Last summer, thousands of car enthusiasts made their way to Spokane, Washington for the 62nd annual Porsche Parade, July 9-15. Hundreds of vintage Porsches lined the streets of the city’s picturesque Riverfront Park. By participating in the event’s many group and self-guided driving tours and rallies, more than 2,500 Porsche Club of America (PCA) members got to explore Spokane in a way few visitors do — taking in the mountain vistas and high desert views behind the wheel of a classic sports car.
‘A Spectacular Location’
“Riverfront Park was a spectacular location for our concours,” Ron Gordon, PCA National Parade Chair, tells Convene, “but by far the best part was the support of park personnel.” (Concours, a term widely used for car shows, is French for “competition.”)
Staff at Riverfront Park, along with the hands-on Visit Spokane team, help to make events in the Intermountain Northwest city easy. Porsche Parade attendees enjoyed the 100-acre park’s views of the spectacular Spokane Falls, along with easy access to the Centennial Trail — a 40-mile paved recreational trail for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles — plus endless activities throughout Spokane.
Delegates participated in driving tours and “gimmick” rallies. “The gimmick rally is a low-key event where the entrants follow an instructed route, but are required to answer questions or collect items associated with the rally theme,” Gordon explains. “The 2017 Gimmick Rally highlighted the historic Wild West as seen through the eyes of the miners. Attendees visited a silver mine and old-fashioned saloons, took a chance with a card shark and his lady, and went back in time to the turn of the century.”
In addition to tours and rallies, attendees could take part in 5K runs, car washes, and even a martini-making class. “We had a concours, a TSD Rally, Autocross, a Tech Quiz and Academy, vendor displays, and banquets throughout the week,” Gordon says.
During their downtime, attendees at the Porsche Parade could explore Spokane by visiting a tasting room in the Cork District, or by checking out one of the many craft breweries. They could also relax with a spa day or hit the boutiques for shopping. PCA also offered activities for kids that attended the Porsche Parade, which included painting model Porsches, racing radio-controlled cars, and an ice cream social.
“The organizers and entrants left with warm memories of the parade and Spokane,” Gordon says. “2017 was one of the largest Parades and that, coupled with the support from Spokane, made it a success.”
Riverfront Park will soon have even more to offer event organizers after the completion of a massive $64 million renovation. As the original site of the 1974 World’s Fair, the park hasn’t been significantly updated in more than 40 years. One of the most recent developments includes the restoration of the Looff Carrousel, which will be located right along the water on the South Bank. The 109-year-old attraction is part of a $7-million structure that is expected to open in June this year.