click to enlarge FALL ARTS: Culture Events
Jay Pharoah takes the Spokane Comedy Club state Nov. 19-21.

Sept. 18
The best awards shows are the ones that feel like a party, a celebration of the honorees of course, but also just a good hang with cool people. The Spokane Arts Awards is just that each year, as the local arts organization recognizes local creatives in categories like leadership, collaboration, inclusion and imagination. This year's party, originally scheduled for Saturday, was shaping up to be a beauty before the stupid delta variant crept up and made an in-person throwdown seem like not such a great idea. But Spokane Arts is still celebrating all the nominees via short films at and posted on their various social media outlets. Go check them out and see how some of the community's most passionate artists and art lovers have contributed to the scene during these trying times. The winners will still be announced on September 18, but really, everyone nominated deserves a giant community "Thank you!" (DAN NAILEN)

Oct. 2
It's been far too long since Spokane's hockey fans have had a chance to pile into the Spokane Arena and watch some future NHL stars get after it on the ice. The Spokane Chiefs' league has taken a ton of precautions off the ice this season to make sure there's action on the ice all winter long, and hopefully there will be a full season of fun to follow this opening night showdown against Tri-City. Spokane Arena, individual tickets tbd, 7 pm (DN)

Oct. 2-3
Like so many annual events, Lilac City Comicon was canceled in 2020, but the celebration of all things sci-fi, cosplay, anime and more is back in full effect for 2021. This year's edition features visits from Jon Heder (yes, the Napoleon Dynamite) and Sean Gunn (Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and to some of us, forever Kirk from Gilmore Girls) as well as some legendary comic book artists like James O'Barr and Freddie Williams II. Spokane Convention Center, $5-$30, Oct. 2 10 am-6 pm, Oct. 3 10 am-4 pm (DN)

Nov. 6
If you're one of those folks who just couldn't get enough of the Tiger King saga when it blew up on Netflix — it's OK to admit it, you're in a safe space — you might have a hankering for an extra dose of the insanity. Comedian and podcast host Todd McComas is joined by series stars John Reinke, Joshua Dial, Barbara Fisher and more to talk about the show and screen behind-the-scenes clips that didn't make it into the show. First Interstate Center for the Arts, $25-$49, 7 pm (DN)

Nov. 13-14
Every year the Spokane Folklore Society pulls together a truly amazing event with the Spokane Fall Folk Festival. There are a lot of events trying to showcase the various cultures that make the Inland Northwest home, but none succeed quite like this one, where you can find all manner of performing arts. It's heavy on traditional music and dance, and it's pretty incredible what you can see and hear all in one spot over a couple days. Last year the festival was virtual, and it will be a joy seeing the cultural collaborations in person this fall. The Lair at Spokane Community College, free, Nov. 13 11 am-10 pm and Nov. 14 11 am-5 pm (DN)

Nov. 19
Hasan Minhaj, comedian and host and creator of the weekly comedy show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, is coming to Spokane for an evening of laughter at the First Interstate Center for the Arts with his new one-man show, The King's Jester. Minhaj's TV show explored the modern political and cultural landscape, and his standup gets a little more personal, as seen on several comedy specials on Netflix. He was also a correspondent on The Daily Show. The show will be a phone-free experience, so don't plan on any selfies with the star. First Interstate Center for the Arts, $39.50-$84.50, 8 pm (LP)

Nov. 19-21
Comedian Jay Pharoah has a way with voices, which helped make him the go-to guy during his Saturday Night Live years for impressions of everyone from Barack Obama to Kanye West to Denzel Washington. But he's also lent his skills to an array of animated shows, including Bojack Horseman and Family Guy, and showcased some dramatic acting chops on shows like Showtime's White Famous. As a standup, he's been hitting stages for years with a combination of characters and one-liners, and he's slated for five shows in Spokane sure to be among some of the best stand-up gigs of the year. Spokane Comedy Club, $25-$40, Nov. 19-21 at 7:30 pm, Nov. 19-20 at 10:30 pm (DN)

Nov. 23
It can be a dicey balancing act to veer between cooking show, stand-up comedy, science demonstrations and even music, but Alton Brown has managed to create one of the more unique careers in the foodie media universe. Besides hosting a seemingly endless array of TV shows, he also does live tours like this one, where he takes the stage to charm, educate and feed hungry audiences coast to coast. Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, $45-$125, 7:30 pm (DN)

Dec. 17
This long-delayed Spokane appearance by stand-up comic Jo Koy could be the perfect antidote to when you hit holiday overload. Since starting at open mics at coffee shops in his hometown of Las Vegas, Koy has built one of the more impressive resumes in modern comedy. After establishing himself in Vegas, he made his way to LA and became a regular panelist on Chelsea Lately, started a couple podcasts including the ongoing The Koy Pond, and has recorded standup specials for Comedy Central and Netflix, full of material touching on his family and American-Filipino heritage. First Interstate Center for the Arts, $40-$80, 8 pm (DN)♦

Deck The Falls Festival @ Cutter Theatre

Fri., Dec. 2, 5-7 p.m., Sat., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 4, 2-3 p.m.
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