SPOKANE, Wash. – The rides at Riverfront Park in Downtown Spokane will soon be gone and not everyone is happy about it. Community members plan to protest the decision Thursday to remove the rides that have been there for more than 30 years.
The City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department met Thursday to discuss the future of the rides that are being removed by the end of 2016. City officials said they hope to bring them back for special events and plan to fill the space with new activities such as a rock climbing wall and a zipline.
"We own the rides out right, so we can re-purpose them elsewhere in the park," said Parks and Recreation Director Leroy Eadie. "I wouldn't say the the rides are for sure out but we do know they are not going to be in the Pavillion."
People young and old came together Thursday afternoon to show their support to keep the rides and IMAX at the park. A small group of demonstrators attended the board meeting.
"We're here to just raise the conscious level of the park board. And to let them know that we want to discuss it with them and give input," said Founder of Save Affordable Family Entertainment in Riverfront Park, Hal McGlathery.
McGlathery said the carnival rides in the pavilion keep people in the area and they enjoy them.
"I've seen them absorb citizen input and reverse some of their stances and that's what we're asking them to do," said MGlathery.
City leaders said the cost of maintaining the rides was simply becoming too expensive. They said it costs nearly $100,000 per year for general maintenance, electricity, and other tasks for the rides.
(© 2016 KREM)