The world’s largest Radio Flyer wagon “The Childhood Express” sits in Spokane’s Riverfront Park. It was commissioned by the Junior League of Spokane for the State centennial Celebration of Children in 1989. The plaque reads: “This Sculpture is dedicated to Spokane’s children, as a reflection of the past, created in the present, to last into the future.”
Designed by local artist Ken Spiering, the Red Wagon weighs 26 tons and is made of steel and reinforced concrete. This mammoth wagon is designed to support the weight of up to 300 people (100 pounds per square foot). It took Spiering a full year of 17 hour days to complete the sculpture.
On any given day children and adults alike enjoy the slide. The Radio Flyer brand just celebrated its 100th birthday and the company commissioned a larger wagon that sits in downtown Chicago. The Spokane wagon has been voted by USA Today as the top roadside attraction in Washington.
Spiering has created statues around Riverfront Park including The Call and the Challenge, the fish sculptures that wrap around the Convention Center, and other public art. He created a sculpture for the City of Coeur d’Alene as well as furnishings for the Whitworth Presbyterian Church chancel.
The Junior League of Spokane (JLS) is a women’s service organization that started in Spokane in 1925. The JLS was among the first supporters of the Community Mental Health Center, Crosswalk, the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, KPBX and many others. The JLS is currently focused on childhood literacy. At the 25 year celebration of “The Childhood Express”, Junior League President Lesley Culley expressed her love for the wagon. “The Red Wagon has become an iconic symbol for both visitors and residents of Spokane.”