Sparks is located in Washoe County, in the Truckee Meadows of Northern Nevada. Situated between the Carson and Virginia mountain ranges, the city shares its beautiful valley with Reno, its neighbor to the west. The two cities were once very distinct, but now they are tied so closely that the border between them is merely political. Often referred to as Reno-Sparks, the two cities are considered twin cities. With a population of 81,643, Sparks is Nevada’s fifth largest city. Sparks boasts a strong downtown business core, as well as established and developing residential neighborhoods. In June 2006, the White House recognized Sparks as the first "Preserve America" Community in Nevada.
At an elevation of nearly 4,500 feet, Sparks has a high desert climate with four full seasons and sunshine almost all year round. This mild climate makes Sparks a great place for outdoor activities throughout the year. In fact, Sparks is widely known as the premiere venue for almost all of northern Nevada’s special events, such as Hometown Farmers Market, Star Spangled Sparks, The Big Easy, Hot August Nights, Summer Fun Runs, Nugget Best in the West Rib Cook-Off, the Sparks Annual Turkey Trot, Oktoberfest, and Hometowne Christmas. Most of these events take place in and around Victorian Square, which is considered to be “downtown” Sparks and features many attractions, including the beautiful new Century 14 Movie Theater Complex, an interactive fountain, the historic Glendale one-room schoolhouse, the Victorian Square Bandstand, and the award-winning Victorian Square free parking garage.
Other exciting attractions in Sparks include the Wild Island Family Adventure Park; three different golf courses; and Sparks Marina Park, which includes such amenities as two swimming beaches, two sand volleyball courts, a number of gazebos and picnic tables, a lighted trail system, and extensive landscaping. Visitors and residents of Sparks have endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. The city is located within easy driving distance to many streams and lakes, including Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, and the Truckee River. These natural wonders provide endless recreational possibilities for the outdoor enthusiast, such as fishing, hiking, swimming, sailing, wind-surfing, and camping. The area is also teeming with forested mountains, wildlife-filled wetlands, and desert landscapes.