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Fish, facepainting and Ford replicas delight Valleyfest-goers on Saturday

September 23, 2018

Corbin Groh tugged on his line, grabbed the reel and jumped into the air.

“I got one. I got one,” the 5-year-old shouted toward his grandma and younger cousin. “Oh, it’s a big one.”

Such was the life of young fishers at this year’s Valleyfest in Mirabeau Point Park in Spokane Valley. In a small pool, with water cascading from the man-made falls above, little humans lined up along the docks and the cliff-side below to cast their lines. Their catch, put in the water just days before, would be donated to the Union Gospel Mission.

“Keep going,” Groh said to his 2-year-old cousin Lewis. “You got it. You got it.”

Hundreds of people flocked to the popular dayslong festival that began Friday afternoon with a parade and bed-racing in the park and near the CenterPlace Regional Event Center.

In addition to several stages with musical acts and performers, dozens of vendors were lined up along the park, offering food and face-painting. Then there was the small petting zoo, with chickens and bunny rabbits, and a giant inflatable bouncy house.

Before families could even make it that far, though, they passed through a sprawling car show on the north side of the event center. Children turned their heads and adults stopped to stare at the assortment of muscle cars, low-riders, and Cadillacs suspended several feet above the ground by hydraulics.

But it was the smallest attraction, wedged between a Camaro and Corvette, that got the largest reaction. Robert Sadler, 60, and his mother Luanna Sadler, 80, rode in together on a tiny Ford Model T truck about a quarter of the size of the real thing.

“It goes 19 miles per hour,” the younger Sadler said. “It’s scary.”

Originally built in 1910 and now moved by an engine that would normally push a lawn mower, the Sadlers said it took nearly a year of restorative work to get it in shape after it spent years collecting rust and dust on a friend’s lawn.

New paint. New tires. New seat. And new “headlights” – mandarin orange cans painted silver, with googly eyes stuck to the front.

“I put those on myself,” a proud Robert Sadler said.

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