Bellevue is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. Long known as a suburb or satellite city of Seattle,it is now categorized as an edge city or a boomburb with a population of 122,363 at the 2010 census.
Prior to the economic downturn of 2008, downtown Bellevue was undergoing rapid change, with many high rise projects under construction. It is currently the second largest city center in Washington state with over 35,000 employees and 5,000 residents.Based on per capita income, Bellevue is the 6th wealthiest of 522 communities in the state of Washington.In 2008, Bellevue was named number 1 in CNN Money’s list of the best places to live and launch a business.More recently, Bellevue was ranked as the 4th best place to live in America.The name “Bellevue” is French for “beautiful view”
Recurring cultural events
Bellevue is the site of the popular annual Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair (originally Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Fair), held since 1947 at the end of July. The biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition draws thousands of visitors to the Downtown Park to view up to 46 three-dimensional artworks from artists around the country. In celebration of its strawberry farming history, Bellevue holds an annual Strawberry Festival.The Bellevue 24-Hour Relay has also been hosted every July in Bellevue Downtown Park.
Places of interest
Bellevue Arts Museum, The Bellevue Arts Museum first opened in 1975, then moved to Bellevue Square in 1983. In 2001, the museum moved into its own building, designed by Steven Holl. The museum subsequently ran into financial difficulties and was forced to close to the public in 2003. After a lengthy fundraising campaign, a remodel, and a new mission to become a national center for the fine art of craft and design, the museum reopened on June 18, 2005 with an exhibition of teapots.The Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art contains one of the largest doll collections in the world—more than a thousand dolls—displayed on two floors of a Victorian-style building.The KidsQuest Children’s Museum is located in Factoria Mall. The museum’s primary visitors are mothers and care givers with children from pre-crawlers to 12 years of age. Its 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) space houses play and discovery areas, exhibits, offices, educational activities and classroom space. Near Interstate 405 is Meydenbauer Center, a convention center that brings corporate meetings and charity events to the downtown area. Meydenbauer also includes a 410-seat theater which attracts operas, ballets, and orchestral performances.
Sports and recreation
Since the 1970s, the city has taken an active role in ensuring that its commercial development does not overwhelm its natural land and water resources.Today, the Bellevue Parks and Community Services Department manages more than 2,500 acres (10 km2) of parks and open spaces, including the Downtown Park and the Bellevue Botanical Garden, as well as several playgrounds, beach parks, and trails. More than 5,500 Bellevue residents participate in volunteer activities through this department annually.
Bellevue was home to the American Basketball Association team, the Bellevue Blackhawks. The Blackhawks in 2005, despite being ranked 13th in the league, made it to the championship game in front of 15,000 fans in Little Rock, Arkansas.The team has been inactive since 2006.
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