Follow the Bat Signal to Walla Walla for a day in celebration of Walla Walla’s favorite son. The Third Annual Adam West Day is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21 — the first time Adam West Day will be held on a weekend — honoring the late actor best known for his role as Batman in the legendary 1960s show and later as the voice of Mayor Adam West on the show The Family Guy.
West died on June 9, 2017, and each September since Walla Walla — a town best known as the unofficial capital of Washington wine country — has celebrated the life of the actor on or near his birthday on Sept. 19. On what would be his 90th birthday — as well as the 80th anniversary of the creation of Batman character by DC Comics — the Third Annual Adam West Day promises to be the best one yet.
“The entire city of Walla Walla is truly looking forward to celebrating the amazing life and legacy of our hometown hero, our bright knight, Adam West for this 3rd Annual event,” said Jonathan Grant, front office manager at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center and a co-organizer of the event. “We celebrate Adam for all that he has accomplished for not only his 50-plus year career in film, television, stage, and radio, but also for his numerous charities and communities to which he gave back. His legacy will continue to inspire his fans throughout the world.”
This year’s itinerary includes:
- The festivities begin with an opening ceremony at 11 a.m. at First Avenue and Main Street in downtown Walla Walla.
- The first appearance of the “Batcycle” at Adam West Day. The Batcycle will join the Batmobile and Bat Copter at various events throughout the day.
- The unveiling of the song “Adam West Blues” — which was written and performed by local musician Daniel Minteer — as the official song of Adam West Day.
- On both Saturday and Sunday, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Walla Walla will host a number of booths displaying and selling superhero memorabilia and comics.
- Q&A session with VIP guests and friends of West.
- A showing of the documentary “Starring Adam West” at the Gesa Power House Theatre in downtown Walla Walla.
- Free admission on Saturday to the extensive Adam West Exhibit at the Kirkman House Museum in downtown Walla Walla.
- Official lighting of the Bat Signal on the Marcus Whitman Hotel.
- Live music, superheroes, and kids’ activities in the downtown Walla Walla Plaza.
Even as Adam West’s acting career soared, his heart never drifted far from Walla Walla. He was born in 1928 as William West Anderson, and moved to Walla Walla as a young child, growing up in what was then a tiny southeastern Washington farming community. As a teenager, he moved to Seattle, only to return as a student at Walla Walla’s 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, forever binding him to the community.
Today, there are reminders of Adam West throughout Walla Walla. That includes a permanent Batman exhibit at Walla Walla’s Kirkman House Museum.
“Adam West Day is a tradition that will continue for years to come,” said Ron Williams, CEO of Visit Walla Walla. “The local community has come out each year to celebrate this wonderful event, and they have been joined by Adam West fans that come from near and far to celebrate his life. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. West — he was a kind man, soft spoken, and he never lost his affection for his hometown. It is a wonderful event that no fan would ever want to miss.”