Every summer, a trifecta of fun hits downtown Coeur d’Alene, bringing art, crafts, food and music – and the people who love those things – from around the region to the city.
This year, Art on the Green, Taste of Coeur d’Alene and the Downtown Street Fair take over the city Friday-Sunday.
A free shuttle will transport attendees between all three events, though walking from one event to another is also an option.
The Downtown Street Fair, now in its 26th year, takes over Sherman Avenue for the weekend with more than 250 vendors.
“There’s such a wide variety of vendors that there’s literally something that anyone can find that they want whether it’s cute boutique clothing or fun trinkets or wood carvings,” event coordinator Emily Boyd said.
Boyd said the event always features a mixture of new vendors and favorites that have been with the street fair since the very beginning.
“With old favorites, wood carvings and tie dye and statues are always popular,” she said. “We always have new creative people coming in, bringing art or signs or clothing that people like.”
The street fair is handicap- and stroller-friendly, and dogs are allowed (which is not the case with the other two festivals). There will also be food and daily entertainment.
At Taste of Coeur d’Alene, celebrating the big 3-0 this year, more than 100 food and craft vendors will gather in Coeur d’Alene City Park, joined by a beer garden featuring local microbrews, live music and free activities for children.
Foodies can snack on everything from Azar’s Cafe Express, JB’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Huli Huli Chicken to Malvagio’s Woodfired Pizza, Southern Roast Corn on the Cob and Eldon’s Italian Sausage, plus staples like Berry Ka Bob and Old Fashioned Kettle Corn Co.
Taste of Coeur d’Alene, organized by the Idaho Panhandle Kiwanis, also boasts of variety of craft booths: jewelry, garden and yard art, glass and ceramics, metalwork, mixed media, candles, painting, photography, soap and other body care, upcycled goods, wearable art and wood work.
The festival also features a jam-packed music lineup, hosted on the park’s Bandshell stage.
On Friday, attendees can listen to the Coeur d’Alene Youth Marimba band (11 a.m.), Bill Bozly (noon), Karrie O’Neill (2 p.m.), Royale (4:30 p.m.) and the Rub (6:16 p.m.).
On Saturday, Ren E and the Rhythm Section (11 a.m.), Jam Shack (1:30 p.m.), the Ron Greene Band (4 p.m.) and the Zach Cooper Band (6 p.m.) will perform.
No Going Back Band (11 a.m.), North Idaho Circle of Songs with Cristopher Lucas and Echo Elysium (1 p.m.), Casey Ryan (2:30 p.m.) and the Powers (4:15 p.m.) will close the festival Sunday.
In its 49th year, Art on the Green brings more than 190 artists in a variety of mediums, including cloth and fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal sculpture, painting, photography, pottery, printmaking and wood, to North Idaho College.
Artists showing at this year’s event include Missoula’s Mao Thao (hand-needle crafts, story cloths, handbags and cloth animals), Katy, Texas’s Linda Wagner (hand-crafted silver and bronze wax seal jewelry and gift items) and Syracuse, New York’s Charles Hicks (leather journals and bags).
Youth artists Tomas and Andres Henao (necklaces and bracelets), Sara Hoatson (custom, pens, pencils and fountain pens), Rena Rogers (jewelry) and Jakobe Aiken and Nate Kimberling (designed T-shirts and miscellaneous) will also have wares for sale.
This year’s event is really putting the “green” in Art on the Green as the festival rolls out a new recycling program.
“We’ve recycled for years, but we’ve only been able to recycle cans and bottles,” volunteer coordinator Jolie Bazler said. “This year, we’re trying to recycle as much as we’re throwing away.”
This year’s festival also features upcycling artists, including Portland’s Kate Carder, who creates skirts, shrugs, cowls, scarves and other accessories from upcycled clothing, and Helena’s Tom Lutsko, who creates handwoven rugs from recycled fabrics.
Art on the Green, which is organized by the Citizens’ Council for the Arts, also features music on two stages all weekend long (see factbox for more information). There will also be blacksmith demonstrations from Columbia Fire and Iron, and the huge sandcastle attendees have come to expect over the years.
Food booths at Art on the Green are run by volunteers and help pay for the free entertainment.
Attendees 21 and older with a valid photo ID can also enjoy “liquid art,” aka locally crafted beer, wine, hard cider and kombucha, at the beer and wine garden near the North Stage.
The beer and wine garden will be open noon-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Pets aren’t allowed at Art on the Green, but feel free to bring your bike. The festival has teamed up with the North Idaho Centennial Trail foundation to provide a free bicycle corral where riders can park and lock their bikes.
“We have such a wide array of people that love the festival…” Bazler said. “I think sometimes people think ‘Oh, North Idaho, it’s all going to be rustic,’ but there’s such a variety really, from elegant to campy to something you’d put on your cabin wall to something you’d put in a bank, so that’s really neat.”
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