Unity in the Community draws thousands to Riverfront Park

Thousands of people, some from around the world, gathered in Riverfront Park on Saturday, all eager to learn about one another.

For the past 25 years, Unity in the Community has displayed cultures from around the world that are often underrepresented in Spokane.

At this year’s event, strangers- some of whom grew up in countries thousands of miles away- came together to shake hands.

The event takes months to plan. That’s because there are more than just cultures to explore.

“You get also information about health and stuff about the community that’s not everywhere that a lot of people don’t know,” said Janet De Leon, one of the visitors.

De Leon brings her family every year, and says her kids take home more than just a geography lesson.

At this year’s event alone, 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies were given out.

“It really is one of those events that gets you inspired and excited about the way we connect with each other in Spokane,” said Mareesa Henderson, co-executive director of Northwest Unity.

Organizers estimated Saturday’s crowd to be about 5,000 people. They say they may need a larger venue in the future.