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The really big weekend

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | August 6, 2022 1:09 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — The line was long for Trophy Elk Burgers on Friday.

That’s pretty much what owner Karen Botai expected.

“It’s always a hit wherever we go,” the Rathdrum resident said as she looked after burgers covered with slices of cheese on the grill.

It’s the 10th year she and her team are taking part in Taste of Coeur d’Alene at City Park.

“I love all the people, I love all the friendliness,” said a smiling Botai as she stood behind a small sign that read, “Please Do Not Feed the Cooks.”

One of the biggest weekends of the year in Coeur d’Alene got off to a spectacular start with thousands of visitors on a sunny Friday with temperatures about 80 degrees.

Art on the Green is going on at North Idaho College, while the Street Fair is happening on Sherman Avenue.

Pretty much, there’s any kind of food you might want, including Italian sausage sandwich, Philly cheesesteak, Middle Eastern faire and huckleberry ice cream, too.

Handmade crafts, carvings, photographs, tattoos and leatherworks await, as does jewelry, dresses, caps and even running shoes.

Garth Merrill, owner of Fleet Feet on Sherman Avenue, said they were running strong and he expects the pace to pick up into the weekend of his 17th Street Fair.

He loves seeing people milling around on Sherman Avenue.

“Since we put stuff out on the table and got started, we’ve been going nonstop,” he said.

Musicians played throughout and people found shade to sit, listen, eat and drink. And many were in a mood to spend money.

“We love it,” said Glenn Fry of Sacramento, Calif., as he looked over the work of local photographer Mike Brodwater at City Park. “It’s great. We’re having a lot of fun.”

About 80 craft and 20 food vendors are taking part in the Idaho Panhandle Kiwanis Club’s 34th annual Taste of Coeur d'Alene.

More than 250 food, artisan and merchant vendors have taken over Sherman for the Street Fair.

In its 54th year, Art on the Green has about 120 artists around the campus.

"Unleashed Academy: People and Canine Training" was popular at the Street Fair, with kids and adults crowding around to pet the dogs, including Mr. Clark, a 105-pound Burmese Mountain Doodle, referred to as Bernedoodle

“If you put your hand out he’ll give you his paw,” said Mary Davies, CEO of Unleashed Academy based in the Spokane Valley.

Mr. Clark did, with a big smile, much to the delight of children.

Davies said it was their fifth year at the Street Fair, and as usual, they were the center of attention.

“I love the energy and the people. It’s just so much fun,” she said.

Just down Sherman Avenue, Kylie Francisco of Huntington Beach, Calif., was sitting in an ice bath. It was part of a promotion by HeatPraxia, which offers sauna and ice therapy, with a free one-year membership being offered in a drawing.

Many were trying the ice bath, with some going several minutes. The health benefits are many, said Heather Gallegos, general manager.

“It’s definitely been awesome,” Gallegos said early Friday afternoon. "We’ve already got through 200 pounds of ice.”

Francisco said the ice bath was “cold, to say the least.”

After about four minutes, she couldn’t really feel anything.

"My toes hurt, my fingers hurt. Otherwise, I feel great,” she said after stepping out as a friend wrapped a towel around her.

The husband and wife team of Scott Dodson and Terri Robinson worked on the much-anticipated sandcastle at Art on the Green. They expect to be finished by Sunday afternoon.

It’s Dodson’s 24th year creating a masterpiece with sand and water.

Dodson was handling the detail side of the castle wall and turrets, while Robinson focused on the big picture items of trees, windows and doors.

The castle, which will include a Bavarian village, was 10-feet tall by Friday afternoon with a base that was 8-feet wide.

They captured the attention of kids, who got the OK to dig into a pile of sand nearby.

Dodson said some of the youth that watched him decades ago have returned to Art on the Green with their own children.

"Everybody really appreciates it,” he said.

All three events continue until Sunday.

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BILL BULEY/Press

People visit with dogs at "Unleashed Academy: People and Canine Training," at the Street Fair on Friday.

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Karen Botai cooks up Trophy Elk Burgers on Friday at Taste of Coeur d’Alene at City Park.

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Glenn Fry looks over the photography of Mike Brodwater at Taste of Coeur d'Alene on Friday.

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Justin Kowalski sits behind his wood carvings at Taste of Coeur d'Alene.

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Crowds mill around on Sherman Avenue at the Street Fair on Friday.

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Dresses decorate Sherman Avenue during the Street Fair on Friday.

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Shoes attract the attention of passersby at Fleet Feet during the Street Fair on Friday.

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Kylie Francisco tries an ice bath at the Street Fair on Friday.

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A man is reflected in a mirror at Art on the Green on Friday.

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Scott Dodson works on a sandcastle at Art on the Green on Friday.

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