Hospital hosts annual Highlands day

The Swedish Medical Center hosted it's open house in concordance with this year's Highlands day, leading what hospital officials hope to be 10,000 area residents to the event.

Issaquah’s annual Highlands day looked a little different this year. Their were still bounce houses and trampolines for the kids, still shopping for the adults, and music for all; but this year a brand new five-story building loomed large over the multitude of tents.

The Swedish Medical Center hosted it’s open house in concordance with the festival, leading 22,000 area residents to attend the event.

While 10,000 was the goal, most weren’t surprised to see that number surpassed, said Ed Boyle, media relations for Swedish Health Services.

“Highlands day is an annual event and we knew this [the open house] would draw a big crowd.” Boyle said. “It just makes too much sense not to combine them.”

Visitors took tours of the center, and most seemed excited by what they saw.

“We’ve already changed her appointments,” said Mike Hoefgen, whose wife, Penny’s appointments led her all the way to Seattle. “I told her that in the amount of time it’ll take her to go downtown [Seattle], she’ll be there and back.”

But for some, that wasn’t the only draw. Former Mariner John Olreud signed autographs on the hospital’s second floor.

“That was a big draw for us,” Chad Rankin said, pointing to his seven year-old son Tyler, who waited in line for an autograph.

The Mad Hatter ushers in hospital visitors for tours at Swedish Medical Center’s open house July 9.

A chicken and a bear dance  at July 9’s Highlands day.

Issaquah’s new Swedish Medical Center was the site for this year’s Highlands day.