Arts, Entertainment and All That Country

Your fall entertainment calendar is here

By Abigail Thorpe



It’s been one incredible summer full of sun, water, adventure and more, but it’s time to exchange the heat for some crisp fall weather and the fall activities we look forward to every year. Once September hits and the digits start to drop, it’s time to start thinking about going back to school, apple picking, and the arts and entertainment scene that keeps this season alive and fresh.

Live music, festivals, workshops and more don’t stop after boating season on the lake is over. With the start of September, Sandpoint kicks into action with a slate of activities and shows that reflect the creative, artistic spirit of our town. From fall festivals to live music events, music and art workshops and even studio tours, this town knows how to embrace autumn with spirit. And come the fall equinox on September 22 this year, we’re just getting started with the activities calendar. Here’s just a sampling of what to look forward to this fall in Sandpoint.

Schweitzer Fall Fest 2021 kicks off the fall season this year with four days of beer tasting, live music and fun from September 3 through 6. The village will be host to over 80 beers, ciders, seltzers and some wines, with live music all weekend long. This year’s souvenir glasses (always a hit) are already on sale, and for the kids there will be a fun soda station.

Fall Fest also marks the last weekend of summer operations before Schweitzer closes until snow season, so it’s your final opportunity to hop on the lift and head on up to the Sky House for some epic views of the valley below in all of its seasonal beauty. The Spot Bus will be running to and from Schweitzer throughout the weekend for those who don’t want to drive. Visit Schweitzer.com/event/fall-fest-2021 for a full concert lineup, chairlift and bus times, and to pre-purchase your glassware and beer/wine packages.

The Artists’ Studio Tour of North Idaho connects the community and visitors with the working studios of painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, potters, glass artists and more in our area. Set for September 3 through 6 this year, you can set your own schedule and enjoy the scenery as you drive from place to place to discover the talented artists who live and work in North Idaho. Enjoy a glimpse into working studios, and stop off for a bite or drink along the way in one of the local restaurants or cafés. For a route map and to explore the various local artists who are on this year’s tour, visit ArtTourDrive.org. Set over Labor Day weekend, it’s the perfect time to take in North Idaho’s breathtaking scenery while gaining some firsthand experience of our local art scene.

The Pend Oreille Arts Council brings top-name national and international artists every year to its performing arts series, and the 2021-2022 lineup is now live! From world music to classical, comedy and drama, each season is full of unique performances at the historic Panida Theater and Heartwood Center. This fall, get ready for two special performances at the Panida from Okaidja Afroso and Barrio Manouche. The performing arts series continues through winter, spring and summer with exciting new events every season, so make sure to stay up to date and purchase tickets at ArtinSandpoint.org, and get out to enjoy a rare opportunity to hear exceptional artists perform in our beautiful and intimate downtown venues.

Sandpoint SongFest will make its first appearance this year on September 16 through 18, bringing a weekend of songs and stories to the community. In partnership with the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, hit songwriters Thom Shepherd and Coley McCabe Shepherd are bringing a unique songwriters festival to the community. Experience nationally acclaimed songwriters performing their hits and sharing the story behind the music, as well as local favorite musicians and songwriters from our own town. “We have some great Nashville writers coming to perform,” shares Thom. “Wil Nance, Leslie Satcher and Steve Azar are all hit songwriters with incredible songs and stories. We are also featuring some excellent local talent including Ben Olson, Sam Leyde, Hannah King and Ben Vogel.” Various venues throughout town will be hosting events over the three-day event, so take time to stop in and experience a whole new scene behind the music with some Nashville legends. Proceeds go to benefit the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, helping to keep music education affordable and accessible for all ages and abilities. For tickets and event information, visit SandpointSongFest.com.

The Kaniksu Folk School launched this year to help enrich lives and foster an ethic of stewardship through its offered series of traditional crafts and music workshops. “Initially piloted in the spring of 2021, the program provides nature-based educational experiences for adults while also supporting area craftspeople and artisans through paid instruction,” explains Marcy Timblin, director of communications for Kaniksu Land Trust. Modeled after renowned folk schools like the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota, and the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, the school offers a variety of classes and workshops each season.

“Kaniksu Folk School is the only folk school of this kind in our area. Like the aforementioned folk schools, KFS draws upon the highest quality talent as its instructors,” says Timblin. Classes typically last six to seven hours, and are sometimes held as two- or three-part series. Past topics have included basket weaving, leather tooling, birch bark knife sheath crafting, edible and medicinal plant processing and other nature-based arts. Keep an eye out for the fall 2021 schedule released this September at Kaniksu.org/Kaniksufolkschool.

The Follies is back this fall! Get excited for a return to the beloved adult variety show that has delighted Sandpoint audiences with its racy, risqué and sometimes ridiculous performances for years. Tickets go on sale Labor Day, so grab yours before they sell out! The theme for this year’s Follies, to be held October 1 and 2, is Studio 54: 70s Baby. The annual fundraising event put on by Angels Over Sandpoint helps to raise money for the organization’s many charitable deeds throughout the community. Not only is it a whopping fun time, it’s an opportunity to dress up, let your wild side out and support an incredible local cause. The show is not family friendly, so plan to leave the little ones at home. Visit AngelsOverSandpoint.org/events for more information.

Sandpoint Farmers Market Harvest Fest celebrates the last of the season’s bounty with the final market of the season on October 12 from 9am to 1pm. Held at Farmin Park downtown, the event will feature exciting activities and live music in addition to all of the amazing vendors we’ve enjoyed all summer long. Harvest-centric kids activities will be available for kids to enjoy, while autumn-inspired decorations and displays help celebrate this colorful and festive season of the year. Wander the displays, vendors and food booths while you enjoy live music by the Monarch Mountain Band, and celebrate fall the best way we know how: with family, friends and wonderful local artisans and goods. Visit SandpointFarmersMarket.com to learn more.

No matter where your fall adventures take you, there is something for everyone to enjoy and explore this fall in Sandpoint. With new and returning events alike, it’s a season for celebration. So, as you soak up the last days of summer, get ready to head out on the town for some incredible arts and entertainment that will keep you going all season long until the snow starts to fall.


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