5 Reasons to Love Pig Out in the Park

It’s no surprise that one of Spokane’s favorite yearly events is Pig Out in the Park. I mean, what is not to like about a 6 day long celebration of gastronomical bliss that takes place right in the heart of downtown Spokane? Here are five things that we love about this annual food and music extravaganza.

Food Variety

1. The Diversity of Food Options

You would be hard pressed to come up with an event that offers so many different kinds of food, all gathered together into a single venue. The offerings range from food truck classics, like tacos and hot dogs, all the way to more exotic fare, such as dim sung and Indian food. Whether you are hankering for barbeque or jonesing for Gyros, you should be able to find something that suits your fancy.

2. The Setting

When it comes to great gathering spots in Spokane, it would be hard to think of a better place than Riverfront Park. The park makes a great place to have a leisurely lunch in a beautiful setting, but it also is a convenient location for a quick lunch for those who work downtown. The area offers plenty of space for the numerous vendors that supply food for the event, and you get the added bonus of having a great view of some of Spokane’s most loved and recognizable landmarks.

Free Concerts at Pig Out at the Park

3. Can You Say, “Free Concerts”

The food isn’t the only attraction that Pig Out in the Park has to offer visitors. The event also brings together a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of free concerts over the long weekend that it runs. In fact, this year will see about 100 free concerts performed over the six days. The performers are made up of a great mix of local and national acts, including well known acts like Los Lobos. What better way to enjoy the array of great food that is available, than with an equally wonderful array of great music?

4. Beverage Gardens (Plural)

As if the great food and music wasn’t enough, there are also 3 adult beverage gardens that you can visit. The Inland Northwest has a thriving beer and wine scene, and you will find some of our great local beverages available to consume in these designated areas.

Caramel Apples

5. $3 Bites

If you want to try a lot of different items, plan on hitting the event during the designated $3 bite hours. From 3-5pm and 9-10pm every day, vendors will be offering specific items in smaller portions for just $3. This makes for a great way to experience some of the diversity of the culinary items that you can find at Pig Out at the Park.

Get Your Pig On

Pig Out at the Park will be running in Riverfront Park from August 27th, through September 1st. The hours for the event are from 11am to 10pm, and it is free to the public. All food offerings are a maximum of $9.95, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. If you attend the event, make sure to post your photos on social media platforms with the hashtag #SpokanePigOut

Ways to Cool Off in Spokane During a Heat Wave

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s starting to get hot outside here in Spokane. We always have a little window of 90-100 degree weather at some point during the summer, so it’s always good to have some ideas of how you can get cooled off during the most scorching days of summer. Here are some ideas for staying cool when it’s hot out.

ice cream

Get Some Ice Cream

What could be better on a hot summer day than some delicious ice cream? Fortunately, Spokane has some awesome places to grab a scoop or two. One of the new options in town is the Brain Freeze Creamery, which will soon be a likely spot to run into one of our Windermere City Group team who will be moving into their Kendall Yards offices down the street. You can also find Ben & Jerry’s at Riverpark Square, and don’t forget about local favorite, Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor.

Do Some Indoor Shopping

Sometimes a hot day just makes you feel like getting into a nice air conditioned building for some retail therapy. Fortunately, Spokane has some great places to spend some time shopping indoors, including Riverpark Square mall downtown, and the Spokane Valley Mall. You can also check out the shops in the Flourmill, or just wander between shops downtown.

Rotary Fountain Riverfront ParkTake a Run Through the Fountain

Of course, nothing cools you off like playing in the water. One of the fun features of Riverfront Park is the Rotary Riverfront Fountain. It’s always a fun place to take the kids and let them get cooled off during the hot summer days.

Dive Into a Pool or Water Park

There are lots of great public and private pools around Spokane, and if you want to go for a little bit more of an adventure, you can check out the Splash Down Family Waterpark in Spokane Valley. The assortment of slides, tubing stations, and other fun on the water makes this a great place to take the whole family when the temperatures start to get to be a little much for you. If you want to venture out a little further, you can take a trip out to Boulder Beach Water Park at Silverwood Theme Park outside of Coeur d’Alene.

Hit the Lake

Of course, there are other ways to get out in the water than at a pool or water park. There are some great places to get out on the lake within a short distance of Spokane. Some of the most popular spots are Liberty Lake, Lake Coeur d’Alene, Hayden Lake, and Sandpoint.

Celebrating Expo ‘74

It is impossible to imagine what Spokane would be like if there had never been an Expo ’74. The decision to undertake the work associated with hosting a world’s fair is one that completely changed the face of Spokane. When you look at the downtown area, the fingerprints of the Expo ’74 changes can be found all around you. Many of the most notable structures in Spokane can trace some element of their history to the Expo. This year the city is celebrating the 40 year anniversary of the expo, so we thought that this was a good time to stop and think about the impact of the event on the city.

