Things To Do In Summer
Summertime in Spokane presents seemingly endless possibilities for making the most of the natural wonderland that is the city. Some of the biggest annual festivals and fairs take place and everywhere you look there’s another way to take advantage of the sun shining down on Spokane.
If you’re visiting Spokane in the summer, one of the first things you must do is get in the water.
With the Spokane River running through downtown and along the western edge of town, plus the Little Spokane River in the north, the temptation to experience the natural waterways for yourself is one which can and should be immediately satisfied. The waterways include rivers, lakes, and, if you venture out for a day trip, hot springs where you can spend just a few hours or several days engaging in water activities.
Second Saturday in June
Since 1992, the second Saturday in June has been reserved for Spokane’s Pride Parade and Rainbow Festival. The annual celebration of the city’s LGBTQA community is an all-inclusive, family-friendly event drawing over 10,000 people. The festivities begin with the Pride Parade taking off at noon through downtown and ending up in Riverfront Park at the Lilac Meadows where the Rainbow Festival continues the party.
Third Sunday in June
Celebrate Father’s Day in the city where it all began. Spokane quite literally invented the holiday, or local resident Sonora Smart Dodd did at least, making our town an extra special setting for commemorating the father figure in your life.
Last Weekend of June
Every summer during the last weekend of June, Hoopfest descends on Spokane. The largest three-on-three basketball tournament in the world, this yearly athletic event has had a presence in the city since 1990. The massive basketball showdown takes places across 422 courts in downtown with 14,000 games played by nearly 6,000 teams.
4th of July
The launching of hundreds of fireworks for the Fourth of July is standard practice for any American town. However, in Spokane you get double the display because the show in the sky takes place over the Spokane River gorge at Riverfront Park where the water reflects the lights to spectacular results. There’s live music and performances going all day, and of course, food vendors. Independence Day celebrations also take place at Kendall Yards, in Liberty Lake at Pavilion Park, and at the Avista Stadium during a Spokane Indians baseball game for the ultimate all-American tradition.
Green Bluff Growers
For your summer trip to Spokane, you’ll also want to be sure to visit Green Bluff Growers. The collection of over 35 farms, orchards, wineries, and breweries is in peak form for summer with the plants they’ve been working on all year finally ripening for your enjoyment. Just 15-20 minutes away from Spokane, the many farms offer the opportunity for you to pick your own produce and there’s plenty for the pickin’. Stop by in June for strawberry season, visit in July for cherries, and make a trip in August for the plentiful peach season.
Gathering at the Falls Powwow
Weekend Before Labor Day
Every August the weekend before Labor Day, dancers and singers from native and first nations communities across the country gather together in Riverfront Park. For generations, the Falls were a traditional meeting place for large salmon (chinook) fishing and cultural exchange. While the chinook no longer travel to the falls due to waterway changes and commercial fishing, the Gathering at the Falls Powwow continues this legacy of cultural celebration by welcoming dancers and singers from more than 200 tribes and hundreds of diverse spectators every year.
Pig Out in the Park
Labor Day Weekend
One of the best things about Spokane is the diverse food scene, but there are only so many restaurants you can visit during your limited time in the city. Pig Out in the Park is a six-day food and music festival where you can taste the best food Spokane has to offer in one location. The much-anticipated event has been a summer staple since 1979. It all takes place Labor Day weekend at Riverfront Park with three stages featuring performances from national, regional, and local acts.
Labor Day Weekend
Another Labor Day weekend event you’ll want to experience is the Spokane Symphony’s free outdoor performances. Taking place at Pavilion Park and Comstock Park on separate days, the concerts occur around sunset so you can take in the sounds of string and wind instruments as the sky changes from blue to soft pink and orange hues. Bring a blanket or folding chairs, perhaps a dinner picnic, and you’ve got the perfect way to bid farewell to summer.
Spokane County Interstate Fair
First Friday After Labor Day
Signaling the end of summer is upon us is the Spokane County Interstate Fair beginning the Friday after Labor Day. For over 66 years now, the 10-day event has been a flurry of agricultural appreciation, performances, food on a stick, and thrill rides. Bring the whole family to cruise the midway games and wide variety of demonstrations and exhibits.