Event Recap

Picklefest ‘24 Recap & Spokane Pickle Boom

Picklefest '24 Featured Image

Pickleball is exploding in the Inland Northwest?! Who knew…(almost everyone).

Truth be told, it’s becoming rare to meet anyone who hasn’t at least tried Pickleball once, and even more so to meet someone who hasn’t heard of the sport. Not just in the Inland Northwest, but across the United States. Pickleball allows all ages to come together and have fun in an environment that can be as competitive as you want it to be.

James and Sam Tournament Play Photo

Picklefest 2024 in Spokane was a public event in the Spokane Pavilion, an incredible backdrop with stunning views of the Spokane River to the north. We even spotted some marmots cheering from the sidelines! This five-day pickleball 'popup' extravaganza, organized by the Spokane Pickleball Club (SPC) and led by Mike Johansen, was designed to celebrate and promote the sport of pickleball. The event kicked off with a three-day public jamboree from Wednesday to Friday, offering everyone a chance to play, learn, and enjoy the sport. It culminated in a weekend tournament that saw nearly 200 players competing across various age and skill brackets for Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed Doubles. Inside the pavilion were five PickleRoll courts, providing a quality surface for tournament players to pickle, and out front were taped lines on asphalt, providing round-the-clock public play. A few large expansion joints in the concrete beneath the PickleRolls made for some funky bounces, but it was a laugh and all in good fun.

For a number of participants we spoke with, it was their first tournament experience, and they loved every moment of it. Players came from all over Washington, including Sequim, Seattle, Colville, Kennewick, and Walla Walla, showcasing the sport’s widespread appeal. The atmosphere was laid back and fun, and highlights included the Moneyball Doubles Scrambles on Thursday and Friday nights, providing intense games, complete with payouts up to $500.

Leah Tournament Play Photo

At the Brioti Pickleball Eyewear booth, it was a pleasure meeting new faces and hearing their pickleball stories. Many players shared their excitement about the growing pickleball scene in Spokane, but also expressed a desire for more places to play. The good news is, pickleball is indeed growing in Spokane! Thanks to the efforts of the SPC, twelve new courts have been striped at Comstock Park, eight new dedicated courts are open at Holmberg Park, and more are on the way with dedicated courts coming to Corbin Park and Underhill Park. Plus, indoor options are expanding as well, with facilities like The Press Pickleball Club and the upcoming Power Pickleball Club providing excellent spaces to play year-round.

The Press Pickleball Club in Downtown Spokane, run by Chris Allen, is already making a big splash. They recently hosted an MLP-style tournament that was a huge hit, and more recently, a Tyson McGuffin camp. They offer ongoing learn and play clinics, and Chris is always working to add fun and unique opportunities to the club’s programming. Their in-house pro shop and pro-level coaches make it an excellent spot for players of all levels to improve their game. To learn more about The Press Pickleball Club, visit Press Pickleball Club.

Press Pickleball Club Sneak Peak:The Press Pickleball Club Photo

Power Pickleball Club is another exciting addition coming this summer, located in Spokane Valley next to Burbity Workspaces. This state-of-the-art facility boasts over 40,000 square feet dedicated to pickleball, complete with food options and an outdoor patio space. Power Pickleball will also feature private party spaces and more, making it a premier destination for INW picklers. Stay tuned for their grand opening by visiting Power Pickleball Club.

Power Pickleball Club Sneak Peak:Power Pickleball Club Photo

A special shoutout to everyone who stopped by our booth to demo Brioti Pickleball Performance eyewear. Our OGMENT color-boosting lenses were a hit, the OGMENT 4D Shade preferred when the sun was shining, and the OGMENT 4D Boost being the primary choice during overcast moments. Seeing players embrace our eyewear and creating a custom package that works best for their eyes after demoing is truly rewarding.

Brioti Eyewear Picklefest Photo

As we look back on Picklefest '24, we can’t help but be excited about the future of pickleball in Spokane. This was only the first year, and we look forward to an even bigger and better turnout next year. For local players seeking more places to play in the Spokane area, visit the Spokane Pickleball Club's Find Play page for more information.

Until next time, keep your paddles up and HOLD THE LINE out there.

Spokane Pavilion Picklefest 2024 Photo

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