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25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State

From famous sights in Seattle to undiscovered islands, bays and parks, Washington State is home to many beautiful places to visit. Plan a weekend trip to Spokane, Vancouver, Leavenworth, Ellensburg, Walla Walla and other unique towns surrounded by vineyards and stunning scenery. Here are the best places to visit in Washington State. Photo: maislam/Fotolia

Bustling and scenic Seattle has such an enormous variety of attractions that weekend visitors will have to do some serious prioritizing to make the most of every minute. Start your visit at the Sky View Observatory or the Space Needle, both of which offer incredible views of the city and the surrounding islands and mountains.

There are museums to satisfy all interests. The Center for Wooden Boats is probably one of the most unique museums because it offers you the chance to set off in an ancient maritime craft and learn how to row, sail and do repairs. Other museums include the Living Computer Museum, the EMP Museum dedicated to modern culture, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, and the Museum of History and Industry. Possibly the most interesting of all is the Museum of Flight which is home to 160 historic aircraft including a genuine Concord and a Space Shuttle Trainer. Also make a point to visit the Seattle Art Museum and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition which is absolutely fascinating. Foodies are spoiled by the number of choices available with an array of amazing food tours to satisfy just about every palate.

Next read: 25 Best Things to Do in Olympia, WA. Go on a whale watching tour near San Juan Island, photograph picturesque lighthouses, admire the waterfalls in Olympic National Park, go on a cruise in North Cascades National Park, and hike through Mount Rainier National Park. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: quasarphotos/Fotolia

Spokane offers a diverse selection of activities for weekend visitors, including many outdoor attractions as well as a small but select number of cultural activities. Riverfront Park lies at the heart of Spokane, covering over 100 acres and encompassing the sensational Spokane Falls. You can enjoy visiting all the park attractions on foot or get a great aerial view from the Spokane Falls Skyride. Nature lovers can make their way to the John A. Finch Arboretum to enjoy a spectacular display of trees and shrubs or visit Manito Park which houses a conservatory filled with tropical plants, in the midst of beautiful landscaped gardens. Hikers can tackle the 40-mile paved Centennial Trail along the scenic Spokane River in Riverside State Park.

Thrill-seekers can enjoy an exciting zip line adventure with Mica Moon Zip Tours, or try their hand at white-water rafting along an impressive 8-mile stretch of the Spokane River with ROW Adventure Center. The Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park becomes a hive of activity during winter. The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) is an impressive museum which includes five underground galleries and an outdoor amphitheater. Finally, round off your weekend by attending a performance of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra at the historic Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

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Bellevue is situated just across Lake Washington from Seattle and is an ideal weekend getaway destination offering a selection of family activities. There is an emphasis on green spaces and outdoor activities in Bellevue, with many great beaches, parks and gardens for you to enjoy. Energetic nature lovers can explore some of the many trails in the Mercer Slough Nature Park, which encompasses wetlands, forests and wildlife habitats, and offers free tours on Saturdays. There are several beach parks where you can soak up the sun and picnic or swim, including Meydenbauer Beach Park, Chism Beach Park and Newcastle Beach Park. Other good outdoor spots include the tranquil Bellevue Botanical Garden and Downtown Park.

Family favorites include the Kids Quest Children's Museum, which offers interactive activities for all ages, and the Kelsey Creek Park & Farm where city children can have country-style fun and learn about farm animals. Shoppers can enjoy strolling around Bellevue Square, the city's oldest mall which houses over 180 stores, many popular restaurants and a children's play area, or window-shopping at The Shops at The Bravern, an exclusive shopping complex featuring many big-name designer brands. The Bellevue Art Museum provides an ever-changing variety of exhibitions and offers hands-on workshops and programs for artists. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Jdubsvideo/Fotolia

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Port Townsend manages to effortlessly combine Victorian charm with a modern and trendy vibe, producing an ideal fusion of old and new. Most visitors come to Port Townsend to enjoy fresh sea air, beaches and boating, and some of the popular activities include exciting whale watching tours with the Puget Sound Express, and various other maritime wildlife excursions. At the Northwest Maritime Center you can learn how to sail or build a wooden boat, and at the Fort Worden State Park you can explore tidal pools, hiking trails and visit the Marine Science Center and the Port Wilson Lighthouse.

Port Townsend's National Historic District dates back to the 1800's and now encompasses the restored downtown Victorian sea port, which is home to vibrant shopping and dining, and the Port Townsend Historic Uptown, which once housed the gentry.

You can visit some interesting museums including Kelly's Art Deco Lighting Museum, the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, the Port Townsend Aero Museum and the Jefferson Museum of Art and History. Port Townsend has two historic theaters, The Uptown and the Rose Theatre, where you can watch movies, and there are a variety of clubs and pubs offering live music entertainment to round off your day. Try to be in town for the Gallery Walk on the first Saturday of each month. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Anna-Mari West/Fotolia

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The picturesque Walla Walla Valley is best known as a premier wine growing region, home to over 150 wineries, but the town of Walla Walla is equally enticing. Before you set off on a wine tour, spend a little time exploring Main Street in Downtown Walla Walla, where you can go on a self-guided tour of the many fascinating public art installations, and then enjoy the Outdoor Sculpture Walk of Whitman College. The performing arts are well represented in Walla Walla and you can attend a show at several theaters or listen to the Walla Walla Symphony Orchestra. In January and June the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival sees many acclaimed musicians popping up at venues all over town.

