May 30 Carrie Underwood, Spokane Arena. Don’t miss the four-time Grammy Award winner when she rolls into town for the Play On Tour with Craig Morgan and The Sons of Sylvia. It’s more than country; it’s Carrie. (800) 325-7328 or www.spokanearena.com.
Jun. 24-27 Hoopfest 2010, downtown Spokane/Riverfront Park. Strap on sneakers and sweatbands for the world’s largest 3-on-3-basketball tournament: 6,725 teams, 200,000 fans, 428 courts over 40 city blocks. Go for a championship trophy, enter for fun with friends or just show up to watch the games and soak in the atmosphere. (509) 624-2414.
July 24-25 Skyfest, Fairchild Air Force Base. Look up as the USAF Flight Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds) performs a world-class free air show. Talk to Air Force personnel and see aircraft on display at this rare public opportunity to visit Fairchild. (509) 247-5705 or http://thunderbirds.airforce.com/.
Aug. 13-17 American Legion Baseball World Series, Avista Stadium. The nation’s top eight baseball teams for boys aged 16-18 duke it out for a whole week of baseball action. Come see the 80-year tradition of American Legion Baseball showcasing tomorrow’s professional players. (509) 742-9396 or www.spokanesports.org/home/.
Aug. 31-Oct. 29. Selene Santucci, Chase Gallery. Hailing from Pullman, Wash., Santucci’s artwork will be presented for free at the lower level of Spokane City Hall. (509) 625-6050 or www.spokanearts.org/chase.aspx.
May 28-31 Qdoc – Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, Clinton Street Theater. The documentaries are all queer, but you don’t have to be to enjoy them. This is the only festival of its kind in the United States and the second in the world to deal with issues of queer identity, politics, history, culture, family, aging, coming out, diversity, sexuality and more. www.queerdocfest.org.
Jun. 11-13 Portland Rose Festival presents Rose Cup Races, Portland International Raceway. Take in the oldest amateur road-racing event west of the Mississippi. For the 50th year, more than 400 amateur drivers in diverse classes burn petrol to the finish line. Motorsport exhibits off the track should keep the whole family entertained. www.rosecup.com/ or (503) 227-2681.
July 2-5 Waterfront Blues Festival 2010, Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Since its bluesy birth in 1988, the Waterfront Blues Festival has grown to be the second largest blues festival of its kind on either side of the Mississippi River, second biggest in the country, and most respected blues festival in the West.) www.waterfrontbluesfest.com or 503-973-FEST.
Aug. 6-8 Bite of Oregon 2010, Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Come celebrate the big O’s people, food and culture on the Portland waterfront for three full days of pant-stretching fun the whole family can enjoy. (800) 452-6079 or www.biteoforegon.com.
Aug. 8-Sep. 6 Oregon State Fair 2010, Oregon State Fairgrounds. Make giddy summertime purchases or enjoy free entertainment by the barrel-full. Carnival rides, concerts, shows, State Fair food & drink, Farmilyville, animal exhibits and artisans village are all part of the fun. www.oregonstatefair.org.
Sep. 5 Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, Stoller Winery. Wine and running go hand in hand. Registration is open to runners/speedy walkers able to keep a pace of 15:00 minutes per mile or better with a total time of 3 hours 30 minutes or less. Two-person relays will travel a shorter distance. It’s a golden opportunity to exercise in the wine country. 1-877-228-4881.
May 11-15 Giant Magnet, Seattle Center. What used to be The Seattle International Children’s Film Festival is now Giant Magnet, an international array of circus-theatre, music, puppetry, storytelling, dance and multi-disciplinary shows for ages. See why Magnet is celebrating its 24th year in the Emerald City. (206) 684-7200 or www.giantmagnet.org.
May 22 Early War Fighter Day at Flying Heritage Collection (Paine Field). Anyone can see an air show, but it takes a special sort of person to attend one with vintage warplanes, namely a Spitfire and P-40 Tomahawk. Appreciate the roar of history on display in the skies! (877) 342-3404 or www.flyingheritage.com/.
