45,000 expected for Bloomsday 2006 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

45,000 expected for Bloomsday 2006

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SPOKANE, Wash. - With check-in and late registration in full-swing at the Spokane Ag Trade Center in downtown Spokane, officials are estimating that the final count for this year’s Lilac Bloomsday Run may top 45,000.

"We’re running about 3% ahead of last year," said Race Director Don Kardong. "It’s not explosive growth, but this will be the second straight year we’ve increased, and we’re happy with that."

On the schedule for Bloomsday: Randy Beers, the artist who designed this year’s souvenir poster, will be signing posters at the Bloomsday poster booth at the Trade Show on Saturday from noon-2:00.

For the fifth straight year, Bloomsday participants will be treated to a live starting line performance by stellar vocalist John Keston of McMinnville, Oregon. Keston will sing "O, Canada" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" for runners as they wait for the race to begin. The 81-year-old is not only an outstanding singer, but also a noted actor and world-class age-group runner. Keston set an age 80 record last year with his 56:33 Bloomsday performance, but recent surgery will prevent him from running this year.

More than 20 bands are set to perform along the Bloomsday course, playing everything from rock to bluegrass to punk to accordion. As in the past two years, Bloomsday runners will be able to vote for their favorite online after Sunday’s run. Those wanting to join this year’s Bloomsday Run still have time.

Late registration will continue at the Ag Trade Center until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday, May 6^th from 9:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Race entry is not available on Sunday, May 7.