SPOKANE, Wash. — This weekend the longest running parade in Spokane will be celebrated once again! The Hillyard Festival will celebrate its 111th year.
The theme of this year’s event is Boomtown and with the North Spokane corridor construction taking place right next door to Hillyard, the growth is undeniable.
A quick drive through this neighborhood, and you may not get the full picture, but if you ask anyone around, they will paint a clear vision of what makes this a special community.
Michael Kotsala said, “Why not Hillyard would be my response to that.” Kotsala is a co-owner of Derailer Coffee inside of a newly renovated building located in the heart of Hillyard.
Kotsala said, “Most people in Spokane think Hillyard is a rough part of town but it’s a beautiful part of town. It’s a part of the history of Spokane with the rail yards.”
That same history Michael is talking about surrounds him every day. Did we mention that his business isn’t the only one under this roof?
Victor Lawin, owner of Locos said, “It’s kind of neat hearing about what it was like during the World War II era.”
Locos is located on the opposite side of the room as Derailer Coffee.
So you’ve got food, beer, coffee, three separate ideas coexisting in the same space with plans for more entrepreneurs to move upstairs.
Lewin said, “A gentleman and his wife came in the other night and he told me this was the first place he ever had a bank account in 1948.”
The pride that comes from this concept is something longtime residents have embraced. It’s also a sign of what’s in store for the future.
Organizer and President of the annual Hillyard Festival, Shawn Fissette said, “We actually have our meetings here now that it’s open.” Fissette has called the Hillyard neighborhood home for his entire life.
Fissette added, “If you come and watch us this weekend you will see why I’m here. The community bonds together.” A community that’s all in on building, growing, and shining a positive light on a neighborhood that’s booming.
This weekend’s festival will have food, vendors and fireworks.
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