May 28-31 Northwest Folklife Festival. Folklife brings more than 7,000 participants and more than 1,000 performances and is one of the most popular and largest free gatherings of its kind in North America. (206) 684-7200 or www.nwforlklife.com.
Jun. 19-20 Fremont Fair 2010. Widely regarded as Seattle’s best annual street event, thousands flock to Fremont to celebrate the summer solstice and an honest slice of the city’s eclectic culture. The Fair benefits the anti-poverty programs of Fremont Public Association. Donations suggested. (206) 649-6706 or www.fremontfair.org.
July 4 4th of July Naturalization Celebration, Seattle Center. In addition to fireworks, cheer on new U.S. citizens at a Naturalization Ceremony, the Northwest’s largest daytime Independence Day observance. Groove to music by William Blayney and the Greenwood Concert Band, Sound of the Northwest Choir, and help honor a naturalized citizen who has done great things for the U.S. without losing sight of their ethnic heritage.
Aug. 6-8. Chevrolet Cup at Seafair (Stan Sayres Memorial Park). Summer in Seattle isn’t complete without Seafair. Don’t miss the Chevrolet Cup, the grand finale of the month-long celebration. Be prepared to have your sunscreen blown off by the fastest hydros in the world as they scream around the water. (206) 984-4075 or www.seafair.com.
Aug. 1-Sept 30 Men of Action, Historic University Theater. The Men of Action improvisers have to deal with whatever crazy/life-threatening adventures the audience thinks up for them. Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau describes the show as “part Raiders of the Lost Ark and part League of Extraordinary Gentleman.” (206) 352-8291 or www.wingitpresents.com.
Sep. 3 Slayer and Megadeth with Testament, WaMu Theater. Limber up your neck for some of the hardest head-banging music ever to assault human ears. They’re calling it the Carnage Tour; the first time these three rock juggernauts have toured the U.S. together since 1991. www.wamutheater.com.
May 19 Elks Club Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Contest, Hayden. If you’ve got a great chili/salsa recipe cook it up and head out to Coeur d’Alene. Spectators and foodies without a concoction are also welcome to bring an appetite. Family-oriented fun planned from noon-4pm, indigestion to follow. For more info call Debbi Nadrchal at 772-4049.
Beginning Jun. 12 Art Walk I in Sandpoint. Kick off this self-guided art exhibit with receptions at nearly 20 downtown galleries. Then wander through wine bars, art galleries and multiple businesses. Pick up a walking map at the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce and other venues. Admission free. www.ArtinSandpoint.org or 208-263-6139.
Jun. 20-22 Panhandle Bass Anglers, Harrison. Grab your rod and line for the qualifier on the 20-21st. See if you made the cut at weigh-in on the 22nd. If so, tear into the classic July 18-19 and slap down a big one at the final weigh-in July 20th.
July 4 Fourth of July Celebration, downtown Coeur d’Alene. Enjoy a parade down Sherman Avenue, boat parade, live music, food vendors, children’s activities and fireworks display over Lake Coeur d’Alene. Wear your patriotic colors and share in a celebration of the land we call home. 208-664-3194 or www.cdchamber.com.
July 4 Fireworks Extravaganza, Silverwood Theme Park. Combine the bright lights and excitement of a theme park with your Fourth of July celebrations for an enjoyable sensory overload. Gate admission price includes patriotic music and a fireworks extravaganza at dusk. (208) 683-3400.
Through Sept. 5 Eagles’ Saturday Market in Coeur d’Alene. Every Saturday at 209 E. Sherman Ave, take a stroll in search of arts and crafts made exclusively by locals. Market runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and benefits Eagle’s Charities as well as the Coeur d’Alene community. (208) 765-8526.
May 15-16 Koocanusa Resort Salmon & Trout Derby, Libby. The Koocanusa resort offers what it calls the finest fishing and hospitality in all of Montana. Their trout and salmon derby is complemented by camping facilities, cabins, boat rentals, restaurant and lounge, gift shop and more. Register in advance and get yourself a nice fish. 406-293-7474.