There are several museums where you can learn about the history of the town including the Fort Walla Walla Museum, the Whitman Mission and the Kirkman House Museum. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, cycling, bird watching, fishing and hunting at several venues and skate-boarders and BMX fans can have hours of fun showing off at Fort Walla Walla Park and Mill Creek Sportsplex. Children can have a fun learning experience at the Children's Museum of Walla Walla, while connoisseurs can enjoy a wine tasting at a few of the 34 tasting rooms in town or go on a winery tour. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: RG/Fotolia

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Kirkland's scenic position on the shores of Lake Washington ensures a great selection of activities for the whole family. Marina Park is situated close to downtown Kirkland and offers a beautiful environment for cycling, walking, jogging or fishing. There are several other delightful green spaces you can enjoy including Juanita Beach Park and Juanita Bay Park, where visitors and locals love to unwind, play some ball games or go walking, jogging or bird-watching. The Doris Cooper Houghton Beach Park has good facilities for children and is open all year round. For something really different you can head to the 132 nd Square Park, take off your shoes and enjoy the soothing benefits of the reflexology trail.

On rainy days families can head to the Techcity Bowl & Fun Center for bowling, billiards and arcade games. You can enjoy wonderful scenery and catch a rare glimpse of some lakeside homes of the rich and famous on a short cruise on Lake Washington with Argosy Cruises. When another brilliant sunset brings the day to an end, you can have a leisurely meal at one of Kirkland's many restaurants, or enjoy a beer or wine tasting at the Chainline Brewing Company or The Grape Choice. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Jdubsvideo/Fotolia

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Regardless of whether you are looking for a quite weekend getaway or are seeking history, culture and shopping, Friday Harbor on San Juan Island fits the bill. Whale watching, island hopping, kayaking tours and charter fishing are all very popular activities and there are several tour operators vying for your business, including San Juan Excursions Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruises, Outer Island Expeditions Boating and North Shore Charters Fishing and Sea Quest Kayak Tours, to name but a few.

If you prefer to keep your feet dry, you can explore the island on two wheels by renting a moped or bicycle from Suzie's Mopeds and Bicycles, or if you have a head for heights you can enjoy wonderful tree-top vistas on a San Juan Island Zip Tour excursion.

Art and shopping enthusiasts can have a great time exploring several arty attractions including the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, Waterworks Gallery and Island Studios Art Gallery and the Arctic Raven Gallery. There is more shopping available at Kings Market, Funk and Junk Antiques and Dan Levin Originals. A good way to round off a busy day is to visit one of several Day Spas for a relaxing massage, before you catch a show presented by Island Stage Left theater troupe. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: lembi /Fotolia

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Leavenworth is like a little piece of Bavaria that has been relocated to the center of Washington State, complete with scenic mountains, forests and distinctive Bavarian food. The unique character and atmosphere of the town is the result of Projekt Bayern (Project Bavaria) which was put in place to turn Leavenworth into a tourist attraction when a failing timber industry threatened the town's future in the 1960's. You can learn all about the history of the town when you visit Der Markt Platz (Market Square) where you can watch a 30min film that describes the transformation.

Leavenworth is a year-round destination with an emphasis on outdoor activities. In summer you can go white-water rafting or set off on one of several outdoor adventures. Leavenworth Ziplines will lure adventurers while children can enjoy a ride on a horse-drawn carriage or wagon.

You can visit the unusual Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum or the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts and in October the Oktoberfest is a great opportunity to savor German beer, food and entertainment. In the summer, the Leavenworth Summer Theater presents open-air shows against the backdrop of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: amenohi/Fotolia

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Yakima Valley in the heart of Washington State is blessed with great sunny weather, superb scenery and some of the best agricultural land in the state, and produces huge amounts of apples, hops and superb wines. A weekend visit to the valley will reward you with will almost unlimited attractions to suit everyone.

The Yakima River is the lifeblood of the valley and in summer you can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, trout fishing and even white-water rafting (in September, when water is released from the up-stream Roza Dam) amidst spectacular natural beauty in Yakima River Canyon, or you can go rock climbing and trekking in the surrounding mountains. In winter the area becomes a hot-spot for snow sports including skiing and snow-boarding.

Wine connoisseurs can enjoy tasting the produce of dozens of wineries in the Yakima Valley, most of which offer tastings and cellar tours. You can also go on the Spirits and Hops Trail, or take the children to pick fruit and berries during harvest time. You can visit the Yakima Valley Museum and the Hillside Desert Botanical Gardens, or add a cultural element to your visit by attending a performance of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra or a show at the Capitol Theatre, 4 th Street Theatre or The Seasons Performance Hall in downtown Yakima. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: maria.babak/Fotolia

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The Kitsap Peninsula in the Puget Sound region of Washington State is surrounded by 236 miles of coastline, dotted with over twenty coastal towns and villages, making it an ideal area to visit for a beach holiday. Not only will you have a wide selection of beach activities such as sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, and fishing to enjoy, but the entire area is also steeped in history and there are many interesting historic places to visit should you tire of the beach.

