Sparta, Illinois

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Sparta is a city in Randolph County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,486 at the 2000 census.

The city was the principal filming location for the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night.[1]



Sparta is located at 38°7′41″N 89°42′22″W / 38.12806°N 89.70611°W / 38.12806; -89.70611 (38.128152, -89.706070).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.2 square miles (23.8 km²), of which, 9.0 square miles (23.4 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (1.63%) is water.

World Shooting and Recreational Complex

In 2005, the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA)[1] voted to move its headquarters from Vandalia, Ohio to Sparta. The city and state governments had lobbied hard for the move to Sparta, which was necessitated by the expansion of the James M. Cox Dayton International Airport in Vandalia.

In 2006, then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and local dignitaries opened the World Shooting and Recreational Complex[2] north of Sparta. The ATA hosted its first Grand American at the facility in August, with several thousand shooters attending.

While the Grand American is now held in Sparta, the ATA continues to maintain its headquarters in Vandalia, Ohio. It is expected that eventually those offices will also move to Illinois.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 4,486 people, 1,783 households, and 1,164 families residing in the city. The population density was 496.6 people per square mile (191.8/km²). There were 2,014 housing units at an average density of 223.0/sq mi (86.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.39% White, 15.65% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.36% of the population.

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