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Lilac Bloomsday Association’s mission statement: To promote national and international sports competition and fitness education for the civic betterment, social improvement, and physical well-being of the general public.

Bloomsday’s 2023 Kick-Off Press Conference

Mar 8, 2023

Author: Nathan Hyun

Published: 5:27 PM PST February 28, 2023

Updated: 6:38 AM PST March 1, 2023


SPOKANE, Wash. — Bloomsday organizers held the first press conference for the 2023 race on Tuesday, highlighting some new additions to the race.

Although Bloomsday 2023 is not until the first Sunday of May, preparations are well underway. The race is back for its 47th year, and new race additions and this year’s Bloomsday poster were shared Tuesday.

“I had seen one of the big ones of that era, the Peachtree road race in Atlanta. And so I said, ‘Why don’t we do this in Spokane?’ said Don Kardong, the founder of Bloomsday. “We had junior Bloomsday come along, the market march, and Bloomsdog, and kids for Bloomsday, all these things have come along and it’s so great to see all those ancillary programs attached to Bloomsday.”

Every year, thousands of runners take to the streets of Spokane to run 12 kilometers.

“We’ve got about 7000, which is pretty close to in line with our before COVID numbers,” said Dori Whitword, the president of Bloomsday.

This year, the Bloomsday Corporate Cup party and beer garden is returning to Riverfront Park. The College Cup is also a brand new section that includes local college running teams.

“I run in Bloomsday every year so it’s really fun,” runner Nicole Bissell said. “I just think it’s fun and it’s a cool way for the whole community to come together and run.”

One of the newer events in the past decade has been Junior Bloomsday, which is returning to Spokane Falls Community College and involves third to seventh-graders.

“I love just getting in touch with everybody again and seeing these kids run across the finish line. Doesn’t matter if you’re the first or the last runner. Just the happiness, you can see the tears in their eyes,” said Nikki Frazier, the Director of Active 4 Youth.

Kardong hopes for another great year.

“I’m proud,” Kardong said. “But I’m also just amazed every year to see what it is. Because this is really to kind of change the, you know, the culture here in Spokane.”

This is the first Bloomsday race since race director John Neil stepped away from the organization. Bloomsday told KREM 2 that they do not plan on hiring a new race director.

Registration for the race is open and costs $28. To register, click here.

Click here to view on KREM2

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