Summer Stuff - Festivals

From accordions to powwows to Flag Day in Fairfield.


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. (BT)


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. (BT)


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 (BT)



Be a part of the first-ever annual STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL (June 12) at the Front Porch Farm in Colville, Wash., where you’ll get a tour of the garden and greenhouses and you’ll be treated to fresh strawberry shortcake, made by Chef Norman Six of nearby Lovitt restaurant. (JS)


Very Berry

Not keen on strawberries? Head to Whitefish, Mont., for the annual HUCKLEBERRY DAYS festival (Aug. 13-15), a three-day celebration of the grizzly’s favorite fruit. Includes over 130 booths of arts, crafts and food, plus a pie-eating contest, a street dance and a treasure hunt. (JS)


Flag Day


To most, Flag Day is little more than an obscure, slightly wonky national pseudo-holiday (it commemorates the official adoption of the stars and stripes). But not to the people of tiny FAIRFIELD, on the Palouse. Their three-day Flag Day celebration this year (June 11-13) doubles as the town’s centennial and includes high school anniversaries, an archery competition, a band concert, a grand parade, a six-mile Model A truck ride, a Civil War re-enactment and an “adult” dance (yowza!). So much Americana, so little time! (JS)


Wiener Dog Races

Yes, we’re serious. This will be the fourth time the entire frickin’ city of PENDLETON turns out to watch a pack of adorable, stubby-legged dachshunds race down Main Street. We are so there, on June 25. (JS)


International Accordion Celebration

accordion.jpgIf you, like us, love squeezeboxes of any kind, this is your festival. For three days, the vaguely Alpine tourist town of LEAVENWORTH will be alive with the sounds of accordion competitions, workshops, jams and demonstrations. If, on the other hand, there’s nothing you would hate more than being tormented by the sound of a thousand bleating reeds, by all means, stay as far away from central Washington as possible on the weekend of June 17-20. This is your personal Hell. (JS)


Lentil Festival

lentils.jpgLegume lovers, take heed! Pullman will hold the annual festival Aug. 20-22. The FRIDAY NIGHT STREET FAIR hosts free lentil chili, live entertainment, games and a microbrew-tasting tent featuring three local breweries. Saturday kicks off with a pancake feed and parade followed by lentil cook-offs, athletic competitions and more live entertainment. Adult- and family-friendly. Visit (JS)


August Love

sandpointfestival.jpgPurple mountains majesty in the distance. You, stretched on the blanket, your picnic basket full, your mind empty of worries. Lakeshore breezes whisper and cool as the band warms up. It’s FESTIVAL AT SANDPOINT (, tickets $5-$45). Boogie to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Aug. 5) or tap your toes to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Aug. 14). Groove to the bluesy reggae sounds of Michael Franti (Aug. 13). Or fall in love with someone new, like sultry Kristina Train, opening for Keb’ Mo’ (Aug. 7). It’s a family-friendly, funky mix of music, food and fun times. Ah, Sandpoint. (CS)


Art by Land

Although Pend Oreille Arts Council and participating businesses have art exhibits throughout the year, ARTWALK I (June 18-25) and II (July 25-Sept. 30) are the big art events in town. As arts enthusiasts know, the “opening” of an arts event is as much about socializing as it is about actually viewing the art.


We like to start our evening in the OLD POWER HOUSE where POAC is headquartered and hosts a group show (I is “Rescued & Redeemed,” II features “Art Aquatic”). From there, it’s up First Avenue and around to Redtail Gallery and the Granary, crisscrossing back with the occasional stop in between for additional refreshments. Favorites include Ivano’s patio in warm weather; Coldwater Creek’s wine bar, especially when they have live music, and either Eichardt’s or MickDuff’s (neither of which show art, but hey, they serve darn fine beer).

And if you happen to meet an artist with whom you’re intrigued or prefer more one-on-one time with, gas up the tank for the ARTISTS’ STUDIO TOUR (Aug. 13-15, 20-22). This self-guided driving tour routes you through 11 artists’ studios in town: a dozen at Schweitzer and thereabouts; five that make it worth the drive up to beautiful Hope, Idaho; and four more back down through Sagle and Garfield. Both arts-intensive events are free. Visit and (CS)



If you’re expecting historical re-enactments of what Spokane life was like before the arrival of European descendants, the SPOKANE FALLS NORTHWEST INDIAN ENCAMPMENT AND POWWOW’s not for you. Instead, the encampment is a celebration of now, and our region’s constant purpose to keep Native culture alive and surviving. Come to Riverfront Park Aug. 27-28 to witness the dancing, the drumbeats and the good neighborliness that is Spokane’s longest surviving way of life. (ND)

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READ THE E-VERSION Stories Calendar listings

Car d'Lane @ Downtown Coeur d'Alene

Fri., June 18 and Sat., June 19
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About The Authors

Jordy Byrd

Jordy Byrd is The Inlander's listings editor. Since 2009, she has covered the local music and arts scenes, cruising with taxis and canoodling with hippies. She is also a lazy cyclist, a die-hard rugby player and the Inlander's managing cat editor....

Nicholas Deshais

Nicholas Deshais is a former news editor and staff writer for The Inlander. He has reported on city, county and state politics, as well as medical marijuana, transportation and development. In May 2012, he was named as a finalist for the prestigious Livingston Award for an Inlander story about (now former) Assistant...

Joel Smith

Joel Smith is the media editor for The Inlander. In that position, he manages and directs and edits all copy for the website, the newspaper and all other special publications. A former staff writer, he has reported on local and state politics, the environment, urban development and culture, Spokane's...

Blair Tellers

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