After the Spokane band Blue Canoe wrapped up a rocking rendition of “Peace, Love and Understanding,” a brand-new act stepped to the stage Saturday afternoon at Pig Out in the Park.
Jack Gibson and Kimberly Knox, of Moses Lake, got married on the City Hall stage before a cheering audience of strangers. It was the first wedding in the event’s 30-year history.
The Gibsons hugged and kissed after Spokane County District Court Judge Vance Peterson pronounced them husband and wife. Jack Gibson turned to the crowd, threw a hand in the air and let loose an elated whoop. The crowd responded with cheers and whistles.
“This is perfect,” Jack Gibson said before the ceremony. “I’m totally in love with her and I’ve never been happier.”
The couple’s first big date in 2002 was at Pig Out in the Park, and they haven’t missed one since. They love the combination of music and food, Jack Gibson said.
Kimberly Gibson said she remembers loving the band Civilized Animal on that first weekend.
“It was just a lot of fun,” she said. “We really bonded, and it was just wonderful. It was the start of our relationship.”
They knew they wanted to get married at the food and music festival, and their friend, Karen Bonaudi, helped make it happen. She knew event organizer Bill Burke and gave him a call. He made space in the schedule and arranged for an organist to play and for gospel singer Elisha Mitchell, of Spokane, to sing.
Kimberly Gibson found her wedding outfit just hours before the ceremony at Finders Keepers in downtown Spokane – a matching cream-colored hat, sundress and shoes. Her son, Cody Clark, gave her away, and her daughter, Tarrah Clark, was maid of honor. Jack Gibson’s granddaughter, Allena Gibson, was flower girl, and his “best person” was Kamela Bishop.
After the ceremony, the couple celebrated in a tent next to the stage decorated with beach balls and party favors for 30 to 40 guests.
Aside from Pig Out in the Park, the couple’s other favorite place is the beach, Jack Gibson said, so each guest received a small metal bucket filled with a lei, cocktail umbrellas and small glass vials of sand collected on their travels.
And, of course, packages of pork rinds.