Fourth of July in Reno and Sparks

Fireworks & Festivals Celebrating the 4th of July

Star Spangled Sparks fireworks show over Victorian Square in Sparks, Nevada
••• Star Spangled Sparks fireworks show over Victorian Square in Sparks, Nevada. Stan White

The 4th of July 2014 is on a Friday, giving us the weekend to indulge in the celebrations and parties we all enjoy for America's Independence Day. You can watch 4th of July fireworks and join the festivities all around the area; Reno, Sparks, the Lake Tahoe area, Carson City, and Virginia City.

Star Spangled Sparks

Star Spangled Sparks is the biggest 4th of July affair in the area. However, the day of family activities that was held at Sparks Marina Park the last few years has been canceled.

Sparse participation and funding are cited as causes.

Afternoon and evening activities, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., for Star Spangled Sparks will carry on in Victorian Square near The Nugget. There will be family activities, a kids' area, vendor booths and entertainment, as well as a huge fireworks show over the Nugget towers starting around 9:45 p.m. This is billed as the longest, most spectacular fireworks show in northern Nevada. I have seen this show - it's awesome and really does last a long time. You can watch the show from lots of spots around the area since The Nugget buildings stand alone with nothing nearby to block the view. A reminder - local regulations prohibit BBQs, glass, pets and non-service animals on Victorian Square.

At past events, there has been a free shuttle to Victorian Square for the party and fireworks. The shuttle is from Outlets at Sparks, where there is plenty of free parking.

The shuttle starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m. (Note: This has not yet been confirmed for 2014)

4th of July Festivities in Reno

In conjunction with Artown, you can enjoy some rousing (and free) patriotic performances celebrating the 4th of July. At Wingfield Park, Reno Celebrates America with free traditional family activities throughout the day, followed by a salute to our Armed Forces and a patriotic performance by the Reno Municipal Band.

Patriotism in Reno with the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale - July 6, 3 p.m to 4:30 p.m., Glenn Little Amphitheater in Wingfield Park. This free performance by the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale will include American heritage, patriotic, Broadway, and classical selections.

Independence Day Celebration at Aces Ballpark - July 4 and 5. It will be a big 4th of July weekend with the Reno Aces. After the games on July 4 and 5 (vs. the Sacramento River Cats), enjoy fireworks shows over the stadium. Sunday, July 6, is Family Day with Baseball Bingo and a free hot dog, bag of candy and small soda for the first 500 kids.

4th of July at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe fireworks shows are some of the best in the area. You'll find Independence Day celebrations all around the lake, including one of the top shows in the entire United States at South Lake Tahoe.

4th of July Hours at Reno City Facilities

City Hall offices and all recreational facilities will be closed on July 4. Rosewood Lakes Golf Course will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. - call (775) 857-2892 to confirm hours and/or reserve a tee time.

Fireworks Illegal in Reno and Washoe County

No fireworks are legal except approved public fireworks displays, period.

Learn more about the dangers of illegal fireworks and why you simply shouldn't do it. There's no better way to ruin a fun 4th of July celebration like starting a wildfire, injuring yourself or someone else, or getting arrested.

Legal Fireworks at Pyramid Lake

If you simply must do your own fireworks, the only legal place in Washoe County to buy and shoot off fireworks is the sovereign nation of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation north of the Reno / Sparks area. Get the details from Fourth of July at Pyramid Lake.

Nevada 150 Railfair in Carson City

From July 2 through July 6, 2014, it's all about railroad transportation at the Nevada 150 Railfair at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. Steam locomotives V&T No. 25 and the famous Inyo will be fired up, along with the historic, self-propelled McKeen Motor Car, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Rides will be available behind No. 25 and on the McKeen car every 45 minutes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Inyo will be under steam on the tracks from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and on display throughout the day. The Glenbrook steam locomotive, which is currently being restorated, will be outside for photo opportunities. Tickets for the day are $15 for adults, $10 for museum members, $5 for children 3 to 17, and free for kids 2 and younger. Admission includes unlimited train rides and entrance to the Jacobsen Interpretive Center, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Railfair. This is an official event of Nevada's 150th birthday celebration during 2014.

Virginia City 4th of July Festivities

Get up to Virginia City for an all-day 4th of July Celebration throughout town. The parade starts at 12 noon. During the day, enjoy events like the cowboy shootouts, the Comstock Cowboys Second Amendment Concert, raffle prizes, train rides on the V & T Railroad, museum and mine tours, and music on the street. A big fireworks show will blast off after dark from Miner's Park. Call (775) 847-7500 for more information.

For a special treat, ride the V&T Railroad from Carson City to Virginia City and arrive just in time for the big 4th of July parade. You can get tickets online or get more information at (877) 724-5007.