’s Intermezzo Choir will provide some holiday cheer. Finally, Mayor Tony Armstrong will light the Christmas tree at 5 p.m. The festival will take place at Victorian Square in downtown Sparks. Call 353-2291 or visit—Kelley Lang