Jan. 26 Kodo, Martin Woldson Theatre at the Fox. As far as martial arts drumming goes, Kodo are the indisputable champions. Spokane is honored to welcome the Japanese ensemble for the opening performance on their One Earth Tour of North America. If you thought Tao Drummers were as good as it gets, think again! www.spokanesymphony.org or (509) 624-1200.
Jan. 29-Feb. 5 Spokane National Boat Show, Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. The secret to free admission at the 56th annual event is simple: show up and take the Washington State-required boating safety course. Once educated, enjoy nearly 50 vendors with displays, seminars and a plenty of boats for sale. Call (509) 328-6165 for class times, costs and required materials. A free “boat for sale” listing is available; www.spokaneboatshow.com.
Through Feb. 24 Free Ice Skating, the Ice Palace (Riverfront Park). Enjoy free nights of skating every Thursday at one of the most celebrated outdoor rinks in the country. Skate rentals are $3.25. (509) 625-6601.
Feb. 3 B.B. King, INB Performing Arts Center. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is ranked No. 3 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 greatest guitarists of all time,” and only gets better with age. Experience how King influenced the generations of electric blues guitarists that followed him. Tickets range from $29-$69. 800-325-7328.
Feb. 11 Bellydance Superstars present “Bombay Bellywood” at the Bing Crosby Theater. Don’t assume this titillating performance is just about tummies, the Bellydance Superstars combine Indian dance styles, Egyptian Cabaret and American Tribal into an earth-moving blend of excitement. The troupe’s first male cast member, Arture Gulkarov, previously of Cirque du Soleil, will be dancing to music created especially for the show. 800-325-7328 or www.bingcrosbytheater.com.
March 11 “The Jill & Julia Show,” Bing Crosby Theater. Jill Sobule and Spokane’s own Julia Sweeney offer audiences a fun look at life. The word on the street is this may be one of Julia’s final local performances – she plans to retire from public performing to concentrate on writing and raising a family. 800-325-7328 or www.bingcrosbytheater.com.
April 15-17 Spokane Women’s Show, Spokane Convention Center. The 7th annual show combines music, a fashion show, dance show, cooking demonstrations, hundreds of exhibitors, products, services, and a chance to win a “One Year of Free Groceries Gift Certificate” at the Safeway Prize Zone. Admission $7, $2 discount for Race for Cure Participants, children under 12 free. www.spokanewomensshow.com or (509) 220-0145.
April 22 Leon Redbone, Bing Crosby Theater. Redbone is a Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist who specializes in early 20th-century music, spanning jazz and blues standards to Tin Pan Alley jewels. Clad in his signature Panama hat, ambiguously dark sunglasses and black string tie, the old pro brings a performance and humor to acts that have earned him appearances in movies, TV shows and even comics. $29. 800-325-7328 or www.bingcrosbytheater.com.
Jan. 27 Elvis (Leo Days), Coeur d’Alene Casino, Worley. Leo goes above and beyond typical Elvis “impersonation” by singing, playing guitar and piano to all three Elvis eras: Rock and Roll 50s, black leather 60s and the heftier Vegas years of the 70s. See why Leo won first at the Hollywood EPE Ultimate Elvis Contest and has been a fan of The King since age 3. $10-$15. www.cdcasino.com or 800-523-2464.
Jan. 28-Mar. 11 Hayden Library: “Journey Stories,” a Smithsonian Institution exhibit. The exhibit tells the fascinating story of how we and our ancestors came to America through the transportation we used, and how this intersects with American society. Images, audio and artifacts help relate individual stories that showcase the crucial roles travel and movement played in building our country. (208) 772-5612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan. 29 Coeur d’Alene Symphony Children’s Concert, Lake City Community Church, Coeur d’Alene. Adults and kids can expect to be entertained by the traditional Irish music group An Dochas and the Haran Dancers, not to mention Ireland native Michael Londra, lead singer of Riverdance on its U.S. National tour. www.cdasymphony.org or (208) 765-3833.
