The annual Batman Day may take place on September 15th each year, but on September 19, the City of Walla Walla, Washington will once again honor a man whose portrayal of the Caped Crusader has been loved by generations. The Second Annual Adam West Day will find Walla Walla paying tribute to the life of its favorite son — known the world over as Batman and later the voice of Mayor Adam West on the show The Family Guy — in a way that only West’s hometown can.
Held on West’s birthday, as proclaimed by the City of Walla Walla in 2017, the Second Annual “Adam West Day” will include a day full of festivities. The event includes the grand opening of the Adam West Exhibit at the Kirkman House Museum, a showing of the West documentary “Starring Adam West”, an expert Q&A panel, the Batmobile and Batcopter, an official lighting of the Bat Signal, activities for kids, and much more.
The Walla Walla roots run deep for Adam West, who died on June 9, 2017, in Los Angeles. He was born in 1928 in Walla Walla as William West Anderson. He grew up in what was then a tiny southeastern Washington farming community, before moving to Seattle at age 15. After graduating from high school, he returned to Walla Walla and graduated from Whitman College.
In 1959, he changed his name to Adam West and began his acting career, famously portraying Batman in the 1960s television version of the comic book hero. Though he moved away from Walla Walla, he returned frequently throughout his life. And it seems most every longtime Walla Walla resident has a personal Adam West story to share.
“Adam West will always be beloved in Walla Walla, so it is with great excitement that Adam West Day has become an annual tradition,” said Ron Williams, executive director of Visit Walla Walla. “The first event, held just after he passed last year, was a heartfelt and fun occasion for both friends and fans and from both near and far. And we hope they return to Walla Walla again this year to celebrate Walla Walla’s favorite son.”
Walla Walla, the unofficial capital of Washington wine country with more than 120 wineries, knows how to throw a party. The Second Annual Adam West Day events include:
- The grand opening of the Adam West exhibit at the Kirkman House Museum.
- Q&A panel at The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Walla Walla with Ruben Procopio, an American animation and comic book artist, animator, and sculptor, who West once called his personal sculptor. Johnny Green, who played one of the Joker’s Henchmen during the famous “Surf’s Up” episode, will also be joining the panel.
- A showing of the 1966 Batman feature film at The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.
- A showing of the documentary “Starring Adam West” at the Gesa Power House Theatre in downtown Walla Walla.
- Official lighting of the Bat Signal in the evening.
- Live music and kids’ activities in the downtown Walla Walla Plaza.
- The Adam West Experience, a joint effort of downtown Walla Walla businesses. Each participating business will display a bat sticker that indicates its involvement, which could include a special, a giveaway, or a drink or food item named in West’s honor. An award will be given to the three downtown businesses with the best decorations.
- The Batmobile and Bat Copter at various events throughout the day.
“Last year’s inaugural Adam West Day was something so memorable,” said Jonathan Grant, front office manager at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center and a co-organizer of the event. “This year, for the Second Annual Adam West Day, we have even more exciting surprises in store. It will be such a special day to celebrate the life and legacy of our hometown hero and bright knight.”
Check out www.AdamWestDay.com for more