A Special Weekend for Spokanites
Tomorrow is May the 4th… so May the 4th (and the Force) be with you. Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, and here in Spokane, WA it’s Bloomsday – the day one of the largest 12K road races in the world happens downtown – flooding the city streets with at least 50,000 runners and just as many spectators and revelers. You see, here in Spokane, Bloomsday is one of the longest running city-wide festivals that we’ve had going for us, and it’s always a big deal.
The race was officially named after James Joyce’s Ulysses, but it also happens to be the first weekend of May every year, which means that here in the lilac city, all of the numerous and absolutely stunning lilac trees are in full bloom. Pink, Purple, and White lilacs line nearly every street in downtown Spokane. It reminds me of the cherry blossoms in Japan.
I have only ever “run” the course once – when I was 10, but I’ve been downtown during the event numerous times, and I’ve played in Riverfront Park (Spokane’s central park) during the festivities on a few occasions, too. I am hoping that I can work up to running it next year, though. It’s a lot of fun. This year, however, I’ll be recovering from today’s workout, tonight’s show, and tomorrow’s show.
Lots of Music This Weekend
In approximately four or five hours I’ll be on stage with my band Buffalo Jones at the Bartlett, a premier music club downtown. We’re playing with another band called Horse Feathers. Come down and see us if you’re in Spokane.
Tomorrow afternoon from 3:00pm to 6:00pm I’m playing at Hopped Up Brewery here in Spokane Valley for their Bacon, BBQ, and Brewfest. I’ll be joined by my good friend Bob Christilaw on bass guitar.
A Word or Two About Springtime, Hope, and Renewal
Okay, I’ll keep today’s post fairly brief, because I want you to start planning what kind of awesome adventure you’re going to have this weekend. For most of the country, our Spring has sprung, and the weather is finally wonderful. There are many opportunities to get outside and be active.
I mentioned lilacs earlier. I also mentioned May the 4th (a silly – but, lo -suddenly poignant, Star Wars reference), and Cinco de Mayo (which is also suddenly poignant). I started with these images because they’re all symbols of hope and renewal or rebirth.
Seeing the buds bloom into flowers on the lilac trees symbolizes hope and rebirth. Every year, at this latitude those trees go dormant, shed their leaves and flowers and succumb to winter. But then, every year, around this weekend, they’re full of flowers and life again.
May the 4th, as a Star Wars reference symbolizes hope. Of course, because of the name of the movie that started it all: A New Hope, but also because of the story itself. Essentially my generation’s blueprint for the Joseph Campbell monomyth. If you’re unfamiliar with the monomyth you can read about it in more detail, but for our purposes here, it’s the connection to the idea that good will always win out over evil, and that an ordinary farmboy from Tatooine can help bring down an Empire.
Finally, Cinco de Mayo – which is NOT Mexico’s independence day, but more like the Alamo (if we would have won). On second thought, maybe that’s a shitty comparison, too. Sorry Mexico. Anyway, it’s the day that Mexico, with a much smaller force, beat the shit out of the much larger French army, which provided a major morale boost to the Mexican troops and gave them the hope they needed to continue on and eventually defeat the French. It’s also celebrated more in the United States by Mexican Americans and non-Hispanics alike than it is in Mexico.
No matter what your plans are this weekend, I hope you find some time to get outside and enjoy the springtime – even if it’s raining (that symbolizes renewal, too). Just make sure to bring a jacket. Have a great weekend, everyone! See you on Monday.