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Monday, December 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Valleyfest set to soar

Hot air balloon to launch 3-day event

Spokane Valley High School students, from left, Jordan Colkitt, Alysa Rosman and Jadin Wilbur, all 14, have been working on a float for the Valleyfest Hearts of Gold Parade Sept. 19. The float will be on a trailer and features a giant phoenix with fake flames. (Colin Mulvany)
Spokane Valley High School students, from left, Jordan Colkitt, Alysa Rosman and Jadin Wilbur, all 14, have been working on a float for the Valleyfest Hearts of Gold Parade Sept. 19. The float will be on a trailer and features a giant phoenix with fake flames. (Colin Mulvany)

Valleyfest celebrates its Silver Jubilee this weekend.

Among those participating in the festivities: Students at Spokane Valley High School. They’re building a float for the Hearts of Gold parade of their school mascot, the Phoenix.

The project is part of the school’s team-building activities, and a week before the parade, the float still needed a lot of work. Its head hadn’t been attached and large patches of cardboard were still waiting for coverings.

“We will be finished by Friday,” art and English teacher Joni Chambers said.

The parade Friday will help kick off three days of festivities, including hot-air balloons, a car show, a pancake breakfast, robotics demonstrations, music and activities for the whole family at Mirabeau Point Park and CenterPlace Regional Event Center.

The first Valleyfest was held at Terrace View Park in 1990 – before Spokane Valley incorporated – and the only requirement of the vendors was to have a free activity available for kids. That requirement is still there today.

“Nonprofits wanted an opportunity to put services and people together,” said Peggy Doering, executive director of Valleyfest.

It started as a one-day event, and each year brings something new.

This year, attendees can visit the TapSnap Photo Booth to get their picture taken in front of a green screen and put any background they want behind them. The photos will be shareable on social media.

The car show is expanding, growing from about 100 cars to about 250 this year.

Friday night before the parade, there will be the Lion’s Club Bed Races. The clubs of Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley have partnered to organize these races.

Doering said there will be 21 teams on decorated carts that look like beds. One member of the team will ride on the bed in pajamas, while other team members push it down the course. While the bed turns around at the midpoint of the course, the team member on the bed gets up, gives their pajamas to another teammate who must put them on and hop back on the bed before it leaves for the finish line.

“We’re having a fantastic event this year,” Doering said.

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