May 16 Outdoorfest 2010, Missoula. For the true outdoor sportsman, there’s no better place to be: Eight acres of activities including archery range/3-D course, air rifle range, fly casting, fly casting lessons, paintball, outdoor skills seminars, face painting, bouncers and much more. The Outdoorsmen Church puts on the entire event. www.outdoorsmenchurch.com or call 406-626-4168 for more info.
June 18 Anaconda Bicycle Festival, Anaconda. This three-day festival raises funds for the upkeep and restoration of Anaconda’s Washoe Park. Friday features a Town Cruise/Bill Lee Memorial Ride that travels the Washoe Park as well historic Anaconda. Saturday is Pedal the Pintlers, which includes 25-50-mile or 100-mile rides. If you’re still alive, Sunday is the Competitive Disco Mountain Boogie (A NOBRA race) starting at Discovery Basin Ski Area. Includes 17-21-mile and 11-mile courses in the Deer Lodge National Forest. 406-563-7988.
Jun. 25-27 Montana Territorial Gun Show, Deer Lodge. Features a generous array of firearms for sale from antique to modern pistols, rifles and shotguns, ammunition and accessories, hunting/fishing gear and more. Food and drink available. Stop by the Prison gift shops or various activities held in the Prison yard. 406-846-1303.
July 16-18. Kootenai River Bluegrass Festival, Troy. Head east from Idaho and head straight into a family-friendly celebration of American roots music, workshops for kids and adults plus live performances by bluegrass bands from all over the western United States. Expect good food and a great musical atmosphere for young and old. Information and tickets available at KRBGF.org. 406-295-3016.
July 9-11 National Folk Festival, Butte. Over 250 of the nation’s best musicians, dancers and craftspeople as well as 25 artists/groups on seven stages. But the folk don’t stop there with a dance pavilion that features non-stop participatory dancing, family stage, Montana folklife stage, themed festival areas, marketplaces and food courts. This is Butte’s 72nd edition of this FREE indoor/outdoor event. 406-497-6464.
July 30-31 Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration, Philipsburg. Festivities kick off Friday with an accordion jam and dance at the Sunshine Station. Saturday takes it up a notch with a concert and dancing for all ages plus homemade pies with food booths… and more jamming/dancing at the Sunshine Station. Experience the accordion and never look back. 406-859-3812.
Aug. 4-8 Testicle Festival, Clinton. Over two and one-half tons of gourmet Rocky Mountain oysters will be served with cowboy 1983. It’s now the largest of its kind in the world, featuring music, food and adult activities put together by the Rock Creek Lodge hosts. (406) 825-4868 with questions.
Through Sept. 25 Gilbert Brewery Follies in Virginia City, Gilbert Brewery. Most breweries don’t have risqué contemporary American-burlesque-cabaret musical skit shows. This one does with a professional troupe to boot. Enjoy Bayern Beer, craft-brewed in Missoula by Jergen Knoller, a German immigrant trained at Wiensteffan. Other notable names on tap include Moose Drool and Gilbert’s Beer. Shows run daily at 4 and 8 p.m. 406-843-5218
Aug. 31-Sep. 6 Beaverhead County Fair, Dillon. The county fair includes a carnival, 4H rodeo, horse show, stock horse show, ranch sorting, team roping, team branding and open livestock shows, plus karaoke. 406-925-3645.
Sep. 4 18th Annual Show and Shine Car Show, Essex. Any car is welcome in Essex’s show so long as someone loves it, or wants to enter it. Vote for your favorite car, toss the cards around in a poker run, shake it up at a dance, stop by the pig roast, get some barbeque, lock yourself in the beer garden, win a trophy or prize. One lucky winner of the show will be featured on next year’s official t-shirt. Priceless. 406-888-5040.
Sep. 4 Labor Day Horseback Poker Ride in Virginia City. Cowboy up and register from 8:30-10am at the Bale of Hay Saloon, also then enjoy yourself at the Bale of Hay Saloon. Note: This is not a race, although there are new trails this year that could use breaking in. 406-843-5555.
