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Three major conventions bring attention to Spokane

Courtesy World Accordian Championships

SPOKANE, Wash. — Three national and international conventions put the spotlight on Spokane for two weeks this fall.

Nearly 1,700 people attended the Society of American Foresters Convention in late October. The best-known professionals in the industry attended the conference organized by the SAF, the world’s largest professional society for foresters.

Among the attendees were the head of the U.S. Forest Service and the acting director for the Bureau of Land Management, as well as contingents from Finland, Japan and Korea.

The Spokane Convention Center was the convention’s base, but education sessions were also held in area forests.

Coinciding with the SAF was the World Accordion Championships. Although, with fewer than 100 attendees, the event was much smaller than the forestry convention, it did draw accordionists from Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, South America and Africa. It was the first time the worldwide competition had been held in the United States. Competitions were held at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox Theatre, the Bing Crosby Theater and River Park Square.

Nearly 1,800 attended the National Preservation Conference, held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3. Spokane’s historic gems, including the Davenport Hotel, Steam Plant Square and Historic Browne’s Addition, were showcased. Spokane is the smallest city to ever host the convention.

The conference was headquartered at the Davenport Hotel with programs at the convention center and field sessions at historic sites throughout the region.

“We told you at our big meeting that Spokane is a ‘big deal,’” said Cheryl Kilday, Visit Spokane president and CEO. “Hosting such important conventions proves our point.”