Feb. 10 Smokey Robinson, Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. Seize a golden opportunity to see a living legend perform a live night of Motown and R&B, mixed up like only Smokey can make it. Long before American Idol, he produced 37 Top 40 hits for Motown from 1960-1987. $45-$55 800-325-7328 or www.cdcasino.com.
Feb. 12 Third annual Wild Salmon Feast, Trinity Lutheran Church, Coeur d’Alene. Proceeds from this deliciously fishy event benefit Family Promise of North Idaho and its mission to provide shelter, food and solutions to families in crisis. Pro-active attendees can pre-order wild salmon to take home at www.familypromiseni.org. Tickets are $25 each or two for $40. Call 818-5465 for advanced ticket sales.
Feb. 25 and every fourth Friday to April, Music Walk, downtown Coeur d’Alene. Enjoy the crisp air on walks through beautiful downtown Coeur d’Alene to the sounds of live music performances from some of the best local talent Idaho has to offer. Restaurants, shops, businesses and galleries will welcome strollers off the streets. 5-8 p.m. www.artsincda.org.
March 12 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Coeur d’Alene. Irish and non-Irish alike are welcome to join in the celebration as downtown goes green for a parade, shopping specials, St. Patrick’s Day fare and much much more. www.cdadowntown.com.
Jan. 22 Children’s Series – “Brothers from Different Mothers,” 15343 25th Avenue Northeast Seattle. Matt Baker and Alex Zerbe’s have been voted Seattle’s Funniest Comedy Team, two-time Guinness World Record holders and appeared on multiple television shows, including “America’s Got Talent.” Bring the kids, this is rare fun for the whole family. $7. www.shorelinearts.net.
Jan. 27-30 War, Jazz Alley. The band known for tackling issues surrounding social classes, races and causes. “The Very Best of War” follows the band’s birth from free-form styles through cultural shifts in taste and genres. Discover or rediscover the history behind one of the most important bands to be celebrated for their message and their music. $35. www.jazzalley.com.
Through Feb. 6 Children’s Film Festival Seattle, 515 12th Avenue Seattle. Designed for kids but
suitable for adults, the largest international festival of its kind in the Pacific Northwest features more than 100 films from 25 countries, live performances, animation, features, shorts, historical films and hands-on workshops, all intended to inspire the next generation of movie lovers. www.nwfilmforum.org.
Feb. 4 Bagpipe Concert, Benaroya Hall. Get down Scottish style with an exciting night of music and dance propelled by bagpipes, drums and fiddles. This event doubles as a prime opportunity to wear a kilt in public and go completely unnoticed. Admission $21-41. www.seattlesymphony.org.
Feb. 27 Live coverage of scheduled launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-134, 9404 East Marginal Way South Seattle. Witness the last scheduled launch in the NASA’s Space Shuttle Program at 12:38 pm PST. Departure time subject to change or delays. $15 adults, $13 seniors, $8 youth. www.museumofflight.org.
Mar. 3 Poverty Bay Wine Festival, 23660 Marine View Drive. Immerse yourself in a beautiful Northwest scene with live jazz music, delicious food and tastings from 20-plus Washington State wineries. All proceeds from the event will be used to fund charitable projects and activities of the Des Moines Rotary Club.
Mar. 4-6 The Emerald City Comicon, 800 Convention Place, Seattle 98101. Join an expected mass of 25,000 fellow nerds as they flood Seattle for the Northwest’s premier comic book and pop culture convention. Attractions include comic books, animation, gaming, science fiction, fantasy and the privilege of being amongst people who understand the joys of spandex customization. Admission $15-$45. www.emeraldcitycomicon.com.
Apr. 1-2 Hop Scotch Spring Beer and Scotch Festival, Fremont Studios. The name is clever, but the real draw is the tasting of fine scotches, wines and spirits in benefit of the Seattle International Film Festival. Fremont Studios will be transformed to a classy lounge fit for sipping over 80 drinks… types of drinks that is, emphasis on the sipping. Admission $15-$35. www.hopscotchtasting.com.
