Spokane is chalk full of awesome stuff to do, but never is there more to see and experience than in the spring. As the city shakes off the last dustings of snow and flowers peek their colorful heads out of the soul, the residents of Spokane hit the streets en masse. Here’s the top 4 activities happening this spring, only in Spokane:
43rd Annual Lilac Bloomsday Run
The Lilac Bloomsday Run is an annual race in Spokane. Over 50,000 runners, joggers, and walkers show up to complete the 12K course through the heart of Downtown (near the arena and convention center). While it is too late to register and participate, you can still show up and cheer on the racers on Sunday, May 5th. Check out the Bloomsday official website for handy information on the Boomsday Shuttle, parking options, and road closures for the best Bloomsday experience, or watch this cool video to learn more about the race.
Looking to participate in a more significant way? Volunteers are still needed for a variety of activities on race day. Learn more here.
After the race, reward yourself with a wine tasting in Spokane’s Cork District downtown, and be sure to join Spokane Wine Enthusiasts on Facebook to stay up to date on everything happening in the Spokane wine world.
Manito Park’s Seasonal Gardens
Manito Park is one of Spokane’s crowning jewels, and when the seasonal gardens are open and flourishing, it provides an unparalleled outdoor experience. The japanese gardens, in particular, are not to be missed this spring. The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Gardens are located within Manito Park and were built in 1974 to honor the sister city relationship between Spokane and Nishinomiya, Japan.
The space is meant a sanctuary for meditation and quiet reflection, and is open from April 1st to October 31st every year, from 8:00am to half an hour before sunset daily. This is one of the few authentic Japanese Gardens to exist outside of Japan, and a walk through the space will instantly transport you across the Pacific.
Manito Park is also home to a staggeringly diverse and prolific Lilac Garden. Spokane’s Lilac Garden contains “well over 100 named cultivars from 23 distinct species, making it one of the most important lilac gardens in the West,” according to the Spokane Parks Department. Spokane is known as the Lilac City, and the Lilac Gardens are a huge part of Spokane’s local identity. And they’re never more beautiful than in the Spring!
2019 Spokane Lilac Festival
The Spokane Lilac Festival is an annual event celebrating the local military, youth, and the beauty and majesty of Spokane. A multi-day event, the Lilac Festival hosts luncheons, dinners, dances, and more, all operating within this year’s theme of “We Are Spokane.”
The festival culminates in the largest Torchlight Military Parade in the country. This parade is not one you will want to miss – it features bands, floats, military and equestrian groups, drill teams and dancers, cars, and more. The parade has a proud 81-year history in Spokane, with many more to come.
Check out the 2019 Armed Forces Torchlight Parade on Saturday May 18th at 7:45pm. Entrance fees and tickets are $15.
Hoopfest is easily the coolest event you’ll see in any downtown in America. This isn’t just shooting hoops for fun; Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world. IN. THE. WORLD. Right here, in Downtown Spokane!
When we say Hoopfest isn’t just friends playing in the street, what we mean is 6,000 teams, 3,000 volunteers, 225,000 cheering fans on 450 courts spanning 45 city blocks. From June 29th-30th, Downtown streets shut down to make way for the event, but nearby restaurants and bars stay open and make a great haven for spectators to enjoy the tournament and a bite to eat.
Registration is open until May 17th, so you and your best b-ball pals still have time to participate in this epic event. If you’re not the athletic type and just want to cheer on the teams, scope out your logistics options in advance, and check out the list of FoodFest options available this year.
If you don’t live in Spokane but are considering a relocation, definitely check out Hoopfest or any of these other amazing happenings around town during your visit!
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