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Navy Week Begins in Spokane

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Spokane is known as an Air Force town, given its long association with Fairchild Air Force Base and Felts Field. But the U.S. Navy is working to make inroads here. This week has been declared Spokane Navy Week as part of the Lilac Festival celebration.

In 2012, the Navy held a week’s worth of events in the region and it was so successful that the service decided to come back again, says Gary Ross. He’s an event planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

“Navy Weeks are a way for the United States Navy to come into a town that really isn’t Navy-heavy, if you will, not a lot of Navy presence here," Ross said.

Each year, he and four other Navy planners develop 15 Navy Week programs in American cities.

The agenda this year includes three Navy Day events. There’s a ‘spring fling’ Tuesday from nine-to-two at Spokane Community College. Explosives technicians will be there with their bomb-diffusing robots. Sailors will wear early 19th century Naval garb while they talk about the newest submarine. The same group will be at West Valley High School Thursday during the day with a free block party there that evening. Friday will be Navy STEM Day at the Mobius Science Center. Navy banks will be playing all over the city throughout the week.

And then on Saturday night Ross says the Naval representatives will join their Air Force brethren in participating in the Lilac Festival Torchlight Parade.

“They’ll do a fly over, the Air Force tankers from Fairchild, while we’re going to bring our helicopter in too and do a little flyover to kick off the parade. It's going to be a great event,” Ross said.

You can find the full Spokane Navy Week Schedule on the Inland Journal page of the Spokane Public Radio website. Click on the Navy Week story.