Second and fourth Sundays througPh Jun. 26 Curious Stand-Up Showcase and Open Mic, Curious Comedy Theater. Enjoy free comedy from Portland’s best professional gut-busters before being treated to an always exciting bout of amateur three minute sets. Sign ups start at 8:30 p.m. Show starts at 9, hosted by the delightful Virginia Jones. 5225 NE ML King Blvd, Portland.
Jan. 21-23 ChocolateFest, Oregon Convention Center. It’s not hard to love chocolate, nor is it to attend the 6th annual fest of chocolate here, which features some of the most delicious chocolates from the Northwest and around the world. Prepare for chocolate and wine pairings, educational presentations, demonstrations, and more chocolate! Tickets $7-$10. (800) 791-2250.
Jan. 28-29 Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show, The Oregon Garden. Quilt enthusiasts shouldn’t pass up opportunities to attend quilt shows, especially not the fourth-annual Stitches in Bloom. A $10 ticket includes daily lectures by renowned quilting artisans, as well as entrance to the beautiful Oregon Garden. www.oregongarden.org or (503) 874-8100.
Feb. 4-5 Portland Seafood and Wine Festival, Oregon Convention Center. Who says Washington has the best seafood in the Northwest? Celebrate Oregon via its delectable seafood and wines during the heart of Dungeness crab season, not on a frigid winter beach, but in a climate- controlled facility with over 98,000 square feet of exhibit space, food, drink and live music. (800) 791-2250.
Feb. 10-26 Portland International Film Festival, Portland Art Museum and The Whitsell
Auditorium. In its 34th year, over 35,000 people will attend Oregon’s biggest film event with premieres of over 100 international shorts and feature films, parties, visiting artists and a plethora of excited film-lovers. (503) 226-2811.
Mar. 25-Apr. 1 26th annual Tulip Fest, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. Round up the family and explore over 40 acres of tulips and daffodils during their blooming season. Other daily activities designed to further delight adults and children alike are planned. Check the “Schedule of Events” for a detailed list of daily and weekend activities. (503) 634-2243. Tickets $5-$10.
Apr. 9-10 North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend. Just outside of Portland, you’ll find 21 neighboring wineries, enough to keep the average person absorbed in a weekend of wine, delicious food, education and excitement! Guests receive complimentary wine tastings, food, entertainment and activities that vary between each winery. Experience new releases, reserve labels and barrel tastings with specially paired foods and desserts. www.northwillamettewinters.org.
Jan. 28 Micro Brew Review and Cool Dog Ball, Helena Civic Ballroom. The annual event is limited to the first 1,500 participants. Attendees will be treated to more than 30 of the finest micro-beers from Montana and the Northwest, including Brew Review, Blackfoot River Brewing, Lewis & Clark Brewery, Big Sky, Bayern, Bitterfoot Brewing, Harvest Moon and Lang. Appetizers and entrees will add to the atmosphere along with the dance music of Big Mumbo Blues Band. Tickets are available at Bert & Ernie’s, Topper’s Market, The Overland Express, Staggering Ox and the Downtown Helena Office. (406) 447-1535.
Jan. 29 Moonlight Poker Run, Lincoln. Ride by night, leaving the clubhouse between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to explore 250 miles of groomed trails under a full moon. Prizes awarded at 10 p.m. Door prizes, food and fun are also on the docket. (406) 362-3334.
Feb. 5 Chinese New Year Parade, Butte. Nothing says Montana like a Chinese New Year Parade. Head to Butte where the parade begins at the Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse at 3 p.m., and follow the fun through streets with noisemakers and firecrackers, led by Montana’s parade dragon (a gift from the people of Taipei). The procession concludes at the Wah Museum after the lighting of more than 10,000 firecrackers. (406) 723-3231.
Feb. 11-16 Race to the Sky Sled Dog Race, Helena. This 350-mile qualifying race for the Alaskan Iditarod begins at Camp Rimini and passes through various checkpoints over the better portion of a week before crossing the finish line near Lincoln. Spectators will have the opportunity to bid on a sled ride with one of the competitors where they’ll experience the thrill of yelling “Mush!” (406) 881-3647.
