Written by Stephanie on July 2nd, 2015
Fireworks over Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Spokane and Coeur d’Alene both have great fireworks shows, as well as other fun family events, this weekend. Downtown Spokane’s Riverfront Park 4th of July Weekend Celebration starts Friday, July 3. The festivities include live entertainment, plenty of food, a beer garden featuring No Li Brewery brews, and of course fireworks. Here are a few highlights of the weekend:
- Half-price day passes for Riverfront Park attractions, which include unlimited rides on the Ferris wheel, historic Looff carousel, pavilion attractions, and tour train, as well as mini-golf, a regular IMAX theater movie, and, for an extra $4.00, a SkyRide gondola trip over the Spokane River falls
- Pie-eating contest in Gondola Meadow 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, followed by a hot dog eating contest
- International food vendor market in Gondola Meadow, open at noon each day
- Free American flags for kids, while supplies last, noon to 9:00 p.m. Saturday
- Live entertainment at the Lilac Bowl stage, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday
- Spokane Jazz Orchestra show at the Lilac Bowl stage, 8:00 p.m. Saturday
- Fireworks show, 10:00 p.m. Saturday
At Coeur d’Alene’s Independence Day celebration, you can cheer on the American Heroes parade downtown on Sherman Avenue, marching from 15th Street to Northwest Boulevard. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. Then you can hang out in the city park on the lake, where there will be food and vendor booths, concerts, and fun activities for kids all day. Sure, it will be hot, but you can cool off in Lake Coeur d’Alene any time! At around 10:00 p.m., the grand fireworks show will start over the water. If you want to get closer to the fireworks, there are still tickets available for the Lake Coeur d’Alene 4th of July Fireworks Cruises. One ship is for families, while another is 21+ and provides food and cocktails.
Written by Stephanie on June 13th, 2015
The world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament happens June 27–28 in downtown Spokane, and there are still some openings for volunteers. If you are coming to Hoopfest to watch, or just want to be involved in an amazing sport event, taking a shift as a volunteer court monitor is a fun way to help out. It takes over 650 court monitors to make Hoopfest run smoothly. Click here to sign up.
Spokane Hoopfest is an annual basketball tournament for all ages and abilities, with over 7,000 teams participating. If you go, be sure to check out the special entertainment. Nike Center Court hosts the Beats by Dr. Dre Elite Division games, performances, a slam dunk contest, and the Huppin’s Championships. See rising stars at the High School Elite Center Court, and bring your kids to the Safeco Fun Zone for games and inflatables. When you get hungry, head to Riverfront Park for a variety of food and beverages.
Parking, Safety, and How To Find Your Teams: Forty-two blocks of downtown Spokane will be covered with basketball courts, but some parking lots and garages are still open. Click here for details and a map. Your best option is to take advantage of the STA Hoop Loop, which operates every ten minutes during Hoopfest and takes you to and from two free shuttle lots. The Hoop Loop is just $1.50 per day. Whether you are playing, volunteering, or watching at Spokane Hoopfest, keep in mind that it is usually very sunny and hot at the end of June, so remember sunblock, drink plenty of water, and rest when you need to. If you want to keep track of teams you know, there’s an app for that, of course, or you can search online. Click here for more information.
Written by Stephanie on May 26th, 2015
One of Spokane’s biggest art festivals starts this Friday. ArtFest is held every year in historic Coeur d’Alene Park in the Browne’s Addition neighborhood. This is a great opportunity to check out and take home works of the area’s most talented artists, and admission is free! Art includes sculptures, paintings, one-of-a-kind jewelry, photography, ceramics, and fiber arts for you or for unique gifts. You can also pick up handcrafted pre-packaged gourmet foods. ArtFest is fun for kids, too, as they can make their own creations at the Make It Art Kids’ Fair. Adults can enjoy the wine and beer garden, and of course there is a tasty food court.
ArtFest is Friday through Sunday, May 29–31. Hours are Friday, noon–10 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. –10 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. –5 p.m. Eighteen bands will play throughout the weekend. The Make It Art Kids Fair tent is open Friday, 3–7 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. –7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. –5 p.m. If you are from out of town, or if you are a Spokanite but don’t make it to Browne’s Addition very often, consider taking a stroll through the historic neighborhood around Coeur d’Alene Park. Click here for suggested tour points.
Written by Stephanie on April 27th, 2015
2014 Lilac Festival Royalty
Spokane has been known as the “Lilac City” since 1896. Lilacs weren’t always here—the local legend has it that the first lilac plant arrived in 1882 in a trunk that traveled from Minnesota—but they have become a gorgeous symbol of the city, blooming all over in May of every year. The first Lilac Festival was held in 1938 as a mere flower show. Later, the Festival grew to have a parade, a queen, and a tea and card party.
Today, the parade is the largest armed forces torchlight parade in the nation, and around 160,000 people come out to watch school dance teams, bands, members of our armed forces, Lilac Festival Royalty, and creative floats all lit by torchlight and colored lights. The Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade is May 16 and starts at 7:45 p.m. in downtown Spokane. Come early for the Cruzin’ the Falls Car Show and Cruise. The show cars will cruise the parade route at 6:00 p.m.
