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Sparta is a city in Randolph County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,302 at the 2010 census.
The city was the principal filming location for the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night.
Sparta is located at 38°8′N 89°42′W (38.1282, -89.7061).
According to the 2010 census, Sparta has a total area of 11.443 square miles (29.64 km2), of which 11.17 square miles (28.93 km2) (or 97.61%) is land and 0.273 square miles (0.71 km2) (or 2.39%) is water.
After World War II, Sparta became known as "Magazineland, U.S.A." due to the presence of numerous printing plants that produced most of the mass-market color comic books in the United States. Spartan Printing employed as many as 1,000 people at its peak. Later, major comics distributors situated their warehouses in and around Sparta.
In 2005, the expansion of the Dayton International Airport forced the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) to relocate from its previous headquarters in Vandalia, Ohio. The association chose to move to the vicinity of Sparta, following extensive lobbying by the city and the state.
In 2006, then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and local dignitaries opened the World Shooting and Recreational Complex north of Sparta. The ATA hosted its first Grand American at the facility in August, with several thousand shooters attending.
In 2012 the ATA moved their national headquarters to 1105 East Broadway, Sparta Illinois. All day-to-day operations for the Association are now handled at this location.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,486 people, 1,783 households, and 1,164 families residing in the city.
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