Expo 74 Ticket

Hosting a World’s Fair in Spokane

The idea to become the third city in the Pacific Northwest to host a world’s fair was the kind of audacious vision that is required for big things to take place. The work that would go into getting the city ready for Expo ’74 was significant, but the city had forward thinkers who felt like the effort was worth it. The project required the removal of railroad tracks, demolishing buildings, revamping buildings and bridges, and the creation of what is now known as Riverfront Park.

Expo ’74 was notable for being the first world’s fair that had an environmental theme, which worked perfectly for a city that is perfectly nestled within such beautiful natural vistas. At the time that Spokane hosted the expo, we were the smallest city to have ever hosted a world’s fair. The groundbreaking work that was done in hosting the fair has not only changed the city, it has also been influential for other cities hosting their own fairs.

Landmarks of Expo ‘74

The work leading up to Expo ’74 included the revitalization of some buildings, and the demolition of others. There were also a number of new features that were added to the downtown landscape. Although there are many more, here are a few of the notable structures that were added or revitalized leading up to the expo.

Spokane Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park is among the most loved parts of the Expo ’74 legacy. Many of the other recognizable features are found in the park.

Clock Tower Riverfront

The Clocktower

The Clocktower was originally connected to the Great Northern Railroad depot. The history of the tower is an interesting one, which we devoted an entire block post to a while back.

The Flour Mill

The Flour Mill

The Flour Mill is one of the historic buildings that were repurposed in support of the expo. Once an operating flour mill, the building was repurposed as a commercial space leading up to the fair.

Skyride Gondola

Skyride Gondola

A tram system was set up to go over the falls during the expo, and supplied visitors with some of the area’s most awe-inspiring views. The old tram was replaced in 2005 with the updated version that people can experience today.

Spokane Pavilion at Riverfront Park

Pavilion

Another of the most recognizable features from the fair is the Pavilion in Riverfront Park. Originally covered with a cloth canopy, the skeleton was left in place after the conclusion of the fair.

Celebrating 40 Years

There will be ongoing celebration of the Expo ’74 anniversary, but there are a couple of events taking place over the May 3rd weekend. For more information, visit Expo74.org.

Friday Photologue: A Few of Our Favorite Spokane Locations

There are some really amazing things to see in Spokane, and we thought we would post a few photos of some of our favorite spots around town. You can find more of our favorites on our Pinterest page.

The Fountain in Riverfront Park

Fountain in Riverfront Park

Photo found on www.sewellscenics.com

St. John’s Cathedral

St. John's Cathedral

Photo Found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/15098071@N00/4317684489/in/photostream/

The Bing Crosby Theater

The Bing Crosby Theater

Photo found at www.spokanenightscenes.com

Duncan Gardens at Manito Park

Duncan Gardens at Manito Park

Photo found at www.escapephoto.com

The Davenport Hotel

The Davenport Hotel

Photo found at www.thedavenporthotel.blogspot.com

The Goat Trash Cans in Riverfront Park

Goat Trash Cans in Riverfront Park

Photo found at khrissoden.org

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University

Photo found at fineartamerica.com

The Flour Mill

The Flour Mill

Photo found at millspaintinginc.com

The Story that Spokane’s Riverfront Park Clock Tower Tells

Clock Tower at Night

Clocktower at Night by spokanenightscenes.com

There are many historic buildings in Spokane, but few tell as much of a story about the history of the city as the Clocktower on Havermale Island in Riverfront Park. The changes in the city during the Clocktower’s existence, and the role that the tower itself played in those changes, weave a narrative thread about the development of Spokane over the years.

Great Northern Railroad Depot and ClocktowerWhen the Clocktower was originally constructed in 1902, it started as a part of the Great Northern Railroad depot. Following the Great Fire of 1889, Spokane experienced a building boom that created much of the downtown landscape that exists today. Railroads were one of the driving forces of commerce in Spokane, causing the city to become a transportation hub for the Inland Northwest, as well as an important shipping center.

At the time of its initial construction, the Clocktower’s South wall was a part of the exterior wall of the depot, with the North, East, and West walls in the inside of the building. A reminder of the tower’s history can even be seen on the East and West walls, as there are visible sloping lines on the exterior where the roof of the depot was originally located.

Over the following decades, the railroad became a decreasingly important part of the transportation landscape in the United States, and Spokane was no exception. In the years leading up to Expo ’74, the Great Northern Railroad Depot was torn down, but thankfully the Clocktower was left intact, and continues to stand as a reminder of Spokane’s railroad past. In fact, a brass plaque on its side reads that the Clocktower “stands as a monument to the railroad industry and its role in the development of Spokane and the Pacific Northwest.” With the tower’s involvement in Expo ’74, the 155 foot structure has been a fixture in Spokane’s transition from the rail age to what you find today.

The Clocktower has to be wound every week by hand. In 2011, the Spokesman Review posted a set of photos that show the inside of the tower, and the process of winding the clock, a job that requires turning the crank 99 turns to keep the timepiece going from week to week.

The thing that makes the various classic features of the Spokane skyline so interesting are the stories that they tell about our city’s history. The Clocktower is an important part of that story, and remains one of Spokane’s most important landmarks.