Since its inception in the spring of 1987, and through all kinds of crazy Spokane weather, Springfest, an annual student event held each May, provided fun and goofiness before finals week and summer break. Depending on whom you ask, Springfest may just be the stuff of legend.
Springfest was initially held in Riverfront Park downtown on the Saturday before Spokane’s annual Bloomsday race, but it was later moved to campus. Each year the event has featured student clubs and organizations running fund-raising booths offering live music, food and off-the-wall activities like inflatable-sumo wrestling, toilet-bowl races and bounce houses. The Mr. Whitworth pageant was a popular Springfest event: Men from each dorm would compete to win the coveted title through elaborate wardrobe choices, interpretive dance and lip-synching, among other antics.
But amid the tomfoolery, dunk tanks and cotton candy, Springfest was an opportunity for Whitworth students to support local causes that were close to their hearts. Beneficiaries of their fund-raising efforts include the Ronald McDonald House, Hospice of Spokane, the Spokane Food Bank, and Cup of Cool Water, the homeless-youth outreach organization founded by alum Mark Terrell, ’94.
In 2013, after 25 successful years, Springfest transformed into Spokane Block Party and relocated to The Service Station, a local coffeehouse and events center. The inaugural SBP recognized the efforts of students and the Spokane community to help end human trafficking through Unite, a student-led movement that educates the Whitworth community about advocating against this injustice. No matter its name, Springfest/Spokane Block Party is a powerful example of what Whitworthians can accomplish as a community.