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Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Riverfront Park construction crowds fireworks festivities

UPDATED: Tue., July 4, 2017

Construction in Riverfront Park made for a more confined Fourth of July celebration, but did little to dampen the festivities.

Typically, food trucks and vendors for the daylong festival preceding the fireworks show set up shop in the grassy area on the west end of the park near Spokane City Hall. That leaves the hill above the park’s Clocktower open for people to set up lawn chairs and picnic blankets for the fireworks.

With half the park torn up for the ongoing redesign, both groups squeezed into the field by the Clocktower. Sarah Switzer said she arrived around 2:30 p.m. to get her spot near the top of the hill. She said her family usually gets tickets to sit on the steps close to where the fireworks are set off, but since they weren’t sold this year, they decided to try the main park.

She played mancala with a friend as the evening turned to dusk.

“This has been amazing just to hang out with friends and family,” she said.

The sidewalk along Spokane Falls Boulevard was closed west of Stevens Street, leading crowds to stream into the park past the Red Wagon and under the Stevens Street Bridge. A number of families set up blankets on the lawn by the wagon, or stood as children played on the structure.

Despite food vendors, Kate Slagle said her family got their usual spot, sitting behind the beer garden and a few food trucks toward the west side of the Clocktower Meadow. Slagle has come to the show every year since 2008.

“I just love the Fourth in general. It’s patriotic, it’s fireworks, it’s a community event,” she said.

She shared a spot with a friend while waiting for her husband to return from buying food. Her two daughters worked on coloring books while waiting for the show.

Slagle said her family is originally from Pittsburgh and moved to Spokane when her now-husband was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base. In Pittsburgh, the city was too big to go downtown for holidays.

“Spokane’s a big city, but it’s still small enough that you can come downtown and enjoy,” she said.

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