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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Massive participation at downtown patriotic parade

Thousands lined Riverside Avenue from Monroe to Division streets to celebrate Washington’s birthday, The Spokesman-Review reported on Feb. 22, 1918. (Nathanael Massey / Spokesman-Review archives)
Thousands lined Riverside Avenue from Monroe to Division streets to celebrate Washington’s birthday, The Spokesman-Review reported on Feb. 22, 1918. (Nathanael Massey / Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane staged a huge patriotic parade for Washington’s birthday. Thousands lined Riverside Avenue from Monroe to Division streets.

The procession was led by the 14th Infantry from Fort George Wright and its 30-piece regimental band.

This was followed by Company K and Company L of the Third Washington Infantry, with about 90 men each. These companies were composed entirely of Spokane men who “have made rapid advancements in military training in the last year.”

They were followed by Spanish-American War veterans, Gonzaga University cadets, Woman’s Relief Corps and even Grand Army of the Republic veterans, meaning Civil War veterans.

The oddest sight, no doubt, was a group of Red Cross nurses, “who occupied a decorated automobile, carrying a polar bear above its fender.”

The massive parade also featured Boy Scouts by the hundreds, high school marching bands, union drill teams, firefighters and a 136-person contingent of barbers, who made “the largest showing by a labor organization.”

Fine weather encouraged a massive turnout. The parade was so big that the people at the end hadn’t even started when the head of the procession reappeared after making a U-turn at Division.

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