Metal by the lake: Springfest offers hard rock and R&B lineup and family fun in the park

May 1—MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake Spring Festival just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

"A representative from the county called us (after last year's Springfest) and said, 'Hey, just so you guys know, your fest is no joke.'" said Spring Festival Committee Member Lori Valdez. "They counted 57,000 attendees from Thursday to Sunday at our festival."

This year's festival, which will run from Thursday, May 23 through Sunday, May 26, promises to have McCosh Park bursting at the seams as well. There are 29 food vendors, Valdez said, the most she's ever seen. Commercial vendor spaces sold out by March 1, and she added 15 new spots. The beer garden has been expanded to be open all four days as well.

The fun starts Thursday, with a donut-eating contest sponsored by Corner Street Donuts, and a lip-sync battle sponsored by real estate agent Trino Pena.

"Last year, our entries were top-notch," Valdez said. "So we're hoping this year is even better, but I think it's going to be hard to top last year."

Like last year, there will be two divisions, one for kids and one for adults, Valdez said. The first prize in each division is $500, second prize is $250 and third is $150. She recommended entrants not wait until the last minute to register.

Registration is still open through Sunday for the 3-on-3 basketball tournament, which will start at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Registration is $150 and each team will play at least three games, according to the festival's website. Registration and information are available online at Last year's tournament featured more than 100 teams for the first time, Valdez said.

The carnival also opens Thursday, and it's a good idea to plan ahead for that, too. Presale wristbands are $30, but there's a limited number of them and once they sell out, they're gone, Valdez said. They're available at The UPS Store, Umpqua Bank and Blue Rouge Nursery. The price goes up to $40 once the festival starts. Thursday is also Buddy Night at the carnival, when wristbands are two for the price of one.

Friday will involve a little nostalgic head-banging, as two hard rock bands from the 1980s and '90s take the stage at the Centennial Amphitheater. Quiet Riot, remembered best for their 1983 album "Metal Health," will perform at 8 p.m., and Slaughter, whose album "Stick It to Ya" went double platinum in 1990, will follow at 9:30 p.m.

Everything in the world will be happening Saturday at the festival. The 5K/10K fun run, led by the Moses Lake High School cross-country team, begins at 8 a.m. and the car show, put on by the LakeSiders Car Club, starts at 9:30. There's lots of homegrown entertainment on the stage at the Centennial Amphitheater, including performances by AIM Gymnastics, dance studios DanceFX and Today's Generation and Freewind Martial Arts. Music will be homegrown too: MisAligned Minds, Lake City Blues and Rival will all perform.

The Moses Lake Farmers Market will be going on all morning until 1 p.m. as well, expanding the selection of food and commercial vendors already set up for the festival.

The parades begin with the Kiddie Parade, which will form up at Sinkiuse Square and file down Third Avenue to Frontier Middle School, where the awards will be given out at 6:30. The Grand Moonlight Parade, organized by the Rotary Club of Moses Lake, starts at 8:30 in front of Frontier Middle School. Paraders will make their way up Third Avenue to Balsam Street, then hop south a block and come back down Fourth Avenue to McCosh Park.

There's no registration necessary for the Kiddie Parade, Valdez said, although organizers appreciate it so they know how many goodie bags to make up. Registration to march in the Moonlight Parade is $50 for regular entries and $30 for community, nonprofit or religious organizations. It's open until May 15, although anyone registering after May 5 will need to pay a $40 late fee.

"The only reason we're doing that is to encourage people to sign up ahead of time," Valdez said. "It just makes our jobs a lot easier. (We have to) to line up people, we have to type up what they'd like us to say, we give out awards for floats, that sort of thing."

There is no charge for royalty, military or school organizations, she added.

Sunday will see the second half of 3-on-3 basketball and a cornhole tournament beginning at noon. The 1990s rhythm-and-blues bands Color Me Badd and All-4-One will perform at 8 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. respectively.

The Spring Festival draws in a lot of people from out of town, Valdez said, so anyone who needs to make hotel reservations should do it early. RV camping is also available at the Grant County Fairgrounds for $40 per night, according to the fairgrounds' website.

The Spring Festival depends a lot on community support, Valdez said. The Rotary Club stepped forward to organize the parade, Jodi O'Shea and the MLHS cross country team took over the fun run, and the LakeSiders Car Club is handling the car show. This takes a lot off the shoulders of the seven-member committee, she said.

"It's all volunteers," she said. "It's actually owned by our community. Community members made Springfest back in the '80s. And their first year of opening was when the ash fell (from the Mount St. Helens eruption), so they had to cancel that year, and then they came on in '81."

Full schedules, as well as links for registrations, can be found at

Joel Martin may be reached via email at

Moses Lake Springfest

May 23-26

Fun Run: 8 a.m. May 25

Lip Sync Battle: 8 p.m. May 23

509-989-8169 (Car Show Info)