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

Valleyfest returns after pandemic hiatus: ‘It’s a family reunion’

Ephrum Larson works to set up the Rusted Birds’ vendor booth, selling metal stenciled silhouettes of birds and wildlife created by Vancouver artist, Jay Crowdus, in preparation for Valleyfest on Friday afternoon at Mirabeau Point Park in Spokane Valley.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Valleyfest is back – a prospect so exciting to organizers that this year’s volunteer T-shirts say “Welcome” in multiple languages on the front and “Welcome back” on the back side.

The event was turned into a virtual event in 2020 and canceled in 2021, but is back in full force this year. The 33rd annual Valleyfest will once again fill Mirabeau Point Park and the CenterPlace lawn with favorite events like the pancake breakfast, car show, live music, food, a beer garden and vendor booths.

Valleyfest Executive Director Peggy Doering said it’s good to see many of the regular vendors returning this year.

“It’s a family reunion,” she said. “It’s just really exciting. It’s a good feeling.”

While many popular events are returning, there are some changes. Totfest is not happening this year, nor is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day. But there is a new Multicultural Festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, that will feature entertainment representing cultures from all over the world, including Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese.

“We sold out of booths in the park,” she said. “We have a very robust event with new activities.”

Art has been added to the STEM showcase on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at CenterPlace, making it now the STEAM showcase. It features hands-on activities for kids, including a chalk art competition and 3D printing with chocolate.

“We have so many fun things,” Doering said.

Vendor booths will be open in Mirabeau Point Park, 13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. There will be live music and entertainment on multiple stages both days. Performers include Nu Jack City, Fleetwood Max, the Grand Avenue Band, Triple Threat and the Luke Jaxon Band.

The pancake breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday in the CenterPlace Great Room. The cost for the meal is $7 for those 7 and up and $6 for children ages 3-6. The proceeds will benefit the Valleyfest Children’s Foundation.

The car show will be at CenterPlace from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Spokane Astronomical Society will be in the park with telescopes from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and again from sunset to 10 p.m. Saturday so people can look at sunspots and the stars. Fishing at the Falls, a popular event with kids under 14, will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. All fish caught will be donated to the Union Gospel Mission.

Saturday will close with the Swinging in the Valley dance competition for all levels and abilities from 5 to 10 p.m. at CenterPlace. It will kick off with a parent-child dance from 5 to 6 p.m.

Sunday is devoted to sports and includes a 5K or 10K run, a bike and run duathlon and a boat-bike-run triathlon. Full details, including the cost, are available at Late registration is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Fleet Feet, 13910 E. Indiana Ave. Registration will not be available on the day of the event.

Those used to seeing dogs in the park on the final day of the event won’t be disappointed. The Disc Dogs will do a demonstration at 1 p.m. Sunday in the park.

Parking will be available at CenterPlace and at the Spokane Valley Mall, where a free STA shuttle bus will pick up people on Indiana Avenue near Red Robin and take them to CenterPlace and Mirabeau Point Park. The shuttle will run on Saturday only from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional free parking is available in the Pinecroft Business Park just west of Mirabeau Point Park.

A full schedule of events, musical performances and entertainment is online at