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Downtown Sparks will become a sparkling winter wonderland Dec. 11-12 for the inaugural 39 North Pole Village. This holiday light festival will feature thousands of twinkling lights, holiday shopping booths, food, family fun and more.

The event will be held in the parking lot between the Nugget and the former Bourbon Square Casino. It will also expand to parts of Victorian Avenue for activities such as the Hot Chocolate Holiday Train and a special showing of “The Polar Express” in the Amphitheater.

More than 5,000 people are expected to visit 39 North Pole Village during the two-day event. Santa will be there to take requests and special letters he has received.

The festival runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11 with display lighting, booths open and Santa visits starting at 5 p.m. On Dec. 12, the event runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with Doors to Recovery doors on display starting at 10 a.m.; letter to Santa in the North Pole and ugly sweater making from noon to 6 p.m.; Reno Rock Camp performance in the amphitheater from 12:30 to 2 p.m.; Sparks UMC carolers singing from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.; “The Polar Express” movie night in the amphitheater at dusk; and visits with Santa from 6 to 8 p.m. Food trucks will be available from noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 12.

In addition to holiday fun and cheer, the event will help raise funds for Doors to Recovery, a local nonprofit group that benefits children, adolescents and adults in Northern Nevada recovering from addiction. Doors painted by local artists will be auctioned off at 39 North Pole to raise money the charity. Artists include Eric Brooks, Anja Phillips, Bryce Chisholm, Grady Schieve, Erik Holland, Carlos Martinez, Cat Stahl, Arthur Richmond and Stacie Mathewson. Some of the artists will be available for meet-and-greets during the event.

Admission is free. Details: NuggetCasinoResort.com.

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