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City of Spokane announces alternative holiday activities amid coronavirus surge

Mayor Nadine Woodward announced the city's plans for holiday activities throughout the city that also satisfy state coronavirus restrictions.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane announced its plans for alternative holiday events and activities that are safe for families this year and follow Washington state's new COVID-19 guidelines.

Mayor Nadine Woodward said in a press conference Friday that the number one priority though is health and safety of the community.

"I think people need their spirits lifted during this time,” Woodward said. “And we want to be able to provide safe activities and alternatives for them to do that. And we can make downtown, a safe place for people to come, they can come hopefully to escape, very, very soon. They can walk through the park and see all the trees that are lit up and the additional light displays that we have."

The city shared the following list of holiday events and activities it will begin rolling out:

  • A proclamation of the next four Saturdays as Small Business Saturdays and highlights of the city’s business districts in the coming weeks.
  • A partnership with local vendors to host a winter marketplace in the Riverfront Park Pavilion every Wednesday in December and January from 3-7 p.m. Nearly 20 vendors and two food trucks will be placed throughout the Pavilion Central Plaza (outdoors), Pavilion Main Lobby, and Sky Room (indoors). The market will follow the Spokane Regional Health District Farmer's Market COVID safety protocols. Additional details will be announced soon.
  • A virtual tree lighting celebration on November 27 as a kickoff to the Riverfront Park holiday tree walk through the New Year.
  • An expanded Trail of Lights holiday display at Riverfront Park beginning December 1 through the New Year.
  • A drive-through holiday light show at Manito Park. Additional details will be coming soon.
  • Numerous other outdoor activities, including continued work on a plan to open the Numerica Skate Ribbon based on current public health guidance are being finalized. Activities will include virtual recreational nights, including board games, bingo, trivia, and holiday yoga for family and friends.
  • Renewed emphasis on #OrderUpSpokane to generate energy and excitement for takeout option citywide.
  • Renewed emphasis on 10-minute parking zones established for curbside patronage.

Other elements the city is still developing include:

  • A partnership with the region’s mayors on a letter to the federal Congressional delegation urging support for additional COVID-relief funds and an extension on time for local organizations to spend current funds.
  • Engaging small businesses in informal virtual collaboration and information-sharing.
  • Developing greater awareness and emphasis on neighborhood business districts.
  • Revising a holiday ticket concept to encourage patronage of local businesses citywide.
  • Evaluating additional parking meter options and partnerships with businesses to promote safe retail visits within state guidance.

The Numerica Skate Ribbon was set to open Friday, but it's been delayed while Parks and Recreation finalize a safe plan with the SRHD to reopen.

Director of Parks and Recreation Garrett Jones said an opening date is expected to come before Thanksgiving.

Typically, about 300 people could be admitted on the skate ribbon at a time. But under new restrictions, Jones said that will likely be reduced to about 50 people.

Plans will be announced in the coming days.