What you need to know before Bloomsday

Check-in for this Sunday’s 42nd annual Lilac Bloomsday Run has begun at the Spokane Convention Center, and volunteers are busy handing out packets and signing up late registrants. Check-in and late registration are available on Friday, May 4th, from 11:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, May 5th, from 9:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Race entry is not available on Sunday, May 6th, although out-of-town runners who have already entered can pick up their packets between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m. that day.

“The most common question we get is, ‘Can someone else pick up my packet for me?’” said Bloomsday Race Director Don Kardong. “The answer is yes, as long as the person picking up knows the exact name used to register, age and date of birth.”

Along with Check-in, the Bloomsday Trade Show is in full swing, with a variety of sports, fitness, and general interest exhibitors on site. Back for the third year will be the popular Bloomsday Selfie Station, where participants can scan their bib number to have a personalized race message appear on the back-drop wall for the perfect pre-race selfie opportunity. The Bloomsday Trade Show is open on Friday and Saturday during the same hours as check-in.

Security for this year’s Bloomsday includes restricted access to the start and finish areas for registered runners only, as well as a restriction on backpacks. Certain types of small fanny packs are acceptable, and full details are listed in the Race Information section of the Bloomsday website. Spectators won’t be able access Monroe or the Monroe Street Bridge at the finish line, and are encouraged to watch the finishers on Broadway. Anyone riding the STA shuttle should leave backpacks and gear bags with their vehicles at the shuttle lots (except Corporate Cup participants, who have special instructions for gear bags).

On Sunday morning Mead High School student Colton Fletcher will sing the US national anthem, and Megan Brewer of the Victoria School of the Arts in Edmonton will sing the Canadian anthem. In addition, a full slate of entertainment is scheduled along the Bloomsday course, as over 30 performers (including radio stations) are scheduled for race day. This year’s on-course entertainment includes music to please a variety of tastes, including rock, pop, punk, blues, bluegrass, oldies, accordion, Jewish and Christian.

Helping the crowd get started on Sunday will be celebrity starters from Freeman High School—students Jordyn Goldsmith, Gracie Jensen and Emma Nees, and staff member Mike Allen. The students were injured in the incident at the school last fall, and Bloomsday has asked the representatives to be celebrity starters to honor the school for their courage and resolve in dealing with the tragedy. In addition, Bloomsday produced this year’s volunteer shirts in Columbia Blue, Freeman’s color, to honor the school.

When the run is over on Sunday, Bloomsday entrants will be able to vote for their favorite performers again this year by logging on to www.bloomsdayrun.org, and prizes of $500, $300, and $150 will be awarded to the winning entertainers. A full listing of this year’s performers is on Bloomsday’s website by clicking Race Information, then On-Course Entertainment on the drop-down menu.

Streets in downtown Spokane will begin to close around 5:00 a.m. on Sunday. Additional details about road closures are on the Bloomsday website by clicking the Race Information button and choosing Road Closures on the drop-down menu.

(story & photo: KHQ.com)

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