‘Brings the city together’: Community celebrates Bloomsday’s big return

SPOKANE, Wash. — Bloomsday is back, and the community welcomed its return with open arms. They’ve missed the tradition and the sense of community it creates.

Event organizers say over 29,000 people participated in the nearly 7.5 mile course on Sunday. Some race for speed, others for fun and some just go to support the spectacle.

One of those supporters was Aaron Wagner.

“I’m looking for my grandson right now,” he said.

Wagner spent his Sunday afternoon searching through a sea of runners.

“It’s good to see everybody out again. The last two years have been kind of hard, and seeing people out and enjoying themselves again and getting some fresh air,” Wagner added.

Thousands of people stepped into the first day of May, hoping they can make it to the end of the race and up Doomsday hill.

“Just keep going, you got this,” exclaimed one runner.

For anyone who couldn’t keep going, the Medical Tent was there to help.

“We haven’t had any real heavy medical emergencies today which is what we actually want.” said Ken Koester. He’s a registered nurse who also serves as a medical reserve volunteer for Bloomsday.

His job is to make sure everyone stays safe during the run. Being back at Bloomsday also helped first responders like himself through a tough two years.

“We’ve seen death on levels that we haven’t seen it in the past, and Bloomsday here is a nice way to get back out with the public and to see them having something fun to do,” Koester said.

Running may not seem like fun to everyone, but the smiles and cheers paint a different picture of a community tradition coming back to life!

“It brings the city together and especially our neighborhood together,” Wagner concluded.

“It’s just been fun to see everyone come out and support,” Koester said.

Longtime volunteers also say they saw more people sitting in their front lawns and supporting their neighbors.

LOOK: PHOTOS: Bloomsday 2022