Valleyfest begins Friday night with a bed race and a parade on Sprague Avenue.
It continues Saturday and Sunday with dozens of community events, a family bicycle ride and a lineup of music on three stages spanning from Caribbean steel drummers to the Central Valley Strings Orchestra to headliner Men in the Making – replacing Peter Rivera who canceled for health reasons.
“And it’s free,” said Peggy Doering, the executive director of Valleyfest. “These are performers that you’d have to pay to see at other venues.”
It’s the 26th year of Valleyfest and Doering said the weekend draws nearly 30,000 people.
Friday evening, more than 10,000 people are expected to come out for the Hearts of Gold Parade at 7:30 p.m.
This is the first year of Valleyfest royalty.
Mariah Reneau is Miss Spokane Valley 2015 and Sarah Fotheringham and Krystian Young are her court.
The three will be riding in the parade, alongside marching bands and floats built by community groups and schools.
Students from Spokane Valley High School are practicing a dance routine based on Riker Lynch and Allison Holker’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” performance on “Dancing with the Stars” – yes, they have a cannon, too.
“We are the drama class so it has to be spectacular and entertaining,” said Lauren Gunning, 14.
Spencer Mors, 17, is also part of the dance routine. Both are a little nervous about people watching them dance while they move forward with the parade.
“I keep telling myself it’s just like being on a moving stage,” Mors said. “It will be fun.”
Among the many different activities and more than 200 vendors, outdoor retailer Cabela’s stocked fish pond is a hit every year.
“I just love seeing the kids hold up the fish,” Doering said.
A new addition to Valleyfest is Valley Ale Fest on Saturday.
Local breweries Hopped Up and English Setter have partnered to show off their products.
“They have really gotten into it and are having a lot of fun with it,” Doering said. “They even built a float and are going to be in the parade.”
All the fun is organized by volunteers and Doering said it’s impossible to get a head count because the 65 participating nonprofit organizations bring their own staff and volunteers.
“The organizations work together,” Doering said, “it’s all a great collaboration.”
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