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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane lights up new tradition

Brady Rapp, 8, wears his own head lamp to Riverfront Park's Winter Glow event and stops to look closely at the lighted display in the shape of a train Friday, Nov. 28, 2014.  It's the first year for the display of lighted figures throughout Riverfront Park, accompanied by Christmas music.   (Jesse Tinsley)
Brady Rapp, 8, wears his own head lamp to Riverfront Park's Winter Glow event and stops to look closely at the lighted display in the shape of a train Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. It's the first year for the display of lighted figures throughout Riverfront Park, accompanied by Christmas music. (Jesse Tinsley)
It was pouring hard when the time came to flip the switch to light up dozens of holiday light displays in Riverfront Park Friday night, but the crowd of nearly 200 people stuck it out. Some even took the time to walk through the park to look at the displays before heading for cover. The blustery night may not have been the ideal setting envisioned by the organizers of the city’s Winter Glow Spectacular, but the event still was appreciated by those who attended. “We went to Coeur d’Alene last year,” said Karen Laughlin, who attended with her husband Michael. “For something different, we decided to come here. We just wanted to come down and the weather doesn’t bother us.” The crowd gathered to hear Christmas carols sung by the Gonzaga Prep Choir before the lighting ceremony began. Many wore buttons handed out by event sponsor Avista Utilities that said “I’ve got the power” and featured a flashing red light. Chelsea Ronish and Ehren Burright put on their hats and gloves and clutched cups of hot coffee to keep warm. The couple, who is engaged, came to the lighting ceremony to start a new tradition as a family. “This is my first winter in Spokane,” Ronish said. “I’m trying to do it right. It sounded like a lot of fun.” The program was kept brief because of the weather, but Spokane Mayor David Condon said a few words before turning on the power. “It is about bringing back to Spokane the downtown lights,” he said. An animal light zoo is set up in the meadow next to the IMAX Theater. It includes a bear, giraffe, hippo, a trio of leaping Orcas and many other animals. More lighted scenes are set up along the pathways along the edge of the Clocktower Meadow. Lights also dangle from the Rotary Fountain at the entrance of Riverfront Park along Spokane Falls Boulevard. The Winter Glow Spectacular will be open nightly through January 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. The displays are free. Horse drawn carriage rides will be available in the park for $5 for children and $10 for adults. STCU also offers free carriage rides through downtown Fridays through Sundays that depart from the corner of Wall and Main. The Coeur d’Alene Resort also held its annual parade and lighting ceremony Friday. A new feature was added this year to the resort’s annual display: an animated Christmas tree on Lake Coeur d’Alene that rises 60 feet out of the water, dancing in time to “Carol of the Bells.”
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