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Festival makes a comeback
Published 7/24/2013 6:00:00 AM
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For the first time in nearly a decade, Colfax will host the Concrete River Festival.

Friday, July 26 will include a carnival for children at Eells Park and a roller derby exhibition downtown by the Rolling Hills Derby Dames.

Following the roller derby, Mill Street will be closed off to traffic to allow for a "cruise," with drivers showing off their cars. The police department will give prizes for the most unique vehicles, said Matt Zook, vice president of the Colfax Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, July 27 will include events such as an outdoor concert downtown, a Color Mob 5k Fun Run and a parade on Mill Street.

Zook said the parade will be "wet," with squirt guns and water balloons being exchanged between spectators and participants.

Colfax got the idea for a water fight parade from the town of Johnson, Wash. Johnson held a wet parade for years, but quit after it "became a problem," Zook said.

"It started drawing complaints from the people who were in it," he said. "It sounded fun though, so we’re hoping it will find a home in Colfax."

Kids will enjoy the "duck dash" event, Zook said. Participants buy rubber ducks and release them in the Palouse River to race. The first place prize will receive $500 from the chamber of commerce, to be spent at businesses throughout town.

Zook said the weekend will be a uniting event for the community, with visitors expected from neighboring towns.

"Ultimately, we want to show people how cool Colfax is," Zook said. "We want people to remember the reason they live here."

Mayoral Assistant Steve Larkin has helped plan the festival. He believes it will display a side of Colfax that often goes unnoticed.

"Colfax has potential," Larkin said. "People don’t always see that."

More festivals are in future plans, Larkin said.

"We want people to return," he said. "We’ll see how successful this festival is, then consider future events."

Kristie Kirkpatrick, director of the Whitman County Library in Colfax, believes art can play a large part in building an identity for the town.

Several events throughout the festival will cater to artists, Kirkpatrick said, including a photography exhibition at the library.

There will also be a daylong Palouse Sampler photography tour on Saturday, led by professional photographer Dr. Otto Stevens and his assistant Aaron Cowan.

"Dr. Stevens is graciously donating his time for free, which is fantastic," Kirkpatrick said. "Normally, these types of tours can cost upwards of $350."

A list of more events at the festival can be found at

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