Kicking Off Spokane's Holiday Season

Spokane's 2021 holiday season is well underway, with dozens of exciting events, parades and festivals coming to downtown Spokane! If you are looking for the best holiday events in Eastern Washington, Visit Spokane has you covered!

Discover holiday events in Spokane for the 2021 season

Spokane's Best Holiday Events

Some might say that the best part of the holiday season is the very start, when anticipation is at its peak. This year, Downtown Spokane is adding to the enthusiasm with a full weekend of exciting kickoff events. The festivities begin with the Lilac Festival’s first-ever 2021 DESTINATION SPOKANE PARADE on Saturday, November 20.

“We’re very excited for this opportunity not only to celebrate our community but to hopefully start a new holiday tradition that really launches the season here in downtown,” says Liz Hooker, business relations coordinator for the Downtown Spokane Partnership. “It’s going to be similar to what you see at the Lilac Torchlight Parade in May with lots of marching bands, floats and community organizations, only very holiday-focused.”

The parade also heralds SANTA’S ARRIVAL. After parking his sleigh, he’ll head over to River Park Square and commemorate the annual lighting of the large Christmas tree in the atrium. The evening’s festivities conclude with a fireworks show at Kendall Yards, presented by the Lilac Festival.

Santa is coming to Spokane this 2021 holiday season

Alongside those scheduled events are the CRESCENT HOLIDAY WINDOW DISPLAYS and the free CARRIAGE RIDES, which run throughout the holiday season. The historic winter-themed figurines are expanding to new locations across downtown this year. You can now find them at the Fox Theater and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in addition to their usual spot at The Grand Hotel.

As for the carriage rides, they’ll be held once again in Riverfront Park. The greener setting proved to be a popular location last year because, as Hooker explains, “you’re literally dashing through the snow as opposed to the streets of downtown.” One slight change is that Friday afternoons are now reserved for community groups such as neighborhood centers or nonprofits.

Carriage rides are coming to Spokane this 2021 holiday season

21+ Holiday Events in Spokane

The following Thanksgiving weekend marks the start of two new promotions for 21+ adults in Downtown Spokane: a HOLIDAY WINE WALK and SANTA’S PUB CRAWL.

“We have so many great wine tasting rooms and breweries that we wanted to do a season-long loyalty program. Whether you’re a beer lover or a wine aficionado, if you make it to every participating business, you’ll win an automatic prize,” she says. “Of course, we’re encouraging people to drink safely and responsibly, so you’ll have four weeks to take part.”

On a similar note, SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY is being extended to an interactive, multi-week event. Downtown visitors who take part in Small Business Bingo and complete the game will be entered to win a raffle.

Spokane's 2021 holiday shopping

Family Holiday Events in Spokane

For families with young children, there’s SANTA EXPRESS, located in the former Mobius space in River Park Square. Here kids aged 4–12 can choose from a range of gifts between $1 and $10. Volunteer ‘elves’ will assist them with shopping and wrapping presents for everyone on their list. It runs from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23 with both in-person and virtual shopping options. The added bonus is that proceeds from the store benefit the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

And then there’s the HOLIDAY HUNT, the popular scavenger hunt that rewards those shopping with young explorers.

“There will be different displays all throughout downtown,” Hooker says. “Each display will feature a clue to help solve a holiday riddle. And once that riddle is solved, every kiddo who plays will have the opportunity to get a special gift from Santa Claus.”

For details on these downtown Spokane events and more, visit

From the Inlander's 2021 Spokane Holiday Magazine. To read more Inlander coverage of the Inland Northwest, visit

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