Mayfest Brings Music, Food and Entertainment to Cheney


The Easterner Archives

Mayfest 2017 took over downtown Cheney with local business vendors

By Dayana Morales, For The Easterner

Cheney’s fifth annual Mayfest will be bringing 45 vendors, live music and games to this year’s  festival on May 12 and 13.

Friday, May 12 is the festival’s street dance day, which will be all about music. The entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. and will last until about 10:30 p.m. Saturday’s events will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mayfest is aimed to celebrate historic downtown Cheney and all it has to offer. Events, vendors and entertainment will take over the streets of First, College and F Street.

The organizers for this event are Cheney community members and local business owners;  Jason Williams, certified pharmacy technician; Catherin Lowry, the supervisor of the downtown library; Douglas LaBar, who owns the Mason Jar; Debby Anderson, who owns the Holiday Inn Express and Against the Grain; Harlan Shellabarger with the Cheney Free Press; and Kayra Phelps, Cheney Free Press intern.

“Organizers are trying to promote local business, the community and awareness for cancer,” Williams said.

“We would love to have this event spread all the way down to Cheney,” said Williams. “If you drive down First Street, there is so many parking lots and so much space that I always thought could be used for this event.”

Williams said the reason they chose the month of May to host the festival is so they can include EWU students, the Cheney School District and the Medical Lake School District.

There will be approximately 24 Turnbull vendors with their flowers and feathers festival. Around 34 vendors will be selling items from companies such as LuLaRoe, 31 Gifts, MaryKay, Chloe & Isabel, Partylites and more. There will also be several local area vendors selling vintage, handmade and homegrown items.

“The vendors on College Street between First and Second offer a great variety of shopping with something for everyone,” said Anderson. “The Turnbull vendors have a variety of fun for all members of the family.” The Show & Shine Car Show will be held on the 600 block of First Street on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For anyone who puts their car up for display, there will be an entry fee of $10 or five cans of food. All the proceeds will go to the Cheney Food Bank.

Second Rescue Ranch, a nonprofit organization, is putting on a petting zoo.  The petting zoo will be at the Owl Pharmacy parking lot on First and F Street. There will be $5 pony rides and it will cost money to feed the animals. There is no charge to view and pet the animals.  

“It’s such a cool program,” said Williams. “I don’t feel bad having her collect donations because they are rescuing animals of all sizes, from horses to guinea pigs.”

The 4 1/2 block walk is on Saturday and it will start at Chase Bank on G Street at 11:30 a.m.

The walk  is a .34 mile walk and participants can register online for $25, with all proceeds going toward West Plains Relay for Life. Participants will receive a t-shirt and goodie bag.

“The block walk starts at Chase Bank on G Street,” said Williams. “We will have fuel and water stations on every block because you might get hungry. We try to make it goofy. A lot of times we tour the little Cheney museum. Sometimes we have live music specifically scheduled for the walkers for a few minutes.”

PLAiCe, the art display, will be on the alleyway that connects F Street to College Avenue.

“We have live artists in there that will display community art,” said Williams. “People can come up and paint something then someone else can come add on something to it.”

Participants can register online for the corn hole tournament with a friend on the Cheney Mayfest website. It is $20.

Participants are guaranteed three games. If they win they receive $100 cash plus the set of corn hole boards that are designed by a Cheney Middle School student and a $25 gift card to the Mason Jar. Second place will receive $75 cash and a $15 to the Mason Jar. Third place wins $50 cash and a $10 gift card to the Mason Jar.

As far as music goes, on Friday night they will have the Kelly Hughes band playing on First Street in front of Against the Grain by the Mason Jar.

“In the middle of the performances we will have Spokane Aerial doing a fire show,” LeBar said.

“[On Saturday] we will also have live music throughout the day in the Artist Alley (PLAiCe),” said LeBar. “This will be a mix up of smaller musician groups doing everything from jazz and folk to the high school band.”

“In between all the acts we will have dance performances from Step and Stroll, Dance Force and other EWU clubs,” LeBar said.

Those who want to support the nonprofit event can show up and participate in the community activities for the purpose of promoting business, tourism and economic development.