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Parks and Arts

Tale of a Typo – Pavillion Park Spelling has Historical Basis

in Featured/History/Parks and Arts
pavillion park ticket

Newcomers to Liberty Lake often sheepishly bring it up. Freelance writers who begin covering the community point to Spell Check when making their case while contractors routinely go astray when writing up agreements with the city of Liberty Lake.

pavillion park sign
The entry sign that greets visitors to Pavillion Park has a unique backstory as novel as the park’s unconventional spelling.

Welcome to the world of Pavillion Park with the double “L” that few people can explain.

“I’m a spelling geek so I wondered about it when I started with the city,” said Liberty Lake Operations and Maintenance Director Jennifer Camp. “I would keep changing it until I realized that’s how people spelled it. You could politely argue and say ‘No you’re spelling it wrong,’ but that’s just the way it is.”

While dictionaries make it clear that “pavilion” is the universal format for “decorative building used as a shelter in a park or large garden,” there is a widely accepted exception in Liberty Lake. The anomaly goes back to the days of the Liberty Lake Dance Pavillion, an ornate structure built in 1909 that served as the cultural hub for the 35-acre Liberty Lake Park, known far and wide as “Spokane’s Inland Seashore.”

Local historian Ross Schneidmiller remembers the discussions leading up to the naming of the modern-day park. A committee was formed in 1993 to oversee volunteer engagement and funding for a long-awaited community park that was the epitome of a grassroots effort. Ross’s father Elmer Schneidmiller donated 14.1 acres to Spokane County that got the project off the ground. Construction of the park’s first phase began in 1995 and was completed in July of 1999.

pavillion park fourth
Pavillion Park has been a regional destination point since opening in 1999. The annual Summer Festival includes popular events like the Fourth of July concert and fireworks (above).

It was the discovery of a dance ticket from the heyday of the waterfront venue that led to the distinctive spelling.

“When it came time to spell Pavillion Park, the first thing I went to was that dance ticket because it was the most official thing I had,” Schneidmiller said. “The Liberty Lake Dance Pavillion had published this ticket, probably circa 1912, and it was spelled that way. It was pretty common back then. You see that spelling on postcards and other places.”

The extra “L” stuck and has remained ever since. Camp said there are no foreseeable plans to invest in buckets of White Out.

“It would be time-consuming and costly to change,” she said. “We’d have to redo the entry sign and all the signage within the park to start.”

Former Friends of Pavillion Park (FOPP) President Ken Kaiyala was commissioned to carve the entry sign that still welcomes visitors to the greenspace.

“There was this conversation about keeping the historical spelling or going with Spell Check,” recalls Schneidmiller. “We even talked about putting two “L’s” on one side and one “L” on the other. Ultimately, we felt that the unique spelling was appropriate.”

golf cart pavillion park
Golf carts (with one “L”) have become the unofficial vehicle of Pavillion Park over the years.

Schneidmiller said the clincher was the site’s tie-in with the volunteer group that remained intact after the park was built, coordinating a free Summer Festival that has become a staple on the regional warm-weather calendar.

“The county was pretty surprised because most groups like that go away after a park is completed,” he said. “We made it clear we were going to stick around. So, we figured — unique board, unique spelling — let’s go with that.”

Dave Himebaugh, longtime FOPP board member, said he still sees plenty of examples of the site’s one “L” version, despite this year marking the park’s 20th anniversary.

“I constantly see articles or posts or flyers that have the wrong spelling,” he said. “Whereas, if I write ‘pavilion’ with no relation to Liberty Lake, I will try to work in the double ‘L’s.’ When you think about it though, it’s the name of a place, not an object. You could reserve a pavilion at Pavillion Park.”

Friends of Pavillion Park Presents: Montana Shakespeare in the Parks

in Featured/Parks and Arts/Press Release/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
Merry Wives of Windsor

Liberty Lake, WA … On Sunday, July 28, at 5:00 pm, Friends of Pavillion Park presents the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks performing Shakespeare’s comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in Pavillion Park.

Admission to the performance is free. Audiences are encouraged to show up early with low back chairs, blankets, a picnic supper, and friends and family to grab a spot and enjoy the evening. Concessions will be available at the park through the Liberty Lake Kiwanis.

Katherine Fried as Mistress Ford
Katherine Fried as Mistress Ford
MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez
This is the 47th season for the touring company, whose performances have become a summer tradition and seasonal highlight for many rural communities. The company will travel over 7,000 miles during the season, running from June 12 through September 3, performing in 61 communities in five states – Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington. All performances are offered free in local parks and public spaces, making Shakespeare accessible to all! Additional information can be found at

For the 9th year in a row, the Friends of Pavillion Park of Liberty Lake will be sponsoring the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks group at Pavillion Park! Please join us with family and friends for a magical evening of Shakespeare under the big sky at Pavillion Park (727 N. Molter Rd, Liberty Lake, WA 99019). It is part of the 23rd Annual Summer Festival hosted by the Friends of Pavillion Park.

About Friends of Pavillion Park:

Friends of Pavillion Park is a 501-(c)3 non-profit organization, established by a dedicated group of volunteers in 1992. Friends of Pavillion Park is dedicated to promoting a sense of price by providing the Liberty Lake community with the opportunities for recreation, education, entertainment and the arts. Learn more at

SOURCE Friends of Pavillion Park

Liberty Lake Summer Festival Lineup Includes Familiar Staples, New Features

in Featured/Parks and Arts/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
Pavillion Park music

Leslie Zilka remembers when the Spokane Symphony made its celebrated premiere at Pavillion Park nearly two decades ago.

