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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Welcome to Reardan: New signs installed ahead of Mule Days

A bright new sign that welcomes drivers heading west on U.S. Highway 2 to Reardan, Wash., was paid for with funds raised from the town’s annual Mule Days celebration. Mule Days outreach coordinator Leanne Merkel, sign maker John Rouse, and Mule Days co-chairs Stan and Jill Schwartz helped replace the aging former signs that had been there since the 1960s.  (James Hanlon/The Spokesman-Review)

REARDAN, Wash. – Bright new signs recently installed on U.S. Highway 2 welcome drivers to Reardan as the small town just 20 miles west of Spokane prepares to host its 120th Mule Days celebration this Saturday.

The project was paid for with funds raised from the annual festival. Every year the Mule Days Committee supports various town projects, including light -pole flower baskets, Christmas decorations, the Reardan Community Hall and school activities, co-chair Stan Schwartz said.

The welcome signs replace two aging signs east and west of town that were made of wood and built in the 1960s. One of those signs went to the Lincoln County Museum in Davenport, Washington.

The new signs were built by John Rouse, a Reardan High School graduate and owner of Washington Equipment Manufacturing Company.

Kenneth Fuher Enterprises in Spokane Valley did the graphic design, which incorporates a logo of an American flag in front of a wheat stalk that was designed by the high school girls basketball coach. It also includes the school’s former Indian mascot.

“This has been a fantastic community effort,” said Leanne Merkel, Mule Day’s outreach coordinator.

The next step will be to install lights so the signs can be lit up at night.

The festival held the first weekend of June celebrates Reardan’s history using mules for farming. It will be a day of fun activities with a parade, a car show, food trucks, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, live music and dancing in the street.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.