May 14-15 Every Woman in the World Conference, Whistler, Fairmount Chateau. For the seventh consecutive year, join women from around the world and learn ways to physically enrich your life, including yoga, gymnastics, mountain biking, belly dancing, Pilates, meditation, boot camp and spontaneous art. www.everywomanintheworld.com.
May 14-16 Art & Bloom Festival, Courtenay. Celebrate spring with over 3,000 rhododendrons and spring flowers in full bloom at Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens. Witness the artistically stunning presentations of painters, potters, sculptors, glass blowers, original stained glass designers, garden art and more. www.woodlandgardens.ca.
June 26-July 5 Jazz Fest International in Victoria. Hold on to your saxophone as this 10-day festival rolls into Victoria with over 300 musicians from all genres of jazz, blues and worldbeat music. Over 35,000 people are expected to attemd, most of which are likely to be jazzed up. www.jazzvictoria.ca.
June 26 BC Highland Games, Coquitlam. Learn everything you every wanted to know about the Scots at the largest celebration of Scottish culture in British Columbia. Beyond the kilts, there will be intense athletic competitions including the caber toss and hammer-throw. Championship bagpipe bands will unite their sounds, steal your heart and push your eardrums to the limit. Includes children’s activities, and cultural and heritage workshops. www.bchighlandgames.com/.
July 1 Santurna Island Lamb Barbeque, Saturna Island. Lamb and barbeque is a match made in heaven now being celebrated for the 61st year. Approximately 1,300 meals will be served to tourists from the world over to support the community and the Community Hall. Vegetarian food is available for the veggies out there. Meals will be served from 2-3 p.m. Adults Includes free shuttle service from BC ferry site and ship to shore at Winter Cove. www.saturnalambbarbeque.com/.
July 1 Canada Day Celebration, Fernie. Celebrate our neighbor’s to the north on their special day, shortly before ours. Good Canadian times include a mountain market with artisans and family games; three-legged race, sack race, doughnut on a string, cake cutting ceremonies with singing of “O Canada” & speeches, playground unveiling, luminary workshop and even a Samba band. www.fernie.com.
Aug. 1 Tlell Fall Fair, Tlell. For those looking to avoid big fair atmosphere and catch “The Earliest Fall Fair in British Columbia,” look no further. For one day only, this quaint agricultural event features livestock, poultry, gardening and craft exhibits, games, vendor booths, information booths and mandatory hunger-quenching food. Live music will be provided by Jaydee Bixby, the Canadian Idol Season 5 runner-up, and award-winning children’s entertainer, Will Stroet. www.tlellfallfair.com/.
Aug. 6-15 Music Fest Vancouver, Vancouver. Local and international artists perform classical, jazz and world music that dates back hundreds of years in a celebration of the history of music itself. www.musicfestvancouver.ca.
Aug. 6-8 Rarearth Music Fest, Vernon. Travel to wine country in Okanagan Valley and enjoy enviro-friendly family fun, and wine! Features two stages with over 90 acts including “Stage Right”: winners and auditioners from Our Kids have Talent. Musical performances include smooth jazz, blues, Latin jazz, salsa and rock varieties. As for wine, try the Arrowleaf Okanagan or switch it up with Okanagan Springs brews. www.rarearthjazzandbluesfest.com/.
Sep. 4-6 Telkwa Annual BBQ & Demolition Derby, Telkwa. Perfect for those who refuse to spend Labor Day weekend without both BBQ and a Demolition Derby. Also includes a ball tournament, horseshoe tournament & dance. Bring the family, and an appetite for food/DESTRUCTION! www.telkwa.com.
Sep. 4-6 Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo, Merritt. The 52nd Anniversary event includes world-class entertainment before the performance and during intermission, free parking, food concession, beverage garden, vendors, crafters, saddle makers, Rodeo Parade, Fall Fair activities, 4H livestock show and Western culture for the whole family. www.nicola valleyprorodeo.com/.