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.
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.
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.”
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.”
Keith Dotson stood patiently in line at Pavillion Park last Thursday, carefully deliberating over flavors of ice pops.
At $1 a piece, Dotson couldn’t go wrong.
“These are awesome prices,” said Dotson, a Spokane resident who brought his family to the park for the annual Fourth of July concert and fireworks. “Way cheap for an event like this.”
The drive east on Independence Day has become a regular pilgrimage for the Dotson family. Stopping by the Liberty Lake Kiwanis concession stand is one of the highlights of the visit, according to Keith who first found out about the free Summer Festival from a friend three years ago when he was working in Liberty Lake.
“It’s a great for your family to get out of the house,” he said. “I work all week long and this is a guaranteed day where me and the family can just hang out together.”
Earlier in the evening, Dotson was able to buy dinner for his entire family — including four kids — for a bargain price that left plenty left over for a refreshing dessert.
“The kids want ice pops, so I’m back for ice pops,” he said. “I like the hamburger meal. You can get a hamburger, chips and a pop for six bucks and it goes toward a good cause. The volunteers here are not here to make money.They’re here to help out. It’s perfect service with a smile.”
Mike Andriolo owns one of the smiles behind the snack booth. He moved to Liberty Lake in 2001, the same year the local Kiwanis Club was founded. He is an original member of the Liberty Lake club and a Kiwanian since 1973.
As for staffing the concession stand, Andriolo said he makes it a point to help out most of the summer, whether it’s concerts or movies.
“I’ll be out here when I can,” he said. “I like meeting the people and helping our community.”
In addition to providing $12,000 in scholarships last year,. Liberty Lake Kiwanis sponsors the K-Kids program at local elementary schools, the annual Father-Daughter Dance and Liberty Lake Yard Sales. The list of causes the club supports includes Ronald McDonald House, Meals on Wheels, local food banks, Children’s Miracle Network and more.
The theme of paying it forward wasn’t lost on Spokane Valley resident Dusty Silva, who took time out of her Independence Day festivities to brave a growing line of customers and buy cotton candy and ice pops for her two kids.
“I don’t mind waiting,” Silva said. “The prices are really affordable and I like the fact that the money is going to community services.”
While Kiwanis has been serving up snacks at Pavillion Park for over a decade-and-a-half, the club experienced a venue upgrade in 2015 when the city of Liberty Lake added a permanent concession stand along with other improvements to the park. Before that, a sturdy trailer was the home for Summer Festival refreshments.
“Thanks to the mayor and the council, we have a permanent concession stand,” Andriolo said. “This is so much better.than the trailer.”
Kiwanian Melissa Niece said the club still uses the trailer for a back-to-school barbecue and other community events outside the park. She added that it is available for other groups to borrow or rent.
On July 4, around 10 volunteers showed up at 3 p.m. to set up and prepare for the steady stream of snack connoisseurs. When asked about splitting up shifts for the event, Niece looked puzzled.
“A shift? she said. “What’s a shift? You get here, you stay here from open to close. It’s interesting. You’re doing math all night long.”
Niece and Andriolo both emphasize that volunteers are needed this summer to help at the booth. The club’s membership ranks could also use a boost.
As for the most popular item among concession stand shoppers, the two Kiwanians can’t reach a consensus.
“Skittles for sure,” Andriolo said.
“Tonight, it’s been popcorn,” Niece said.
While the top-selling product may still be up for debate, there is agreement that the cost-effective menu and community-conscious agenda are here to stay.
“To me, the prices should be low because we’re providing a service to the community,” Niece said. “People are so gracious. They’re thanking us for doing this. We’re here to make it a fun event for the community,.”
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.
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 www.shakespeareintheparks.org
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 www.PavillionPark.org.
Join us at Pavillion Park on 4th of July for our annual fireworks display and celebration! Live music provided at the pavilion by Friends of Pavillion Park and begins at 5:30 pm. Fireworks are launched from The Diamonds baseball outfields around 10 pm and can be viewed throughout the City.
It helps to be tall on Independence Day in Liberty Lake.
