Garland Street Fair features contests, music and little dogs, too

On Saturday, the Garland District is putting on its 10th Garland Street Fair. Sure, it’s a tribute to Judy Garland and “The Wizard of Oz,” but it’s also a day full of kids activities and live music, food and local vendors.

“We are expecting around 20,000 people to come up here,” said fair director Amy Cutler. “Something new this year is the block party that picks up when the street fair is over and runs through 10 p.m.”

But first things first: true to tradition there’s a Toto look-alike contest that starts with all participating dogs registering at 10:30 a.m. at Bark and Snip, 626 W. Garland Ave.

“When they are all registered they will do a dog parade down to the main stage,” said Cutler, and that’s where the winner will be picked.

At 1:30 p.m. there will be a Dorothy (Judy Garland) impersonation contest, where contestants sing parts of “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.” Participants must register at the main information booth at Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle, 802 W. Garland Ave.

“Our businesses have donated more than $1,000 worth of prizes and goodies for the winners,” Cutler said.

Garland Avenue between Monroe and Howard streets will be closed to vehicle traffic from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.

“Post and Wall are the two streets that come up and end at the barricades,” Cutler said. “We are really encouraging people to stay away from that area. Park a little farther out and walk, or ride your bike instead.”

During the street fair there will be live music and entertainment on the stage, with new performers hitting the stage every half hour, including a Discovery Shop fashion show at 1:15 p.m.

All day long there will be children’s activities and games in the area just off Post Street. Tickets for the children’s activities can be purchased at the information booth.

“We give the proceeds to the Spokane Guilds’ School,” said Cutler, adding that the street fair would not be possible without an army of volunteers.

“A group of 80 volunteers from Garland Church set up traffic barricades and booths with awnings, tables and chairs,” Cutler said. “They also keep the eating area clean and do many of the kids games.”

Meals on Wheels will take care of trash and recycling during the day, and Living Water will supply misters near the stage to keep visitors cool in the expected heat.

“During the day it’s very family friendly,” said Cutler. “The following block party is aimed more at the 20- and 30-year-olds.”

Cutler said the idea for the block party came about because they already paid a lot of money to close the street for the day, so it made sense to try something new.

The block party will be on the west end at the Garland Theater, and it will feature live music, break dancers, a DJ and a fashion show by Runway Renegades featuring locally designed clothes and accessories. There also will be a beer garden near the Garland Theater.

“It’s just a fun event,” Cutler said. “My favorite thing is when you walk down Garland in the middle of everything and you get this old-fashioned feeling, like you stepped back in time, and it’s just fun.”

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