Colfax, Wash., is the home of the concrete river, a channel made of concrete that protects the town of more than 2,000 from floods. The Concrete River Festival is the community’s signature summer celebration. This weekend’s event is more than sidewalk sales and craft shows, says Mayor Gary (Todd) Vanek. “We’re trying to make it more engaging … especially for the younger generation.”
Here’s five reasons the town’s population is expected to double this weekend.
So far more than 500 people have signed up for the Color Mob 5K Run through the concrete river channel. In a color run participants are showered with different colored powders throughout the race. Day-of registration starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27 in Schmuck Park. The untimed 3.1 mile race starts at 1 p.m. near the high school. Cost is $50 (when registering online use the promo code RUNCOLFAX to get 50 percent off). All ages are welcome, with ages 7 and younger free. Music and a beer garden will grace the finish line. To get the best effect wear white.
2. The Palouse Derby
The Rolling Hills Derby Dames is the only year-round, flat track, full contact, women’s roller derby league on the Palouse. They’ll showcase their skills in a scrimmage bout at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26 on Mill Street near the corner of Spring Street. An announcer will explain the action and the Pullman-based team will be outfitted in full regalia and derby attitude.
3. Colfax Cruise
Colfax has an infamous reputation as a Washington speed trap. If you’ve never been pulled over here, now’s your chance, minus the speeding ticket. Mill Street will be closed off for a cruise starting at 9 p.m. Friday, July 26. All modes of transportation are welcome. Cruise “enforcement officers” will issue tickets for whatever they judge unique or unusual. Ticket holders will drive to a judge for a prize and be entered in larger prize drawings taking place at 10:30 p.m.
4. Dry/Wet Parade
Stock up on ammunition for the Concrete River Parade. The two-part parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 27 on Mill Street with traditional floats. The second half is “wet.” Trucks will be filled with barrels of water and bystanders will exchange water gun fire with parade marchers in a massive water fight.
5. Sammy at the Schmuck
Sammy Eubanks is no schmuck when it comes to music. Twice voted Spokane’s Best Local Musician by readers of the Inlander, Eubanks has opened for artists like Kenny Chesney, Merle Haggard and Sawyer Brown. He won the Mark Dufresne Best Male Vocalist award for the second time earlier this month from the Washington Blues Society. He’ll perform blues, country, rock and originals at the festival’s concert and dance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at Schmuck Park. Admission is $10.
Other festival events include a car show, kids carnival at Eells Park, and photography exhibition featuring the Palouse at the Colfax Library. A complete schedule is available online at concreteriverfestival.com.