Post Falls enjoys first Downtown for a Day event

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  • DEVIN WEEKS/Press Emily Browning of Rathdrum, owner of 208 Tees, shows off one of her popular sellers during the inaugural Downtown for a Day community event in Post Falls on Saturday. A play on “Ice Ice Baby,” this punny pizza shirt was a fun find for many of her booth visitors.

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    Emmilia Allen, 3, of Post Falls, and Declan Elliott, 6, of Hauser, get a quick pickleball lesson Saturday from Post Falls Parks and Rec pickleball instructor Pat DeRyan during the Downtown for a Day event on Third Avenue and Spokane Street. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

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    Families visit the shops of the pop-up market, enjoy live music and connect with their community Saturday as they envision a bustling Post Falls downtown during Downtown for a Day. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

  • DEVIN WEEKS/Press Emily Browning of Rathdrum, owner of 208 Tees, shows off one of her popular sellers during the inaugural Downtown for a Day community event in Post Falls on Saturday. A play on “Ice Ice Baby,” this punny pizza shirt was a fun find for many of her booth visitors.

  • 1

    Emmilia Allen, 3, of Post Falls, and Declan Elliott, 6, of Hauser, get a quick pickleball lesson Saturday from Post Falls Parks and Rec pickleball instructor Pat DeRyan during the Downtown for a Day event on Third Avenue and Spokane Street. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

  • 2

    Families visit the shops of the pop-up market, enjoy live music and connect with their community Saturday as they envision a bustling Post Falls downtown during Downtown for a Day. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

POST FALLS — Parents, kids, neighbors and new friends leisurely strolled through Downtown for a Day on Saturday, taking in the sights, sounds and friendly atmosphere of the brand new event.

“We’re new here, so to me this is like heaven,” said Kimberly Caliger, who recently moved to Post Falls.

“It’s nice just that it’s growing,” she said of the River City, “but keeping it a small-town feel by doing something like this.”

The pop-up market with colorful facades and a variety of businesses and merchants, giant inflatable bandshell housing live performances, street magician, food vendors and games like pickleball and cornhole certainly gave the stretch of Third Avenue to the west of Spokane Street the feel of a community block party where everyone could enjoy themselves. The familiar smell of wood fire burning in a barrel or two, and the welcome company of a few canine community members, contributed to the cozy North Idaho feel of the day.

“This is great,” said Carolyn Allen of Post Falls. “Everybody comes out and you find out who your neighbors are and what’s going on in the community.”

The inaugural Downtown for a Day, presented by Post Falls Parks and Recreation, was a chance for people to see what a bustling downtown Post Falls could someday look like, possibly with a district near the river where boutiques, entertainment and artisan wares are the norm.

“I think that this Downtown for a Day thing is so cute,” said Emily Browning of Rathdrum, who runs T-shirt company 208 Tees and enjoyed visiting with everyone who came through her booth to see her punny and creative shirts.

“I think they should do it more often than just one day," she said. "It’s awesome, and it’s my first event, so I’m all around really excited about it.”

Parks and Rec director Dave Fair said response from the public was overwhelmingly positive — “They like the location, they like the variety, they like the looks.”

“It’s families, it’s all ages,” he said. “This is community engagement. This is what we do, so that makes us feel good. It’s bright, it’s colorful, a little bit of something for everybody.”

Downtown for a Day is expected to return as a yearly event, but it will be held in different locations as Post Falls gathers its vision for the future.

“It will never look the same twice,” Fair said.

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