News Release 13-024
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Virginia Painter (360) 902-8562
Sandy Mealing (360) 902-8559
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388
Celebrate 100 years of state parks in Washington
with family fun day at Riverside State Park
June 3, 2013 –
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to a free festival of outdoor fun at Riverside State Park in Spokane Saturday, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Washington state park system.
The Centennial 2013 Celebration at Riverside will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the Bowl and Pitcher area of Riverside State Park. The Bowl and Pitcher is at 4427 N. Aubrey L. White Parkway, Spokane. The event day is a State Parks “free” day; Discover Pass is not required to attend.
The day will include family activities, river rafting and demonstrations, recreation vendors, music and more. Food will be available to purchase from area vendors participating in the event. Representatives of the Spokane Tribe will welcome participants to a speaker ceremony beginning at noon on the central stage, featuring local and state officials and Commission representatives.
Music performances by bluegrass band Big Red Barn, the Celtic Knots and a traditional swing band called 6 Foot Swing, will follow from 2:15 to 6 p.m., as part of the State Parks Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program. The arts program performances are supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and presented in partnership with Northwest Heritage Resources.
The all-day celebration at Riverside is planned in conjunction with the Riverside State Park Foundation, the Washington State Parks Foundation and with support from the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department. Numerous other recreational and community organizations will be represented at the event.
An updated schedule of events is available on the Riverside State Parks Foundation website, www.riversidestatepark.org. Some of the day’s activities are as follows:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – River rafting trips, Spokane Parks & Recreation*
11 a.m. – Celebration event begins
11:15 a.m. – Raptor program, West Valley Outdoor Learning Center
Noon – Celebration ceremony
1:15 p.m. - Patrick McManus book signing
2:15 to 6 pm - Live music
2:30 p.m. - Beginner orienteering course, Eastern Washington Orienteering Club
2:30 p.m. - Arts and crafts, Spokane Parks & Recreation and the Washington State Parks Foundation
3:30 p.m. - Bike rodeo, Riverside State Park and Evergreen East Bike Club
3:30 p.m. - Geocaching 101, Washington State Geocaching Association, Inland Empire Chapter
4 :30 p.m. – Ranger-led river trail hike, Washington State Parks
*River rafting trips are provided by Wiley E. Waters. Customers may register in advance by calling (208) 457-1092. Cost: $49 a person. Signups also available at event. Rafting trips are three hours, at 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m., beginning at Peaceful Valley and taking out at Plese Flats day-use area.
State Parks is celebrating its 100th year with a variety of activities and events in parks all over the state. The event at Riverside is one of two main signature events slated to honor the anniversary. A second, western Washington signature celebration is planned for Saturday, Aug. 3, at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island. For more information, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events/.
Washington was one of the first states to create a statewide system of parks. The 1913 Legislature created the State Board of Park Commissioners on March 19, 1913, mainly to accept citizen donations of park lands. By the 1920s, the state system had expanded from a humble 26 acres to more than 8,000 acres in 1929. The ups and downs of budgets and the Great Depression took its toll, but he park system grew tremendously in the post-World War II expansion years, with capacity growing rapidly in the 19602 and 70s and its popularity continues.
Today, the Commission manages 117 developed parks and a total of approximately 120,000 acres of park lands – approximately one-third of the land donated by citizens over the years. State parks receive an estimated 40 million visits a year statewide and generate a total annual direct contribution of more than $1 billion to state and local economies and more than $30 million in state tax receipts.
Riverside State Park is a 14,000-acre camping park along the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers. The park supports a wide variety of recreational activities, including camping, picnicking, swimming and boating, with watercraft launches. The park also features an equestrian campground, an off-road vehicle area, and trails – including interpretive trails and 37 miles on the Centennial Trail.
Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WAStatePks and www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the new State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.