Located in Spokane County, Spokane, Washington is the biggest city in the county and the metropolitan heart of the Inland Northwest. The Spokane River flows alongside the city.
Officially referred to as the "Lilac City" because of the flowers that have bloomed there since the early part of the 20th century, Spokane received its name from the Native American Spokane tribe and means "Children of the Sun." Residents of the city enjoy many annual cultural events and activities that draw large crowds from neighboring areas.
Spokane offers residents a large and varied list of choices for things to do. Options include late Victorian-era Browne's Addition, artsy districts in the downtown area, and more modern neighborhoods found in North Spokane.
Residents enjoy an array of 75 parks in 3,500 acres of land. Included is Riverside State Park, which hosts many large public events in the city and offers great views of Spokane Falls. Nagao Sakurai designed the Nishinomiya Japanese Garden for the Manito Park and Botanical Gardens in the South Hill area of Spokane. Many cultural events and festivals occur throughout the year, such as the basketball tournament Hoopfest and the Lilac Bloomsday Run.
Spokane has a population of more than 200,000. This makes the city the fourth largest in the Pacific Northwestern region of the U.S. The population has rapidly increased since 2005 due to a decreased average cost of living and a job market with increasing opportunities. There are abundant rental houses and apartment rentals throughout the Spokane area.
Spokane has been named one of Inc. Magazine's "Top U.S. Cities for Doing Business." Spokane is a major source of timber, mining and agricultural industries for its region. Natural resources yield much of the economic activity in the city, due to access to raw materials. Goods produced in the city include zinc, aluminum, magnesium, petroleum products and silver.
The health field in Spokane is one of the leading employers compared to any other industry. Recently, the city has seen major development economically in the profitable high-tech and bio-tech industries. Spokane has the largest wireless network in the country, covering 100 blocks, which is a testament to the many opportunities and resources in the technological industry.
The Spokane Public School system is the biggest public school system in the area and serves approximately 30,000 students. Higher education facilities and private schools are abundant in Spokane. Included are Washington State University, University of Washington, Eastern Washington University and the private universities of Whitworth and Gonzaga. Residents of Spokane looking to further their education have many institutions to choose from.
Notable residents of Spokane include singer and actor Bing Crosby; actor and comedienne Julia Sweeney, formerly of Saturday Night Live; and actor Craig T. Nelson.
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