Spokane Valley’s premier community festival marked three decades of bringing fun, entertainment and a vibrant community spirit to Spokane Valley by celebrating its 30 Year Anniversary in 2019.
The festival had humble beginnings, starting with a group of volunteers organizing an afternoon of events in Terrace View Park. The Hearts of Gold parade that now shuts down Sprague Avenue, Spokane Valley’s main arterial, for several hours used to wind through the neighborhood around Terrace View Park.
Valleyfest has been around for so long it actually predates the city of Spokane Valley, which incorporated in 2003. As the event added more things to see and do and attracted thousands of people, it outgrew the neighborhood park that had been its home for 15 years and was moved to Mirabeau Point Park in 2004.
When the CenterPlace Regional Event Center adjacent to Mirabeau Meadows Park was completed in 2005, it began hosting Valleyfest events as well. After the move from Terrace View Park, Valleyfest expanded from one day to three, packing in family friendly activities that now include the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day, TotFest, a car show, Fishing at the Falls, a pancake breakfast and multiple bike rides and runs of varying lengths.
But at its core Valleyfest remains the same: a community festival run by volunteers and funded by donations from local businesses, community members and the city of Spokane Valley. Executive Director Peggy Doering has been with Valleyfest since the beginning, first as a committee member and then as chairwoman beginning in 1996.
Doering said she credits the city of Spokane Valley, the Spokane Valley Fire Department, the Spokane Valley Police Department, her volunteers and her board members with keeping the festival running all these years. “I have vision, but I have so many people doing,” she said. “A lot of people have helped with this.” Doering is pleased with the growth Valleyfest has experienced since it began. “Community events like this bring people together,” she said. “I think we need to celebrate how great we are.”
As always, Valleyfest is looking for volunteers with vision and a can-do attitude to help keep things running smoothly.