Since its 1979 debut, Pig Out in the Park has been a great place to sample a variety of food.
After all, you can find everything from deep-fried lasagna and elk burgers to chana masala and chocolate covered cheesecake at Pig Out, Aug. 29 through Sept. 3.
But it’s also an effortless way to sample a variety of music.
Every year, organizers bring an assortment of local, regional and national acts to three stages in Riverfront Park. All concerts are free and open to the public.
This year’s headliners alone bring a lot of diversity to the festival.
Heartland rockers BoDeans, of “Closer to Free” fame, will headline the Lilac Bowl stage on Aug. 31.
Last year, the seven-piece, fronted by original vocalist/guitarist Kurt Neumann, released its 13th studio album, the aptly titled “Thirteen.”
And though the band had planned to release a new album in spring of 2019, demand for the music the band has contributed to the Netflix series “The Ranch” was so high, BoDeans released “Prayer for the Weary,” a five-song EP, in June.
Alt-rock band Dishwalla, best known for the single “Counting Blue Cars,” will headline the Lilac Bowl stage on Sept. 1.
Dishwalla were alt-rock radio staples for more than a decade before deciding to take a break in 2005.
Three years later, the band reunited, albeit with a different sound thanks to new lead singer Justin Fox.
With Fox at the helm, the band released “Juniper Road,” its first album in 12 years, in 2017.
Hip-hop duo Kid ‘n Play, known as much for its music as its work on screen, will handle headlining duties on the Lilac Bowl Stage on Sept. 2.
While releasing chart-topping hits like “Rollin’ with Kid ‘n Play” “Funhouse” and “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody,” Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin somehow found time to star in four “House Party” films and “Class Act.”
In more recent years, the pair has continued to both act and perform, including a spot on the “I Love the ’90s” tour earlier this year.
But the headliners aren’t the only acts worth checking out, not by a long shot.
On Thursday at 8 p.m., Lilac City Live, Spokane’s late night talk show, will move from the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library to the Ice Ribbon Stage.
This show features Pig Out founder Bill Burke, film critic Nathan Weinbender and the bands Atari Ferrari and Midnight Goats.
The 5-Man Trio from America’s First Corp. Band takes the Clocktower State on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Members of the group are all stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord and often perform for groups in pre-kindergarten through college as well as at the Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival.
Bassist Steve Fossen and drummer Michael DeRosier will perform classic Heart songs as Heart by Heart on the Lilac Stage at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
On Aug. 31, Nightlife Northwest’s Songsmith Series brings nearly two dozen artists, including Ian Nixon (1:40 p.m.), Emily Rose (5 p.m.), Ron Greene (5:50 p.m.), Ashley Pyle (7:30 p.m.) and Elephant Gun Riot (9:35 p.m.), to the Ice Ribbon Stage.
Blake Braley, winner of the 2018 Bartlett Award for Best New Band, will also take the stage Aug. 31.
The soul quintet performs at 7 p.m. on the Lilac Stage.
Portland blues icon Curtis Salgado, who won the Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year at this year’s Blues Music Awards, will perform on the Clocktower State at 9 p.m. on Aug. 31.
Salgado released an acoustic album called “Rough Cut” earlier this year.
If you’re in the mood for tribute acts, check out the Clocktower Stage on Sept. 1, when both Rave Up, a tribute to the Yardbirds, and Petty Fever, a tribute to Tom Petty, perform at 7 and 8:45 p.m., respectively.
Spokane staple Master Class Big Band, which pairs high school student musicians and singers with veteran performers, takes over the Clocktower Stage at noon on Sept. 2.
The Pages of Harmony chorus and quartets will perform on the Ice Ribbon Stage at noon on Sept. 3, and soul singer Desja Eagle Tail, winner of the 2015 Native Musician of Montana Award, will perform at 5 p.m. Sept. 3 on the Clocktower Stage.
Clearly, we could go on. But whether you end up watching an old favorite or discovering a new one, the beauty of Pig Out in the Park is that there’s no right answer.
Listen, and eat, to your heart’s content, no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Here’s the complete Pig Out in the Park entertainment schedule:
Aug. 29: Kicho (noon), Ron Greene (2:30 p.m.), Kari Marguerite and Friends (5:30 p.m.) and Bryan Warhall (7:15 p.m.)
Aug. 30: Buzz Vineyard (noon), Steven King (1:30 p.m.), Blue Canoe/Starlite Motel (4 p.m.), Isaac Walton (6:30 p.m.) and Lilac City Live (8 p.m.)
Aug. 31: Tessa Guthrie (noon) and Nightlife Network Northwest’s Songsmith Series (1:15 p.m.)
Sept. 1: Donnie Emerson and Nancy Sophia Band (noon), Casey Ryan (2:15 p.m.), Bob Weisbeck (4:30 p.m.), Doghouse Boyz (6 p.m.) and Five Letter Word (8:30 p.m.)
Sept. 2: Maxie Rays Mills and Steve Sacket (noon), Top Flite (2:30 p.m.), Just Plain Darin (4 p.m.), Fort Vine (6:30 p.m.) and Justin James Band (8:30 p.m.)
Sept. 3: Pages of Harmony (noon), Schauer with Friends (1:30 p.m.), Barking Katz (4:30 p.m.) and Wyatt Wood (7 p.m.)
Aug. 29: Flight Risk (noon), 3D (3 p.m.), B-Radicals (6 p.m.) and Sovereign Citizen and the Non-Prophets (8 p.m.)
Aug. 30: Sidetrack (noon), Sidemen (2:30 p.m.), the 5 Man Trio from America’s First Corp. Band (4:30 p.m.), Trego (6:30 p.m.) and Dead Winter Carpenters (8:30 p.m.)
Aug. 31: DBC Band (noon), Jan Harrison (2:30 p.m.), Atomic Jive (5 p.m.), Anita Royce and High Rollers (7 p.m.) and Curtis Salgado Band (9 p.m.)
Sept. 1: The Stepbrothers (noon), Buffalo Jones (3 p.m.), Lethal Brothers (5 p.m.), Rave (Yardbirds tribute) (7 p.m.) and Petty Fever (Tom Petty tribute) (8:45 p.m.)
Sept. 2: Master Class Big Band Rhythm and Blues Revue (noon), Milonga (3:30 p.m.), Idle Poets (6 p.m.) and Too Slim and the Taildraggers (8:30 p.m.)
Sept. 3: Jazz Northwest Big Band (noon), Trailer Park Girls (2:30 p.m.), Desja Eagle Tail (5 p.m.) and Mojo Box (7:30 p.m.)
Lilac Bowl Stage
Aug. 30: The Redneck Bees (6:30 p.m.) and Heart by Heart (8:30 p.m.)
Aug. 31: Tolan Shaw (5 p.m.), Blake Braley (7 p.m.) and BoDeans (9 p.m.)
Sept. 1: Dimestore Prophets (6:30 p.m.) and Dishwalla (8:45 p.m.)
Sept. 2: Cordell Drake and Mista Snipe (7 p.m.) and Kid ‘n Play (9 p.m.).