Spring in Spokane

​​​Spring is here and Spokane wants you to “show your colors.” There are many opportunities for Downtown businesses to participate in the Spring in Spokane events. Let’s decorate our town and show our visitors how Spokane celebrates.

Choose among the upcoming events and find out what you can do to make the upcoming Spring in Spokane events parts of your business décor. Downtown Spokane is available to help with suggestions and resources for you to use at your disposal.

Get Lit Literary Arts Festival | Earth Day Spokane | Every Women Can Pink Ribbon Run| Bloomsday | Junior Lilac Parade | Annual Family Fun Fair | Bike to Work Week | Craft Beer Week | Cruzin the Falls Car Show | Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade | Festival of Speed Downtown Car Show | Inlander's Volume:Music Festival | Artfest | Out Spokane Pride Parade and Festival | Street Music Week | Bazaar presented by Terrain | Hoopfest 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

Get Lit! Literary Arts Festival | April 17-23

What it is | The Get Lit! Festival began in 1998 as a one-day marathon of literary readings sponsored by Eastern Washington University Press and EWU’s Department of Creative Writing. The weeklong celebration of reading and writing offers events for literature lovers of all ages, including: readings and lectures, interviews, workshops, panel discussions, poetry slams for children, teens, and college students, writing contests, book signings, visits by festival authors to local K-12 schools and colleges.

Downtown impact | Get Lit! partners with local institutions, community organizations and businesses to bring over 40 authors to each festival. Downtown venues host many of the exhibits, performances, panel discussions, poetry and other readings, workshops and more throughout the one week event

Get involved | Welcome festival participants by distributing programs or displaying a festival poster. Familiarize yourself with the visiting authors and create programming or specials to highlight their work.

EarthDay Spokane | April 22 and 23

What it is | A grassroots community effort that celebrates the diversity in our community by asking people from all cultures and walks of life to come together and celebrate one of the biggest things we all have in common; our planet. In 2017 the annual event is adding EarthNight activities which include music, dancing and a beer garden.

Downtown impact | EarthDay/EarthNight activities will be held in Riverfront Park at the Pavilion and the neighboring central meadow. Expect to see a larger volume of foot traffic in downtown and in parking lots near the park. Due to participant and vendor requests, the event is expected to double in size for 2017.

Get involved | Become a sponsor, vendor or exhibitor. Outside food and beverages are now allowed at the event. Create earth-friendly activities or make a commitment to go sustainable for the week leading up to April 22.

Every Woman Can Pink Ribbon Run | April 23

What it is | Every Woman Can is on a mission to save lives and motivate women to get an annual mammogram beginning at the age of 40. The first annual run will help raise funds to grant into local community organizations who provide increased breast health education, facilitation of patient navigation and support to survivors.

In partnership with Inland Imaging and a fiscal sponsorship from Citizens for Community Action, The Pink Ribbon Run serves the Inland Northwest's 20 counties with education, grants and support for breast cancer survivors.

Downtown impact | Downtown streets will be closed from 8am to 10:30am. The Race begins at Spokane Falls Boulevard and Post.  The course will head West on Spokane Falls, onto Riverside and then take a scenic loop through historic Browne's Addition.  Runners will take Riverside back into downtown Spokane, down Main Street onto Bernard and finally finish on Spokane Falls Boulevard in front of Riverfront Park.

Get involved | Participate and support the run by running as an individual or team, or by “pinking” Downtown. Wear pink leading up to the event, add Pink lighting to your exterior. Offer pink drink specials or theme an entrée/appetizer! Paint your window with a distinctive pink ribbon, add banners and ribbon to your décor. Offer discounts to runners and volunteers. Volunteer to help with pre-race planning, organization and marketing or help out on race day to provide the best experience to participants. Find out more here.

Lilac Bloomsday Run | May 7

What it is | Bloomsday, is an annual timed road race held on the first Sunday of every May since 1977. The course is 12 km long and starts in Downtown Spokane and heads northwest along the far west end of town, passes by Mukogowa Ft. Wright Institute and Spokane Falls Community College before heading up "Doomsday Hill" and back downtown to the Spokane County Courthouse and crossing the Monroe Street Bridge. Every finisher of the race receives a Bloomsday t-shirt.

Downtown impact | Expect parking to be difficult to locate on Friday and Saturday near the Spokane Convention Center leading up to the event during registration pick-up and vendor fair.

Streets near the start (Downtown Spokane) and finish (Monroe Street Bridge) are closed beginning at 5am, and reopen around 2pm on Sunday. Other streets on the Bloomsday course begin closing at 7:30am and reopen after the final walkers pass. This may be as early as 11am for Riverside west of Monroe, and as late as 2pm for Broadway west of Monroe. Motorists seeking to travel south from the north side of Spokane can use Ash (and the Maple Street Bridge), Division and Hamilton. These streets do not close on Bloomsday.

STA pick up and drop off will be on 2nd Avenue on Sunday morning because the STA plaza will be inaccessible until the Bloomsday starting area is vacated (about noon).

