The city of Spokane’s 125th anniversary celebration steps into the past Saturday with a family-oriented event called “An Amazing Race through Spokane History.”
The race, from noon to 4 p.m., is free and begins at City Hall. It requires no advance registration, and participants can start the race at any time during those hours.
Mayor Dennis Hession said the race will give people “a chance to have fun and learn about the city at the same time.”
Saturday’s race can be accomplished easily on foot and is patterned after the “Amazing Race” television show, said Marlene Feist, the city’s public affairs officer.
Participants will receive a folder, a history game card and clue to guide them to the next location. At that location, they will receive another card and clue. All of the destinations are within walking distance and are important to city history. Each destination will mark a single 25-year period in Spokane’s past. The course should take from one to one and a half hours to complete. Organizers said there may be a few “detours along the way.” Finishers will be greeted by the mayor and receive a commemorative coin as well as cake and pie.
The race will be followed by a Community Tree Lighting Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. just west of the Rotary Fountain in Riverfront Park. The tree is now 30 years old. Fireworks and hot cocoa will be part of the event.
An official “birthday celebration” is planned for Wednesday, marking the 125th year since Spokane incorporated under its historical name of Spokan Falls on Nov. 29, 1881. Incorporation came just 10 years after settlers moved to the falls area.
Wednesday’s celebration is scheduled for the Riverside Room of the new Spokane Convention Center from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. It will feature food, music and self-guided tours of the new facility. Current and former elected officials as well as civic leaders will be on hand.
Earlier this fall, city officials opened a 25-year time capsule sealed in 1981 during the city’s centennial celebration. The contents are on display in the Chase Gallery in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. through Nov. 30.
The display includes a 1981-82 phone book, a Washington State University football program, a vial of ash from Mount St. Helens, publicity photos from local theater productions, a poster of the 1981 city centennial, a hand-colored schematic diagram of the Expo ‘74 grounds, and bus schedules.
During Wednesday’s anniversary, some downtown merchants are marking the 125th anniversary with $1.25 prices. Riverfront Park’s Ice Palace, for example, is holding a $1.25 skating session from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
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