Summer in Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls

Wave-riding, bull-riding and a whole lot of theater around the Lake City.



Kids are absolutely going to love this. The serenity of Idaho’s tranquil waters is soon to be interrupted by a band of swashbuckling salty sea dogs, as the Pirates of the Caribbean culture craze spreads from the high seas of Hollywood to the forested shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

“The resort has been doing scenic lake cruises for years, so this year they decided it would be fun to try out a Pirate-Themed Summer Cruise,” says Jillian Kramer, production director (and Director of Entertainment at the Lake City Playhouse).

This isn’t your average troupe of circus-sideshow wannabees — more than 60 actors auditioned, Kramer says.

The live storyline features Calico Jack, the Jolly Roger’s scurvy-faced captain, who malevolently snatches the beautiful damsel (Lady Killigrew) as his prisoner, drags her away to the foreboding Kidd Island and (gasp!) tries to marry her — against her will!

The actors aren’t the only ones pimped out in pirate garb, either. The resort is taking a standard cruise boat and scalawag-ifying the whole thing by wrapping it in vinyl, so the body appears to have wood siding. They’re also constructing a mast and a crow’s nest.

“If these prove to be successful, in the future [the resort] will build a separate boat that’s very unique,” says Kramer.

Coeur d’Alene’s very own pirate ship??!! Yaarr.

“The actors are trained to entertain children, but also to educate them and teach them what it takes to become a pirate,” she says. “It’s going to be really fun and interactive for them.”

We don’t want to give away too much, but there’s a sword fight, stolen treasure and a culminating attack scenario involving more than one ship. There’s also face painting, jaunty jigs and convivial singing.

The cruises run twice daily from 1-2:30 pm and 3:30-5 pm, seven days a week, July 1-Aug. 31. Cost for adults is $29; kids (ages 6-12) $19; ages 5 and under are free. Call (208) 765-4000 or visit


Native Immersion

Yes, it’s hard to pronounce, but it’s a great chance to tap into the region’s Native American heritage in Post Falls, July 23-25, and see the fantastical flurry of feathers and indigenous dancing that is Julyamsh Coeur d’Alene Tribal Encampment and Powwow. Visit for details and visitor’s etiquette.


Wave Riders

The synthetic surf wave inside Silver Rapids Indoor Water Park at Silver Mountain in Kellog is a perfect, continuous barrel, just like the one in Endless Summer — only surfers don’t have to travel to Africa to find it. Some serious competitors are gathering here on June 26 to shred it out and strut their stuff at Surf Idaho Pro-Am. Come, enjoy the water park, watch the competition and be entertained. Call (866) 344-2675.


Giddy Up!

rodeo.jpgFrom humble beginnings in the early 1920s, the five-day North Idaho Fair and Rodeo has grown into a full-scale community extravaganza. The demolition derby is always a riot, especially if you like watching fearless knuckleheads crash into each other like there’s no tomorrow. There’s three different rodeos, exhibits, live performances, motocross, a world of reptiles and tons more. The fair runs Aug. 25-29; visit


Wooden Boats

What’s quainter than a wooden boat? The Coeur d’Alene Wooden Boat Festival is a popular summer event in its 25th year, scheduled for the weekend of August 21-22. Held on the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s boardwalk marina, the show spotlights a lovely display of one-of-a-kind vessels constructed by master wooden boat craftsmen, along with food vendors and entertainment. Call (208) 415-0110, ext. 170.


Start Your Engines

For Cliff Fender, the annual revving of Car D’Lane has reminiscent stock value.

“I grew up in Coeur d’Alene, and as a teenager I cruised Sherman Avenue an awful lot, so getting involved in the show and cruise each year just brings back a lot of memories growing up,” says Fender, president of the North Idaho Classic Car Club.

Aside from the alluring parade of rare vehicles so well cared for they glisten like sticks of butter in the sun, Car D’Lane elicits a certain 1950s, American Graffitti-esque nostalgia of the good ol’ days, where a Friday night was largely centered around driving — to see, be seen and show off your ride.

From a 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr to a 1938 Plymouth Airflow, star appearances are varied and unpredictable every year. “The cruise is the big thing; that’s what people really remember and come here for,” says Caren Easterly, the car club’s secretary. “It’s huge — the whole town turns out, there’s people lined up on the streets and there’s lots of enthusiasm.”

