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by Inlander Staff & r & Not Just for Hippies -- If the strength of a city is gauged by the number of festivals it can handle, then Spokane is at bodybuilder status. Between the number of blues fests, lavender fests, brew fests, river fests that suck up every weekend in the Inland Northwest, it is clear what Spokanites activity of choice is.


But you're never really a big city until you've got a hippie fest. Well kids, cut the red tape; we've got 'em.


The folks behind the Lilac City Nightmare plan to blow out Riverfront Park this weekend with the first annual Spokane Hempfest -- and we're kidding, it's not just for hippies. While the festival is centered around the versatility and innocence of the country's most controversial plant, there's something at this festival for the whole family.


The fun kicks off on Friday, Aug. 5, at 10 am. Walk the grassy lawns of Riverfront Park and check out the hundreds of vendors peddling food, tapestries, incense, art and something Hempfest Director Ryan Ballou calls "Honey People." (Huh?) You can also check out our personal favorite, the how-the-hell-did-they-make-that glass creations of Holy Waters, a local glass aficionado who sells glass in every shape and size from vase to pendant.


As for the music, more than 60 bands will rotate between four stages, including local favorites Civilized Animal, Rutah, Clintch, Planetary Refugees and Lucid. Speakers from Seattle Hempfest will be on hand to speak, as well as many other local supporters of the regional grass movement. The festival will run from 10 am to 10 pm on both Friday and Saturday.


And for the record, this festival is all about fun and awareness -- so don't try and pull any funny stuff. Yes, Junior, I'm talking to you and no, those don't smell like cigarettes.