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

Valleyfest celebrates its 34th year and the valley’s 20th birthday this weekend

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)

Valleyfest will be back this weekend for its 34th year in Spokane Valley, featuring a petting zoo, 10K and 5K runs and even aerial performers.

“This is our second year back from COVID, and we have lots of activities planned for everyone to participate in,” said Peggy Doering, Valleyfest’s executive director.

The event will kick off 7:30 p.m. Friday with the Hearts of Gold parade and will last through Sunday.

“We have floats and horses and vehicles and walkers and just a fun community parade,” Doering said. “We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the city of Spokane Valley, we’ve been incorporated now for 20 years, and the first City Council that started and the first mayor will be the grand marshals of the parade this year.”

Saturday will bring the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk, fishing at the falls and the STEAM showcase.

“This year, we are very fortunate that the Pacific Science Center is coming with exhibits on astronomy and planetariums,” Doering said.

Outside of CenterPlace Regional Event Center, the city’s 20th birthday celebration will take place Saturday, featuring cornhole with the cops, games and historical displays.

This year’s Valleyfest will fill Mirabeau Point Park with around 240 booths and live music including the Kevin Shay Band and the Nu Jack City band.

Admission, entertainment and activities for kids are free, Doering said, “but bring money because we have lots of vendors who want to sell you things.”

This year’s CultureFest will once again bring a variety of cultural music and dance, including from local Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities.

“We have a huge lineup of music,” Doering said.

Last year’s Valleyfest was estimated to have around 28,000 attendees. Previous years, before the pandemic, have brought even higher numbers. Doering is hopeful to reach that 28,000 again.

“We welcome everyone to come,” she said. “People come from all over.”

Roberta Simonson's reporting is part of the Teen Journalism Institute, funded by Bank of America with support from the Innovia Foundation.