Known as the Lilac City due to the flowering shrub that grows throughout the city, Spokane is known for its community events that host music, food stalls, and sports, with many named after the flower itself. In recent years, Spokane, Washington has found itself as a cultural hub, owing to classical music, professional dancers, worlds foods, and more thanks to the city having one of the largest populations in the US.
Here are the most popular and cultural annual events in Spokane, Washington.
PIG OUT IN THE PARK
Being a food and music festival that’s six days long, that might not even be enough time to try all the different food booths, as there are over 50 with a combined menu of over 250 items! There are five stages for live music, all of which are free entry too. Pig Out in the Park has lasted for more than forty years and is a place where locals and tourists come together to enjoy food, beverages, and music during Labour Day Weekend.
Stretching across 12 kilometres of Spokane’s Downtown area and northwest along with the Mukogowa Ft. Wright Institute, Doomsday Hill, and the Monroe Street Bridge, the Bloomsday Run shows you the best sights Spokane has to offer. The run has been going on for forty years and has around 40,000 participants each year with many in fancy dress costumes.
A 3-on-3 basketball tournament wouldn’t usually draw a crowd of 175,000 people and over 25,000 players each year, but Hoopfest isn’t any ordinary 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Being hosted at Riverfront Park, along with the tournament are live music stages and food tents, turning the park in a makeshift festival. It’s fun for all ages, as men in theIr 70s have formed teams, and even gone on to play well, and other teams dress in Halloween costumes Christmas outfits.
NIGHT LIGHTS: SKY LANTERN FESTIVAL
Unlike any other sky lantern experience in the nation, Night Lights is influenced by Thai lantern traditions and they are launched right after dusk. On the Stateline Speedway, the festival has drawn in 80,000 guests. Not only does Night Lights host the sky lantern event, but there is a range of Christmas displays and even dragon displays too. Though for it’s next event, the festival will go under the new name of Northwest Winterfest.
WATER LANTERN FESTIVAL
Another lantern festival, but completely unlike Night Lights, the Water Lantern Festival was voted as the Best Cultural Festival by USA Today. It is a family event in the evening where the Q’emiln Park is lit up with a sea of Chinese lanterns, thousands of them, and the beautiful skyline reflects off the light in the water. It is where people who have never met bond and create a shared experience.
Celebrating their diamond anniversary this year with 75 years under their belt, Music Northwest (formerly known as The Greater Spokane Music & Allied Arts Festival) began in 1945 to celebrate the end of World War II, and it has since become a tent pole in Spokane’s annual event line-up. It is a prestigious event and honors young musicians and dancers, in which they perform and in turn are given professional adjudication.
THE SPOKANE LILAC FESTIVAL
Being the biggest Torchlight Military Parade in the nation, the Lilac Festival is the crown jewel in Spokane’s annual event roster. There are brass bands marching down the streets, followed by floats, dancers, and drill teams all commemorating friends and family members who have served and are currently serving in the military.