Sparks, city (1990 pop. 53,367), Washoe co., W Nev., just E of Reno; inc. 1905. The Southern Pacific RR was the major employer until the dieselization of railroad engines forced the closing (1957) of the railroad shops there. The city still has railroad activities, and tourism is a major industry. Manufactures include medical supplies; modular structures; machinery; transportation equipment; concrete, paper, and wood products; electrical and electronic equipment; and restaurant equipment. There is also printing and publishing and minerals exploration. Sparks is in the Reno metropolitan area, one of the fastest-growing areas of the United States. Points of interest include a planetarium and a monument honoring the Chinese who built the railroad.