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Bellevue is the fifth largest city in Washington, with a population of about 135,000. It is the high-tech and retail center of the Eastside, with more than 138,000 jobs and a skyline of gleaming high-rises.

Bellevue Skyline

While business booms downtown, much of Bellevue retains a small-town feel, with thriving, woodsy neighborhoods and a vast network of green spaces and recreational facilities that keep people calling the place "a city in a park."

Sales at local shopping complexes are always an attraction, but a strawberry festival and an arts and crafts fair each draw thousands each year. During the holiday season, the Garden d'Lights display at the Bellevue Botanical Garden attracts visitors from far and wide. Artists from around the country enter striking new works in the biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition.

Every July 4, thousands from around the region converge on the Downtown Park for the Family 4th event, where the Bellevue Philharmonic performs live in support of the fireworks display. Bellevue's agrarian traditions are celebrated in the spring and fall at popular fairs at the Kelsey Creek Farm Park.

Ice Skating

The city spans more than 31 square miles between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, and is a short drive from the Cascade Mountains. People can kayak within sight of downtown in the Mercer Slough Nature Park, a 320-acre wetland preserve.

The population is growing and becoming more diverse. City planners anticipate 7,000 additional residents by 2010, with 18,000 more jobs expected to be available in Bellevue by then. Almost 25 percent of Bellevue's residents in 2000 were born outside the United States, and nearly 50 different languages are now spoken by children in Bellevue public schools.


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