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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokatopia scheduled for September after year’s absence

After a year’s mandatory absence, one of Spokane’s premier outdoor festivals is back.

Spokatopia, which is normally held in July, will take place on Sept. 18, event organizer Derrick Knowles said.

“We were advised that was our best chance of having a somewhat normal event,” Knowles said, referencing the pandemic.

The later date isn’t the only concession to COVID-19. Bike demos, a staple of the event, will be limited and Spokatopia, which moved to two days in 2019, will go back to a single day in 2021.

“Because of bike shortages in the industry, that’s not going to happen his year,” Knowles said. “There might be some bike demos this year but super limited, if any.”

Otherwise, Knowles is hopeful the event is as normal as possible; 2020 would have been the event’s sixth year. The event has grown steadily, with roughly 4,000 attending in 2019. Knowles said they plan to return to two days in 2022.

In the past, the event has introduced people to different types of outdoor recreation while also teaching them outdoor skills and showing off the newest gear. For beginners, it’s a cheap and easy way to dip their toes into the outdoor recreation waters. For more experienced outdoor recreationists, it’s a fun community event.

That will continue this year, with demos, camping and outdoor clinics. A shuttle to the top of Camp Sekani’s mountain bike trails will also be available.

Although the exact details aren’t nailed down and are somewhat COVID-19 dependent, here is what Knowles hopes to offer :

  • Live music
  • Outdoor vendors
  • Mountain bike jump show
  • A slow biking race
  • “Big kids, tiny bike:” an adult bike race on children’s bikes
  • Slacklining and bouldering
  • Mountain biking and other outdoor skills clinics
  • A yoga-for-everyone class
  • Contests, competitions, giveaways
  • Kids’ games and activities
  • Paddleboard demos (may be limited, depending on supply)
  • Access to Bikes & Brews Garden, a fundraiser for Evergreen East Mountain Bike Alliance

“I think that audience will really grow this year,” Knowles said.