This year’s festival also features a golf tournament on May 9 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s five-star course , a shoebox float competition for 3rd–6th graders (check out their floats on display in Riverpark Square May 9–17), and the All City Civic Military Luncheon at the Davenport Hotel. Click here for the full schedule.
If you are coming down for the parade with your family and want to make a day of it, Riverfront Park’s attractions will be open, including the SkyRide over the Falls and the Looff Carousel.
Written by Stephanie on April 9th, 2015
Watch for racers in costume at Bloomsday!
Spokane’s annual Bloomsday race inspires corporate cup entrants to get creative and vie for the title of the best team name. Out of over 370 teams, 26 have been chosen as finalists, including Eymann Allison Hunter Jones’ “And Then the Vulture Eats You,” my personal favorite; Spokane Symphony’s “Too Hot to Handel”; and Workland & Witherspoon’s “Our Briefs Are Tight.” Check out the full list here and pick your favorite!
Although corporate cup registration is closed, individuals can still sign up online for $18.00 until Sunday, April 19 (or postmark mail-in registration forms by April 14). If you miss that deadline, you can sign up online for $35.00 through April 26 or at the Bloomsday Trade Show [http://www.bloomsdayrun.org/race-information/trade-show] May 1–2. Race day is Sunday, May 3, starting at 9:00 a.m.
New for Bloomsday 2015:
- Eight new collectible Bloomsday character cards, including Bruce Sprintsteen (“He was born to run!”), available at the trade show
- Free photo print through Photoboxx waiting for you at a booth in Riverfront Park when you include the hashtag #BloomsdayRun in the description of your social media posts
- Outside Interactive will be filming a virtual Bloomsday course video that runners can use throughout the year with the use of their iPad, Windows, or Android tablet on any treadmill in the world
- New Bloomsday scene medal highlighting the start on Riverside, available for purchase during online registration or at the trade show
- The Marmot March on Saturday will start one hour earlier (9:00 a.m.) and include third-graders
Bloomsday is a 12-kilometer (7.46-mile) foot race open to all runners, walkers, wheelchairs, assisted wheelchairs, and strollers. The course begins and ends in beautiful downtown Spokane. Entertainment all along the course makes the miles go faster. After the race, head to Riverfront Park for the after party, with food vendors, a beer garden, and live music until 3:00 p.m. STA offers special shuttle bus service to and from the race.
Written by Stephanie on March 28th, 2015
The 10th annual Spokane Women’s Show will have presentations and shows on topics from health to fashion, plus wine tasting, exhibits, live music, and cooking and fitness demonstrations. Highlights include the Goodwill Boutique Sale and Fashion Show, the Finish Strong Fitness Games, registration and packet pick-up for the Negative Split Half Marathon and 5K Run, the chance to win some of the $10,000 in prize package giveaways, and the Travel and Adventure International Market. Women’s health is the major theme of the event, and health and wellness checks will be available.
The show will be held April 10–11 at the Spokane Convention Center (334 W Spokane Falls Blvd.) Admission is $5. Race for the Cure participants get in free. Hours are Friday, April 10 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 11 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Written by Stephanie on March 13th, 2015
Photo by Elliot Donson.
St. Patrick was born in either England or Scotland to Roman parents around the year 386. Although he was not Irish, he has become as associated with Ireland as the shamrock, which he used to explain the Catholic idea of the holy trinity. He first saw Ireland as a slave after being captured in his teens by a raiding party. He eventually returned home to his family, but later came back to Ireland to convert pagans to Christianity. He was enormously successful in his work and has become one of the most popular saints in the world.
St. Patrick’s Day is about much more than St. Patrick, of course. It is a fun day to celebrate being Irish, or just pretending to be Irish. Spokane celebrates St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, organized by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. The parade features music, clowns, dancers, colorful floats, and more. It starts at noon on Saturday, March 14, in downtown Spokane. Click here for the parade route. Arrive early for the best viewing spots, and remember that street parking will be limited; click here for bus schedules.
Written by Stephanie on March 3rd, 2015
Custer’s 38th annual Spring Arts and Crafts show opens this Friday at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. Here, you can find everything from hand crafted bird houses to unique clothing to homemade jams. The event is one of the largest craft shows in the Inland Northwest, with over 300 professional artists exhibiting their wares on 78,000 square feet. Over 30 of the artists this year are brand new to the show. It’s a great event to shop for gifts, items for your home, including furniture, dried florals, photography, and pottery, and to experience some creative inspiration for your own projects. Many of the gourmet food items (truffles, vinegars, smoked salmon, etc.) will be available for sampling while you shop. If you are feeling very ambitious, you could probably do all your Christmas shopping nine months early at this one event.
Admission is $7 for adults, good all weekend. Kids 12 and under are free, and parking is free. Hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food and beverages will be available to purchase.