Once again, altitudinous attendees at the Fourth of July celebration in Pavillion Park will have improved odds of seeing fireworks overhead while also catching portions of a lakeside display taking place in the distance.
Since 2015, a fireworks program sponsored by the city of Liberty Lake has gone head-to-head with the long-running Liberty Lake Fireworks Display, an effort entirely funded by community donations. For the fifth straight year, both shows will begin at 10 p.m.
“I think most fireworks displays start at 10,” said Liberty Lake City Administrator Katy Allen. “We’ve never talked about moving it. I suppose it could be considered.”
The lakefront show has been running for over 30 consecutive years with Liberty Lake native Denise Coyle overseeing the process. Her grandfather Homer Neyland started the first incarnation of fireworks over the lake in the 1950s. Local historian Ross Schneidmiller brought the popular show back before turning it over to Coyle.
“The people who donate to this display are never disappointed,” Coyle said. “People are very supportive. I’ve seen a lot of new names (donating) this year.”
Coyle said overall cost of the display this year will run $12,000. Allen said the city’s fireworks budget for 2019 is hovering just under $11,000.
Coyle recalls some easiness when the city announced in early 2015 that it would be getting into the fireworks business. City Council approved the idea that February.
“We were a little nervous at the get-go,” Coyle said. “But I think it’s gone fine. When we get a chance to share a day like this, it’s pretty neat.”
When only one fireworks festival appeared on the local schedule, donations were accepted at Pavillion Park on the Fourth while groups like Friends of Pavillion Park and Liberty Lake Kiwanis pitched in funds of their own. When the city moved up to share the stage, Coyle said fundraising took a hit.
“Initially, it did hurt us,” she said.
Allen said the city began discussions of putting on its own program after July 4, 2014.
“It was a combination of traffic issues and logistical issues with people who couldn’t see the fireworks,” she said. “People would come to hear the music at the park and to see the fireworks after but they couldn’t see the fireworks.”
Allen said she “has never sensed the competition” between the two shows, although there has been some feedback that fireworks are not the best use of taxpayers’ money. She has also heard at least one complaint about the noise and air pollution during and after the display.
“The people who don’t enjoy it are vocal,” she said. “The people who enjoy it usually don’t say much. Overall, it’s been well-received. Many people in Liberty Lake can watch it from their homes.”
For Coyle, this year’s program will include special poignancy. Her mother, Mary Floy Dolphin, passed away in March at the age of 90. Mary called the lake home for 78 years. Coyle said the fireworks’ organizer is planning a special tribute to Mary as part of the show.
“She loved the lake and she loved the fireworks,” Coyle said.
Donations to the community display are being collected outside Safeway and at he Liberty Lake Farmers Market. Coyle’s husband, Tim, is a catalyst on the fundraising front. Coyle said she has veered away from pursuing a corporate sponsor, saying she intends to keep “the country, hometown feel.”
“People ask me, ‘Why don’t you get a corporate sponsor?’” she said. “We don’t want to do that. There was a display in Seattle that had a corporate sponsor one year when the economy was bad and they bailed out two weeks before the event. My philosophy is to let the people who donate have ownership of the display.”
Those interested in supporting Liberty Lake Community Fireworks Display can send donations to P.O. Box 430, Liberty Lake, WA. 99019 or go to libertylakefireworks.com.
“We do our thing and they do theirs,” Coyle said of the concurrent lake/city shows. “It doesn’t really bother me. It’s a wonderful day.”
Fourth of July events this year include:
The 31st annual Liberty Lake Fourth of July Community Parade through the Alpine Shores neighborhood. Parade lineup will begin at 11 a.m. with the procession beginning at noon. Decorated golf carts, scooters, strollers and bikes are welcome. Games and food will follow at the Alpine Shores common area. Pat and Mike Lutzenberger will serve as this year’s parade grand marshals.
Concert and fireworks in Pavillion Park featuring Twenty Dollar Bill, The Rub and Tuxedo Junction. Music begins at 5:30 p.m. Liberty Lake Kiwanis will be selling concessions.