At G&G Nursery in Sparks, a giant indoor patio sparkled with unique treasures and bits of nature, as Christmas music and the scent of cinnamon floated through the air. Twinkling white lights encircled trees and dripped like melting snowflakes from curved iron gazebos.
Swags of red, green and white lights were strung along iron fences, and peeked from under the eaves of the patio gift store and greenhouse.
Whimsical snowmen and playful penguins frolicked in trees decked in sparkling ornaments surrounded by adoring Nativity figurines.
This weekend, G&G Nursery is hosting the Festival of Lights and Holiday Open House at its location on the corner of Pyramid Way and Queen Way in Sparks.
“At night, it’s really neat with the twinkling lights and lit candy canes,” said Stephen Giossi, son of owners John and Cecelia Giossi. “Kids like to come in here and wander around.”
On Friday, customers were invited to enjoy complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres as they strolled through the holiday wonderland.
Throughout the weekend, customers can enjoy holiday treats while shopping in the store and browsing the nursery’s selection of live and cut Christmas trees, plants and flowers.
Holiday decorating aficionados can take in a feast of colors, themes and ideas. The patio gift store is filled with themed Christmas trees, ornaments, wreaths, outdoor decorations and gift ware.
“We want to wow you,” Stephen Giossi said. “Everything is set up in themed displays so you can get ideas.”
Themed Christmas trees range from a snow-covered tree covered with cute penguins, fuzzy owls and snowflake ornaments to a tree sparkling with Egyptian etched glass ornaments edged in 24-carat gold.
Another of the trees has a nostalgic theme, decked in ribbon candy ornaments, wood toys, snow-covered cranberry branches and bird nests. There is also a glowing angels tree, a cheerful snowmen tree and a tree adorned with true-to-life white poinsettias and sparkling “peace, hope & love” ornaments.
“We’re displaying things that are cool, unique or remind people of their childhood,” Stephen said, as he walked by 3-D displays of Santa stepping out of a fireplace and working in his toy shop.
The gift store is stocked with many styles of Nativity sets, handmade grapevine reindeer, whimsical tin soldiers, colorful Santas, true-to-life silk flowers, poinsettias, evergreen boughs, bird nests and branches of cranberries.
The family-owned business has been operating for more than three decades. Staff began putting up decorations and setting up themed Christmas trees on Monday, and have already sold many holiday ornaments and patio ware.
“We’ve been selling already — it’s been crazy,” Giossi said.
G&G’s buyers have shopped garden and patio shows primarily in the East Coast and Midwest, as well as shows in Southern California and Las Vegas.
“We carry a lot of product lines you don’t see anywhere else,” Stephen said. “We have many unique items and we still keep the prices competitive.”
At G&G’s former location on Rock Boulevard, most of the customers lived in Sparks. Now, because of their new, expanded location and unique selection of decorations and gift items, half of the customers live in Sparks and nearly half live in Reno. Some customers come from as far away as Gardnerville to shop at the nursery, Giossi said.
At the greenhouse and throughout the nursery, G&G features the region’s largest living and cut Christmas tree selection.
“Our cut trees sold out last year,” he said.
Cut trees include Douglas fir, Noble fir, Silvertip, Grand fir and Frasier fir. Living trees that are raised to be hardy in the local climate include Austrian pine, Scotch pine, Vanderwolf pine and six kinds of fir and spruce trees.
G&G Nursery is located at 3397 Pyramid Way at Queen Way in Sparks. Holiday preview and open house hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 358-1700.