The actual cruise is held Friday, June 18, from 6-10 pm, with the announcers setting up on Fifth Street and narrating as the cars drive past. The car show is on Saturday, June 19, from 8 am-4 pm, followed by a street dance and a Beatles tribute band, 7-10 pm on Sixth and Sherman. Visit


Life is a Stage

Idaho comes alive with theatrics during the warm months, and leading the pack is ROCKN’ B RANCH, opening its barn doors for a 16th season Friday, June 11. This is Eastern Washington’s only cowboy supper show (out of how many in the United States, we’re not sure, but that’s beside the point), and this year they’re showcasing a freshly re-written stage script that celebrates cowboy western movies, followed by the traditional gourmet BBQ dinner. Also new this year — here’s a cultural juxtaposition for you — Spaghetti Western Wednesdays. Yee Haw. Visit


Don’t miss 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at CdA Summer Theatre. [Photo: Young Kwak]

Also heading into full swing is the COEUR D’ALENE SUMMER THEATRE, whose lineup includes 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Pump Boys & Dinettes, the ever-popular Hairspray, and Cinderella (featuring Ellen Travolta as the step mother, and Annie and Margaret Travolta as the two stepsisters). Visit

The IDAHO REPERTORY THEATRE is partnering with CdA Summer Theater in the Spelling Bee production and is putting on three other productions of its own at the University of Idaho: You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Dining Room and As You Like It. The season begins June 28 and runs until Aug. 1; visit

The whimsically catawampus SIXTH STREET MELODRAMA in Kellogg has two shows lined up for the summer season, including D.K. Molar, The Devious Dentist, or…There’s Gold in Them Thar Teeth and Mezmerizing Merry, or…Thanks for the…Uh, Memories. Visit


Making the Perfect Weekend

If you live in Spokane, you already know that Coeur d’Alene is the designated default spot to peace out for a day.

Consider scoping for a good deal on a room at the Resort, or just head East for a mini-day trip on the weekend of July 30-Aug. 1, when the yearly COEUR D’ALENE DOWNTOWN STREET FAIR will beckon like a picnic of merchandise eye candy. It doesn’t matter if you like shopping or not — with over 250 vendors peddling everything from plants to pottery to paintings — a purchase of some sort is inevitable.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, stroll over to the Coeur d’Alene City Park, where TASTE OF THE COEUR D’ALENES will be waiting with 25 different booths to tempt your taste buds into gastronomic bliss. Remember that scene in Charlotte’s Web, where Templeton goes to the fair and eats himself into oblivion? It’ll be something like that.

When you’re too full to walk, a free shuttle can take you to ART ON THE GREEN at the old Fort Sherman Grounds on the North Idaho College Campus. Here you can peruse handcrafted thingamabobs in mediums like glass, clay, leather, wood, metal and fiber and have a chance to chat with the artists who made them.


City Slickers

Only 20 minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene, RIDER RANCH could be a nice day outing for a group of friends or a family on vacation. Choose from a short ride into exquisite mountain scenery, or an evening ride with dinner included. Visit


Notes from the Underground

People who enjoy learning should check out the Sierra Silver Mine Tour, which takes visitors through a century-old mine in Wallace — a town so historical, the whole thing got put on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit And this summer, they’ll be adding tours of the famous sites of the Great Fire of 1910, which happened a century ago, if you do the math.



Located directly on City Beach Dock at Independence Point, COEUR D’ALENE PARASAIL AND WATERSPORTS is a seasonal outfitter — so seize the opportunity before winter rolls around again, because you can’t parasail over ice. This is also the spot to rent canoes, paddleboats and those goofy-looking aqua cycles. Visit


Sunday Brunch

Why not? Take a break from cereal and treat yourself to a buffet-on-a-boat, with a moving panoramic view of the Coeur d’Alene Lake as your kitchen window. It’s the most beautiful breakfast you’ll ever have on the go. Visit /


Hiawatha Trail


This breathtaking ride across a scenic stretch of well-maintained bike route winds through 10 tunnels and seven high trestles across the Bitterroot Mountains. It’s inarguably one of North Idaho’s top outdoor-siest things to do. Visit

summerguideinsidesmangle.gifSummer Guide 2010

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READ THE E-VERSION Stories Calendar listings

Metaline Falls Bigfoot Festival @ Metaline Falls

Sat., June 19, 9 a.m.
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About The Author

Blair Tellers

Blair Tellers is a freelance writer and a former Inlander intern.