Zilka was serving as president of Friends of Pavillion Park (FOPP) at the time, a nonprofit group that has coordinated the community’s popular Summer Festival for the past 22 years. While the local orchestra had appeared at Comstock Park on Spokane’s South Hill for years, bringing brass, wind, string and percussion sections to Liberty Lake’s popular greenspace would prove to be quite the coup.

“The festival was growing but to bring in the symphony made it a bonafide summer event,” said Zilka who served as FOPP president from 2000 through 2001. “It was absolutely fantastic.”

The Labor Day weekend tradition has remained intact ever since. The concert is named after the late Lud Kramer, who served as Washington Secretary of State from 1965 to 1975 and was integral to a number of community causes after moving to Liberty Lake later in life.

Zilka said Kramer was the one who took the initiative to secure the festival’s signature feature.

“It was Lud who pled our case to the symphony,” Zilka said. “I think it cost us $10,000 that first year.”

Over the years, the festival has gained in notoriety while still maintaining its commitment as a free, family-friendly draw. Neighbors whose homes sit near the park joke that they can lounge on their back porch and hear Grammy nominees and winners, live at no cost.

“When we had Robert Cray here a few years ago, I got calls from people who were here from out of town, asking where they could get tickets,” said current FOPP Vice President Dave Himebaugh. “They just couldn’t believe that it was free.”

This year’s Summer Festival kicks off July 3 with a screening of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” at Pavillon Park, starting at dusk. The night after, The Fourth of July Concert will feature the Big Band sounds of headliner Tuxedo Junction with its moniker borrowed from a Glenn Miller song title. Fireworks sponsored by the city of Liberty Lake will follow the music.

Himebaugh said FOPP “saved some money this year by not going with any national acts.” For years, the Holiday Ball at the Davenport Hotel raised critical funds for the festival. With that event shelved, FOPP has been discussing funding scenarios with the city of Liberty Lake, a sponsor of the festival along with STCU and Liberty Lake Kiwanis.

“The city has been very supportive,” Himebaugh said. “We’re still finalizing the funding for the symphony concert.”

In 2007, FOPP rallied to preserve the festival with no deletions despite cancellation of the Holiday Ball the previous December due to scheduling conflicts at the Davenport. Greenstone Homes and surplus funds in the FOPP coffers saved the day.

Debuting this year will be the Liberty Lake Throw Down, set for Aug. 24 at Orchard Park, a new greenspace in the River District that will open in mid-June. Himebaugh said the tournament – featuring the beanbag toss game of cornhole – will generate funds for the festival and consist of registered teams competing for nearly $1,800 in cash prizes.

For the first time since 2004, the symphony’s performance will not include conductor Eckart Preu, who retired after the most recent season and bid a fond farewell to the Pavillion Park crowd last year.

Other favorites returning this summer include the Liberty Lake Loop run (July 13), Montana Shakespeare in the Park (July 28) and the ever-popular and refreshingly affordable park concessions courtesy of Liberty Lake Kiwanis.

“It takes a lot of work to put this on,” said Himebaugh who has been part FOPP since 2004. “It’s getting up Saturday morning and being there all day – but it’s awesome.”

22nd annual Friends of Pavillion Park Summer Festival Schedule

For more information, visit

Orchard Park Splash Pad Update

in Featured/Parks and Arts/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
Orchard Park March 2019

Harvest and Indiana SignThe Orchard Park Splash Pad is located just west of Harvest Parkway, between Mission Ave. and Indiana Ave. in the River District of Liberty Lake. It is approximately 90’ in diameter and features multi-colored concrete. It is comprised of numerous water features including a dragonfly, a tree with squirrels, a baby long-legs spider, a 6’ diameter water web, a tree with apples, a water spout, and a dumping water bucket along with other fun features.

Construction began last summer and is expected to be complete and in full operation by mid-June. The Splash Pad is located adjacent to the new playground currently under construction and promises to bring many hours of enjoyment to local families.

Splash Pad Rendering

Parks and Arts Commission: First Meeting Summary 01-11-18

in Featured/Government and Politics/Parks and Arts
park stock photo

The 1st meeting on January 11th was a productive start!

Parks & Rec Director Jen Camp got the ball rolling by laying out the ground rules for meetings.

City Administrator Katy Allen helped inform the new commissioners about expectations from the City Council and Mayor.

  • Positions 1&2, representing Orchard Park are Bridgette Harris and Tom Sahlberg.
  • Positions 3&4, representing Pavillion Park are David Himebaugh and Jeanette Nall.
  • Postions 5&6, representing Rocky Hill are Laura Franks and Tom Chamberlain.
  • Position 7 is at large and is Laina Schultz
  • Adjunct Positions are Robert Schneidmiller and Sam Nelson.
  • The student representative position will be filled by a yet to be named CVHS student, who resides in Liberty Lake.

City Council Member, Dan Dunne, made a presentation about the new Liberty Lake flag and challenged the commission to help find places in the community that the flag can be displayed.

Commissioners introduced themselves and gave a brief history of their time in Liberty Lake and interest in promoting Parks & Arts.

Jen & Katy challenged the commission to help define and support “Arts” needs and opportunities in Liberty Lake. School programs should be a fruitful starting point and resource for ideas.

On slate for the next meeting (Wed. Jan 24th at 4 pm) is the selection of Chair and Vice-Chair, approval of a Mission Statement and Bylaws and bringing names of those interested in the student position.

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