Get involved | Do you have Bloomsday T-Shirts from years past? Display them! Have them framed and put up on your walls. Hang them in your windows! Paint a running scene on your window of bronzed running statues, sneakers or even water cups.

Junior Lilac Parade | May 13

What it is | The Jr. Lilac Parade is a treasured, long-standing tradition in Spokane hosted by the Roteract Club of Spokane. Each spring, our community comes together in downtown Spokane to celebrate our children. You’ll see elementary and middle school bands and drill units, youth organizations, and other clubs. You might even see some of our local mascot celebrities, such as Butch, Swoop, and Spike! Many of our local city and county officials, as well as area businesses, join in the fun. It’s an event you don’t want to miss!

Downtown impact | The parade takes place between the hours of 10am and 1pm in downtown. Set up hours are 7am to 3pm, when the streets will be closed.

Get involved | As a participant, register as a group or individual. Become a sponsor and support this great event. Or volunteer, volunteers will receive a t-shirt and great memories! 

Family Fun Fair | May 13

What it is | Expo Celebrating Parenthood right after the Jr. Lilac Parade offering enjoyment for kids of all ages and the parents too can find hours of fun! 10 am to 3 pm at Riverfront Park and River Park Square. The parenting expo starts after the Junior Lilac Parade.

Downtown impact | Attendance for the Family Fun Fair is 20,000+ around Riverfront Park and River Park Square.

Get involved | Offer family deals and activities on the day of the event. Become a sponsor or vendor.

Bike to Work Week | May 15-19

What it is | Bike to Work Week, a nationwide event encouraging bike commuting, challenges participants to take trips they would usually take by car on a bicycle instead – whether to the store, school, a meeting, work or elsewhere. A week of activities are designed to connect bike riders, provide resources for new riders and — of course — be a great time. Events are attended by upwards of 1,000 riders during National Bike to Work Week. Bike to Work Week partners with the Spokane County Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program to engage the area’s 100 largest employers in activities.

Downtown impact | Expect to see a lot more bikes in downtown! On May 1 the kick-off breakfast will happen in Riverfront Park.

Get involved | Underwrite a Bike to Work Week Event, make a tax-deductible financial contribution or make a tax-deductible in-kind donation of promotional services or prizes. Prep your property for cyclists, consider installing a bike rack for employee use.

Sell bike related products, offer specials to cyclists throughout the week, or host an energy station.

Most importantly, tune up your bike, explore bike commute options, and participate in any number of events. Take the Commute Challenge, log the miles you ride during the week to win prizes. Form a team or ride solo.

Cruzin the Falls Car Show | May 20

What it is | Annual Open Car Show & Cruise in beautiful downtown Spokane on Spokane Falls Blvd. Cars of all kinds, trucks, and motor cycles display their chrome and paint and make downtown Spokane come alive with excitement! With a crowd of over 30,000, the car show is one of the many major events that the Festival hosts during Festival week and throughout the year. The CRUISE starts at 6pm when cars show entries drive through the Parade route, passing over 160,000 spectators, just before the annual torchlight parade starts.

Downtown impact | The Car Show will be on Spokane Falls Blvd between Stevens and Wall, closing from 9am to 10pm; however, employee parking in the River Park Square (RPS) garage will be available until 10am via Wall Street. Otherwise, RPS’s garage entrance will not be accessible from Spokane Falls Blvd from 9am to 10pm.

Get involved | Show your car spirit. Be a vendor during the car show or bring your classic car down to participate.

Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade | May 20

What it is | Since 1938, the Spokane Lilac Festival Association has been celebrating the Spokane community as ambassadors to the northwest and the world. With its classic car show, Toys for Tots drive, scholarship opportunities through the Lilac Royalty Program, and the annual Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, the Spokane Lilac Festival offers fun and worthwhile activities for all ages. The Spokane Lilac Festival invites you to enjoy the best of the Inland Northwest in the Lilac City!

Downtown impact | Parking meters will be bagged starting Saturday morning around 4am with meters access only until 4pm, except on Spokane Falls Blvd, which will be closed. The RPS garage entrance will not be accessible from Spokane Falls Blvd from 9am to 10pm; the only open entrance will be from Lincoln St with access to the entire garage. The garage exit will remain open throughout regular business hours.

Streets on the Parade Route and perimeter (Washington, Stevens, Howard, Wall, Post, Spokane Falls Blvd., Main, Riverside, and Sprague; First to be closed at 4pm) will be closed starting at 4pm.

Be a vendor | The SLFA has expanded vendor opportunities to the businesses within the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID). This collaboration between your business and the SLFA gives you the opportunity to be an authorized Lilac Festival vendor.

Decorate | Lilac, Red, White & Blue | Stars and Stripes | Purple lighting on trees or around your windows | Red, white and blue tree or window lights | Painted window scenes of Lilac flowers or Flags | Vacant windows? Line them with paper! Purple, red, white or blue…You choose.

