As the leaves turn, chunky sweaters come out and pumpkins become spiced, fall is in full swing in Spokane. With typical fall staples such as pumpkin spice lattes and trips to Green Bluff already occurring, another perennial Spokane favorite is being held next week.

The Spokane Fall Leaf Festival returns to the John A. Finch Arboretum on Oct. 26, running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will have many activities for autumn fans to partake in, with annual joys such as the massive pile of leaves always pleasing attendees.

“We’ll have info booths, educational activities and multiple photo opportunities," said Angel Spell, the assistant director of natural resources for Spokane Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry. "Specifically, our huge pile of leaves. The kids absolutely love the leaf pile.”

For the first time in the event's history, food will be sold, as popular food truck Kings Chicken will be on site. Wilbur Ellis will continue its annual tradition of donating free hot apple cider to all festival attendees. Also new this year will be live music, as Angela Marie Project is scheduled to perform.

Apart from food and music, the festival offers a variety of activities for all ages. Spread out over of the arboretum, activities range from a scavenger hunt, to tips on how to identify different leaves to lessons on making birds welcome around your property. Bartlett Tree Experts will be on site offering free saplings and advice on how to care for them.

“It’s honestly a jampacked three hours,” said Kristen Neale, a sophomore at GU. “I remember last year I was only able to check out a couple of the booths. I’m excited to learn new stuff this time around.”

The event also highlights composting this year, as Spokane County Master Composters and Recyclers will be demonstrating how to make ‘black gold’ out of kitchen and garden waste. All residents of Spokane County who attend will be able to take home a free compost bin.

In addition to the scheduled vendors and events, the entire 65 acres of the arboretum will be open to guests for touring.

“It’s a great time to visit the arboretum, it’s absolutely gorgeous in the fall,” Spell said. “The leaves have begun changing colors and it makes for some pretty spectacular sights.” 

The free event will be held rain or shine at the John A. Finch Arboretum at 3404 W. Woodland Blvd.

Zachary Walls is a contributor. Follow him on Twitter: @Zachary_Walls1.

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