This weekend, the City of Spokane Valley will host its biggest celebration of the year, with a parade, hot air balloons, gourmet food and wine tasting, bicycling and running events, live music, and more. Valleyfest began in 1990; its mission “is to showcase the talent that enriches our community and give exposure of the visual and performing arts, education, science, and recreation to those families who might otherwise not have the means to experience them.”
Friday night, bring your family to see the Hearts of Gold parade, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at Sprague Avenue at Appleway Florist and travels east to the Spokane Heritage Museum. The parade will feature lighted floats, mascots, dancers, classic cars, and fire trucks.
CenterPlace Regional Event Center will host several fun activities on Saturday:
- Start your day with a pancake breakfast from 7:00 to 10:30 a.m. Volunteers will be preparing and serving a hot breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon, plus your choice of coffee, juice, or milk. The price is $7 for adults, $3 for kids 3–6, and free for kids 2 and under. Click here for a $1 discount coupon!
- Parents and expectant parents can attend educational workshops and movies and visit baby-themed exhibitions at BabyFest 2012. BabyFest runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.
- Look at the stars under a roof at the Stargazer Planetarium from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- At Taste of the Valley, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., you can sample regional wines, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and listen to live music on the patio. Tickets are $30 and must be purchased by Friday.
- Valleyfest Car Show will be held on the grass outside CenterPlace. Registration is 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. and is $10.00 per vehicle. Lowco’s car club is hosting and judging the event, with awards given at 3:30 p.m.
- Throughout the day, the CenterPlace patio stage will offer live music and comedy. Click here for a schedule.
Mirabeau Point Park, located next to the CenterPlace Event Center, will have plenty of fun things to do and see:
- The Spokane Astronomical Society will be around all day Saturday to hand out free DVD’s and other prizes and to let people look through telescopes of all different sizes. You can view sunspots and solar flares with special telescope filters, and in the evening, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, the group will host a night sky viewing. Come see the galaxy and learn what you are looking at in the night sky!
- Weather permitting, Balloons over Valleyfest will launch hot air balloons from the park at 6:40 a.m. on Friday. At 5:00 a.m., you can come and view the “Morning Glow” of the lit balloons before takeoff. Saturday and Sunday, the balloons will launch at 6:35 a.m. Saturday night at 8:00 p.m., the lit balloons will be on display for “Night Glow.”
- Sunday, bring your bike for the Spokane River Centennial Trail Bike Ride. Meet at the Mirabeau Point Park North Centennial Trail Head at 11:00 a.m. for check-in ($10.00 for ages 11 and over and $5.00 for ages 10 and under). The ride starts at noon, and you can choose from four routes ranging from 6.8 to 15.6 miles. All routes are loops that finish back at Mirabeau Park. Pre-register here.
- If walking is more your style, you can register for the Step up for Down Syndrome Walk, which starts Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the Discovery Playground at Mirabeau Point Park. Or race in the 5k/10k Run for a Cause on Sunday at 8:30 a.m., which benefits education, research, and advocacy programs for Down Syndrome. Registration for the run is $15 before Sept 20 or $25 if registered after September 20, 2012.
- Saturday and Sunday, the Family Stage will feature performers of various kinds, including music and dancing. Click here for a schedule.
- The Meadow Festival Stage will also feature live music and dancing Saturday and Sunday. Click here for a schedule.
- All weekend long, there are fun activities for the whole family, including toy making, fishing for kids, the Go Green Zone, an Oreo stacking contest for kids, and a free outdoor movie.