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Celebrate 100 years of state parks in Washington


May 8, 2013

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to a day of family outdoor fun in June at Riverside State Park in Spokane.

The Centennial 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. A second, western Washington signature celebration is planned for Saturday, Aug. 3, at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island. Meanwhile, dozens of events and activities are planned in parks all over the state, throughout the season. For more information, visit

The all-day celebration at Riverside is planned in conjunction with the Riverside State Park Foundation, the Washington State Parks Foundation and a variety of recreational organizations. 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 event day is a State Parks “free” day; Discover Pass is not required to attend.

An updated schedule of events is available on the Riverside State Parks Foundation web site, Some of the day’s activities are as follows:

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – River rafting trips, Spokane Parks & Recreation*

11 am – Celebration event begins

11:15 am – Raptor program, West Valley Outdoor Learning Center

Noon – Celebration ceremony

1:15 pm - Patrick McManus book signing

2:15 to 6 pm - Live music

2:30 pm - Beginner orienteering course, Eastern Washington Orienteering Club

2:30 pm - Arts and crafts, Spokane Parks & Recreation and the Washington State Parks Foundation

3:30 pm - Bike rodeo, Riverside State Park and Evergreen East Bike Club

3:30 pm - Geocaching 101, Washington State Geocaching Association, Inland Empire Chapter

4:30 pm – Ranger-led river trail hike, Washington State Parks

*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.

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.

The Washington Legislature created the State Board of Park Commissioners on March 19, 1913, four years before the creation of the National Park System.

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.

Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at, Share your favorite state park adventure on the new State Parks’ blog site at


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