Feb. 19-20 Virginia City Winterfest. Small-town winter fun doesn’t get much better than this: broomball tournament at city park as the main event, two-man log-sawing contest, kids’ sledding and snowmobiling activities and much more. Call (406) 843-5346 or 843-5405 to register your broomball team and ask questions. www.virginiacity.com.
Mar. 12 Annual St. Patrick’s Race, Anaconda. Held the Saturday before St. Paddy’s Day, the 30th annual race features 3- or 6-mile fast downhill courses. Buses depart the Locker Room Bar at 10 a.m. to transport competitors to the starting line. Drinks and food available but may be enjoyed more thoroughly after completion of a race. $15 pre-registration entry fee includes a T-shirt, $20 the day of the race. www.anacondaaoh.com or (406) 560-0171.
Mar. 16-17 St. Patrick’s Day Events, Butte. Butte offers the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s Banquet and the crowning of St. Urho, mass at St. Patrick’s church with the Ancient Order of Hibernians, festivities, and even a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (406) 723-3177.
Mar. 19 Montana Snow Rodeo, Marysville. “Normal” rodeos are entertaining enough, add snow and try not to fall out of your seat as PRCA, NRA and EPB Cowboys and Cowgirls participate in hilarious rodeo events on skis and snowboards. BBQ and a live country band will be located on the deck. www.skigd.com or (406) 449-3746.
Apr. 2-3 Montana Park Riders Roundup, Marysville. Lovers of terrain park skiing should be quivering in their boots as this championship event brings riders from all over Montana and beyond to compete in Slopestyle, Rail Jam, Big Air and X Course events. Montana’s top Park Rider will be awarded $1,000 with plenty of prizes and gifts given over the weekend. The fun starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. daily. Live music keeps things grooving on the deck in the afternoons. (406) 449-3746.
April 9 27th annual Spring & Craft Show, Helena. Approaching its 30th year, the show features 80 Montana juried artists and craftsmen from the Northwest. Shop to your heart’s desire with handmade items for the home and garden. $2, children under 10 are free. (406) 449-7801.
Ongoing, Chemanius Festival of Murals. Each year, thousands of visitors from around the world travel to Chemainus to absorb the famous professional murals that illustrate the village’s rich history. The community itself is a year-round event with 41 outdoor murals, carvings and statues, all of which are integrated into the artistic spirit of the area. www.muraltown.com/.
Feb. 4-13 Victoria Film Festival. Vancouver Island’s biggest and longest running film festival includes screenings of 160 films at four downtown venues with discussions, music, exhibitions, special guests and “innovative events for total immersion.” Immerse yourself in films of every variety, all in an area that would be worth visiting even if it didn’t have so much as a Blockbuster. http:/victoriafilmfestival.com/.
Feb. 12-13 Victoria Tea Festival. If you don’t like tea, perhaps you’re not drinking it correctly. Try an “educational and interactive tea experience” that delves into the traditions and trends of tea. The event also features tea tastings, tea-food selections, complimentary presentations on tea topics, purchase opportunities with hundreds of teas, tea-related products and tea wares. Proceeds will help support Camosun College Child Care Services. www.victoriateafestival.com.
Mar. 2-6 Be a Tourist in your Hometown in Victoria. Whether Victoria is your hometown or not, it’s worth exploring, with free admissions, special offers and discounts to the area’s best-known attractions, including restaurants, tours, whale watching and retail locations. Tickets can be purchased through Tourism Victoria’s Visitor Centre by calling 250-953-2033 or in person at 812 Wharf Street. www.victorialodging.com.
Apr. 16-17 Milner Gardens 10th annual Spring Plant Sale, Qualicum Beach. Get ready for spring with a wonderful selection of plants grown in Milner’s heritage garden. Master gardeners will be on hand, and happy to answer all of your plant questions. Outdoor refreshments available and the Tea Room will be open 10-4. 2179 West Island Highway, Qualicum Beach. 250-752-6153 or www.milnergardens.org.