Street Vibrations: Will it Return to Sparks?

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

Sparks, NV - Most people expect Street Vibrations to return as usual to Reno next year. But after that deadly shooting inside the Nugget between the Hells Angels and the Vagos, many are wondering about the future of Street Vibrations in Sparks.

"It was a shame because Sparks has always been a real family-oriented neighborhood," says Melodee Niemann, a Sparks resident. "And to have something like this happen was just awful."

People in Victorian Square on Monday are still talking about what happened inside the Nugget Friday night. A gunfight between two motorcycle gangs left a Hells Angels leader dead.

"Here in Sparks, we don't expect that," says Niemann

Another shooting nearby Saturday morning triggered fears of retaliation and prompted Sparks' Mayor Geno Martini to issue a state of emergency. The event suddenly was suddenly cancelled in Victorian Square - forcing vendors to hurry up and break down their booths.

"It was an easy decision to make," says Randy Burke of Roadshows Inc. He's organized Street Vibrations for nearly two decades. "For nothing else than public safety."

The decision to shut down the venue in Sparks may have been good for the safety of the community, but bad for many businesses. Among them, the ones in Victorian Square that were looking forward to having the extra customers in town.

"It was like a ghost town, I came down here and no one was here," says Niemann.

"You know, obviously, the tourists moved on and found somewhere else to go," says Justin Quinton, owner of Cantina Lost Tres Hombres. "They followed the herd and the herd moved to Reno."

In fact, organizers say the turnout in Reno the next day was the biggest Sunday they've ever had. And while many worry the recent violence will keep most people away next year, many consider it an isolated incident. And the organizer says he may make some changes next year.

"We've always treated the motorcycle clubs like favored nations. You behave around me, I behave around you. Unwritten, but understood. We will revisit that 'favored nations,'" says Burke.

The state of emergency in Sparks was activated Saturday afternoon and lasted until Sunday at 5pm.

Adam Mayberry, a spokesperson for the City of Sparks, says no decision has been made yet about the future of Street Vibrations in Sparks, but that the city would love for it to return next year.

Burke, with Roadshows Inc., says he would like the event to return to both Sparks and Reno next year.


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