Festival of Speed, Downtown Car Show | June 2

What it is | The Spokane Festival of Speed is a non-profit cooperative of area road racing enthusiasts and the Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts (SOVREN). Each June many of the most pristine, valuable and fastest race cars from the glory days of American and European road racing take to the road course at Spokane County Raceway and become the stars of the Festival of Speed’s Historic Races – a rapidly growing event that truly celebrates the art, science and camaraderie of vintage road racing. On Friday during the event, a parade and exhibition of participating vehicles will come downtown to Wall Street and Riverfront Park.

Downtown impact | Expect short delays on Riverside and Wall around 4pm and 7pm as cars parade into downtown.

Get involved | If you own a classic race car, consider joining in on the Festival of Speed, or if you just enjoy vintage racing, trip downtown to view these one-of-a-kind vehicles from 4:30-7pm.

Volume: Inlander Music Festival | June 2 and 3

What it is | Volume takes over downtown Spokane for two nights all in the name of supporting live music and building community. Over 80 performers and bands at ten downtown venue locations.

Downtown impact | Expect 2017 to be another sold out year for the growing music festival. Thousands will descend on downtown with schedules in hand traveling between venues. Expect parking to be at capacity.

Get involved | Offer discounts to Volume attendees who show their festival entry bracelet. Become a venue or hawk your wares at the Volume information tent.

Out Spokane Pride Parade and Rainbow Festival | June 10

What it is | Held the second Saturday in June in downtown Spokane, The Pride Parade and Festival celebrates diversity of character and spirit while honoring the past, and looking forward to the future. The parade starts at Noon at Stevens and Spokane Falls Blvd followed by the Rainbow Festival at 12:30pm at the Gondola Meadows in Riverfront Park.

Downtown impact | Expect street closures along the parade route between 11am and 1pm.

The Festival expects 5,200+ people coming to see the entertainment, booths, beer garden and family area that have become a staple of the Rainbow Festival.

Get involved | Organizations large and small, national and local participate by promoting the events and services including advocacy and educational material.  Register your business, group, or organization to have a booth at the Rainbow Festival this year. Welcome guests into your place of business with rainbow décor celebrating diversity.

Bazaar presented by Terrain | June 17

What it is | Bazaar is a marketplace for emerging artists, artisans and craftspeople to sell work and build relationships with people who care about where the art and goods they buy come from. Bazaar is meant to be accessible to all people. Because of this, 50% of a vendor’s accepted art and merchandise must retail for $100 or less.

Downtown impact | Wall Street between Main and Riverside will be shut down from Friday evening through late Saturday for the event. In addition a portion of Howard will be blocked off to allow for pedestrians to cross in the alley between Wall and the Parkade Plaza. Parking may be limited near River Park Square and Riverfront Park. Over 5,000 shoppers and artisans are expected to turn out for the second annual event.

Get involved | Become a sponsor or a sponsor/booth. Vendor variety and quality/concept of display space will be considered during the juried selection. Promote the event in your place of business, or offer additional discounts to patrons of Bazaar.

Hoopfest | June 24 and 25

What it is | Spokane Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 tournament on Earth. With over 7,000 teams, 3,000 volunteers, 225,000 fans, and 450 courts spanning 42 city blocks, this is an event where everyone is Downtown. This isn’t just basketball, folks, this is shopping, food, and interactive entertainment. Take advantage of the influx of patrons and decorate to the nines!

Downtown impact | 250,000 individuals are expected to be in the downtown core during Hoopfest weekend.

Hoops will be staged starting Thursday and will be set out Friday evening.  Courts will be set up in the downtown core in parking lots and on streets between Brown and Monroe and Spokane Falls and Sprague. North of the River courts will be located between Washington and Monroe (courts will be located on the Washington Bridge) to Boone. These streets will be closed during the event.

Throughout the event The STA Hoop Loop is th​e easiest, cheapest and most convenient way to get to Hoopfest. Two shuttle routes will bring you from your car, right to the action all weekend from the park-and-ride lots every 10 minutes for one low price.

Get involved | There are a multitude of ways for you to participate in downtown’s largest annual event. From hosting weekend specials, to signing up for a team of your own, here are a few small ideas.

Decorate | Do you have any old pictures of when you, staff, or co-workers played Hoopfest? Blow them up, frame them, and let people enjoy the walk down memory lane! Paint window scenes with basketballs, hoops, and logos. Contact the Hoopfest office for banners and posters to include in your display.

Apply to be an authorized Hoopfest vendor | To sell outside your business during Hoopfest you will need to complete the application available on the Hoopfest website. A Hoopfest authorized permit allows for set-up on the sidewalk directly outside your place of business only. Set-up space includes one eight foot table with chairs plus signage (not provided by Hoopfest). Permits are available to downtown businesses for only $35.

Keep our city clean and beautiful | Security Ambassadors will be available during the Hoopfest weekend to support Hoopfest Security and the Spokane Police Department. Contact the Ambassadors with non-emergency concerns, call 509.353.9111. Downtown planters will be roped off and signed to discourage sitting, help us keep out planters beautiful by encouraging other sitting options.