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Let's Create a Safe, Healthy Holiday Season

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Friday, November 20, 2020 at 2:33 p.m.

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward today is announcing plans to create a safe, healthy holiday season that’s still full of celebration and a spirit of giving.

The City of Spokane is working with local community partners on a plan that prioritizes new public health guidance and safely supports those who are struggling to adjust to the renewed restrictions during the holiday season, Woodward said.

The plan includes creative ways to approach traditional holiday activities, closer coordination with local small businesses and restaurants, and an emphasis on reinforcing desired COVID behaviors. It is based on the simple goal of creating a family-friendly environment that is consistent with current COVID public health guidance, supporting collective community health, and sustaining business districts citywide. Prioritizing public health has been the first and only rule as the City and its partners have brainstormed ideas for the plan.

“We need some joy in our lives while putting public health first and partnering to find ways to safely support everyone in our community who is struggling,” Woodward said. “The virus has put people at extreme risk and they are hurting and fatigued. The holidays are a chance to pull the community together in a way that reinforces all of the positive behaviors we see publicly and offer encouragement for even greater integration into personal lives.”

The idea for the plan began with a focus group of small businesses and associations who have been committed to implementing and following health guidance. Activities that were already in development have been adapted to align with current guidance. Others are still being developed and will be informed in part by a questionnaire that was sent Thursday to more than 9,000 small businesses and restaurants citywide.

Initially, the City and its partners are 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 pm. Nearly 20 vendors and 2 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 still in development 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.

Additional information and announcements will happen as program development is finalized.

“We will continue working together to find safe ways to move all areas of our lives safely and responsibly past this virus,” Woodward said. “We are realistic about the challenge still in front of us and hopeful based on the resilience of the community that we turn the current corner together.”

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