August 12, 2010 in Washington Voices

Garland Street Fair fills district with annual wizardry

By The Spokesman-Review
Pia Hallenberg photo

Actors are from Christian Youth Theater’s winter production of Wizard of Oz will present scenes from the show at the Garland Street Fair on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. Left to right are Branden Preedy, Joseph Lyons, Emmalea Martin, Lydia Kinne, Josh Taylor and Madisson Clarry.
(Full-size photo)

Last year, more than 10,000 people made their way to Garland Avenue for the street fair, and this year organizers expect at least the same number to show up.

“We have really put a lot of work into it,” said Tracy Mielke, owner of A Bead Addict’s Attic on Garland and one of the street fair organizers. “We have more vendors signed up at this point than we’ve ever had before.”

The “Wizard of Oz”-themed fair runs all day Saturday. Street fair visitors may run into the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and Dorothy, as well as many other celebrated characters from the beloved books and movies.

“Christian Youth Theater approached us, and we thought it was a great idea,” said Mielke. The youth theater produced “The Wizard of Oz” this winter, and part of that cast is returning to perform on the Monroe Stage throughout the day, be in the parade and help guide visitors around the fair.

“It’s the first time we are doing this, but they really add something to the fair,” Mielke said.

Mielke emphasized the family aspect of the street fair. “There are things for everyone to do here, and lots to look at.”

Between 20 and 25 vendors are expected at the fair, and there’s a tightly booked schedule of performances and live music on two stages. And of course, there’s the parade at 10:30 a.m.

“The parade begins at Bark and Snip and moves west on Garland, from Wall to Monroe,” said Mielke.

The fair features a Toto look-alike contest and a Judy Garland impersonation contest, where contestants dress up like the legendary actress and sing “Over the Rainbow.”

Bon Bon, a new cocktail bar attached to the Garland Theater, plans to be open by then.

Garland District businesses have specials going on during the fair, and children’s events such as face painting and art projects run throughout the day.

Proceeds from children’s events go to the Spokane Guilds School.

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