FOR THE RECORD (July 27, 1995): The telephone number for the Festival at Sandpoint is (208) 265-4554. The number was wrong in Thursday’s IN Life section.
I have attended The Festival at Sandpoint since it began. Following are some tips, based on my experience, mistakes, observations, and annoyances:
Tickets: They are available at the Memorial Field box office, but get them in advance and you’ll avoid the vexation of standing in line. Ticket outlets include all G&B; Select-a-Seat locations, (509) 325-SEAT or (800) 325-SEAT; the Spokane Symphony ticket office, 624-1200; Street Music stores in Spokane and Sandpoint; the festival office; Sandpoint Safeway; and Coldwater Creek Community Information Center on the Cedar Street Bridge. For information about tickets and programs, call the festival Office (208-235-4554).
Getting there: The highway between Priest River and Sandpoint is under construction and delays can exceed an hour. Avoid this route from Spokane to Sandpoint if at all possible; instead, take Highway 95 from I-90 just west of Coeur d’Alene to Sandpoint.
Place: Memorial Field is on the north shore of Lake Pend Oreille, west of Highway 95 and south of Highway 2. There are a number of signs around town giving direction to the festival. I’ve found the easiest way to the field is to take Boyer Avenue south from Highway 2.
Times: All Memorial Field performances start at 7:30 p.m. except for the Bill Wellington Children’s Concert on Aug. 16, which starts at 6 p.m. Gates are open at 6 (children’s events for the Aug. 16 show begin at 3:30). Lines start forming at least an hour before the gates open, much earlier for the popular concerts. Get there early, and bring something to sit on while you wait; the sidewalk is hard and hot.
Parking: Parking for Memorial Field concerts has been a problem in the past. This year, in addition to parking on nearby streets, the festival has arranged satellite parking lots and is providing a free shuttle service from downtown Sandpoint restaurants. Satellite parking is available at Sandpoint High School, Washington Elementary School, the Lutheran church and the LDS church. All are within walking distance of Memorial Field.
A group of Sandpoint restaurants has arranged a free shuttle to and from Memorial Field leaving every 15 minutes. Dinner service at the restaurants begins at 3:30. The shuttle service includes Ivano’s, The Cupboard, The Hydra, Gregory’s Vecchio’s, Jalepeno’s, Eichardt’s and Bradley’s. These restaurants give a 10 percent discount to festival ticketholders.
Seating: Reserved seating includes separate areas for blankets, tall lawn chairs and short sand chairs. There is also general admission in all three categories and bleacher seating. Lounge chairs are not allowed. There will be no rental chairs available this year. There will be an area for dancing at three concerts: the Beach Boys tonight, Queen Ida on Aug. 5 and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra on Aug. 12.
Food: The 18 vendors at Memorial Field provide food and drink ranging from complete dinners to lemonade and snow cones, or you can bring your own food and drink. Several local restaurants have boxed meals available. Alcoholic beverages are served in the Festival Lounge.
Accessories: Insects are seldom a problem, but for the truly cautious, insect repellant might be a good idea. Temperatures can turn quite cool in the evening - a sweater or light jacket is a good idea. Festival officials pale at the thought, but the weather occasionally turns nasty. An umbrella or raincoat can come in handy. A flashlight would save you some grief if there were a power outage.
Manners: Smoking is not permitted. Talking and other rude behavior during performances is just that - rude - therefore strongly discouraged.
Parents should be responsible with regard to the behavior of children, since running and shouting are rude behaviors. If you park on the street, don’t block driveways.
ILLUSTRATION: Staff illustration by Molly Quinn