At Suquamish you can learn about the history of the Suquamish Tribe and visit the grave of Chief Seattle at the St. Peter's Mission Museum, and at Port Gamble you can step back in time for a glimpse of life during the heyday of the saw mills at the Port Gamble Historic Museum. You can take a tour of the Norwegian town of Poulsbo, offered by the Poulsbo Historical Society or take a free tour of the Marine Science Center.

The Kitsap Peninsula encompasses no less than nine state parks, and 14 city parks where you can hike, cycle and bird watch. There are 11 golf courses and a number of wonderful gardens to visit including the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island and Heronswood Gardens in Kingston. All of the quaint sea-side towns and cities offer interesting galleries, shopping and dining. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Visit Kitsap

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Olympic National Park offers you the rare opportunity to explore and camp in nearly one million acres of lush and pristine wilderness. This enormous UNESCO World Heritage Site covers several distinct ecosystems and offers almost unlimited activities for adventurous visitors. Hiking is the most popular and natural way to explore and there are trails suitable for all fitness levels, including strenuous Back-Packing trails from one campsite to the next. Some of the must-see attractions include Sol Duc Falls and the Sol Duc Salmon Cascades. You can rent a mountain bike or kayak, canoe or paddle board to explore the tranquil lakes.

For the less energetic or physically fit there are three Lake Cruises on Lake Quinault each day and a coach tour of the Quinault Rain Forest, which will give you an opportunity to see plenty of wildlife including black bears. The bird watching is excellent and fishing is very popular on all the lakes. At Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort you can relax in three hot mineral pools and one freshwater pool or treat yourself to a relaxing pool-side massage.

Winter transforms Olympic National Park into a snowy wonderland and skiing and snowboarding is available at Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: ejnelson314/Fotolia

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Mount Rainier National Park is an outstanding area of scenic beauty which offers visitors a diverse selection of outdoor attractions suitable for the entire family.Camping is popular and there are several campgrounds to choose from where you can enjoy the pleasures of sleeping under the stars.

Hiking through the wilderness is by far the most popular activity in the park and you can choose from no less than 40 different hiking trails that vary in length from the 2.5 mile Pinnacle Peak Trail to the challenging 45 mile Northern Loop Trail. In addition, there are some really easy walks for families with young children, including Paradise Vista and Trail of the Shadows. Cycling is allowed on the park roads, but not along the hiking trails. You can try your hand at fishing on the lakes and rivers or go canoeing or kayaking on the placid lakes.

For something really different you can do a Citizen Ranger Quest, aimed at teaching adults and families about aspects of the environment in a fun way. Serious mountaineers can enjoy the challenge of climbing Mount Rainier, which isa glacier-covered active volcano and requires a reasonable degree of expertise. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: paulfell/Fotolia

Surrounded by the waterways of Puget Sound, Bellingham has developed a strong reputation as a Mecca for paddlers, but also offers a diversity of cultural and artistic pursuits. Whatcom Falls Park, where you can swim, fish or picnic close to the Whatcome Creek Gorge and several beautiful waterfalls, is a good place to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. At Larrabee Park you can combine nature and history by hiking along the rocky coastline, and Mount Baker offers skiing and snowboarding in winter or cycling and camping in summer.

When you are ready to move indoors you can visit the Whatcome Museum of History & Art to see the impressive Lightcatcher building, where an enormous wall of curved glass floods the interior with natural light, or the Bellingham Railway Museum, which features model trains and tells the story of local railroading. Families can take the children to the Mindport Arts and Sciences Museum for some hands-on learning fun.

Nature lovers should not miss a visit to the Sehome Hill Arboretum to commune with nature, while art lovers can head to the Western Washington University Campus to see the Outdoor Sculpture Collection at the Western Gallery. At the waterfront, you can book a whale watching expedition or board a ferry to visit the San Juan Islands. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Galyna Andrushko/Fotolia

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Situated in the heart of Washington State's beautiful Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles has something special to offer each and every tourist. Energetic visitors can enjoy a variety of active holiday pursuits such as ocean and lake kayaking, mountain biking and paddle boarding - lessons and equipment on site. You can go cycling along the Discovery Trail or enjoy unlimited hiking, bird watching and fishing in near-by Olympic National Park or at Hurricane Ridge. Or, you can simply relax on a beautiful beach, explore the rock pools and enjoy the wonderful seascapes.

Art lovers are in for a treat at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center & Webster's Woods, where an excellent selection of art by Northwest artists is exhibited, along with over 100 sculptures in the surrounding 5-acre Webster's Woods. You can do a walking tour of the Downtown area to see the Art on the Town Outdoor Sculpture Gallery, and the Clallam County Historical Society's Museum at the Carnegie is well worth a visit to learn about the history of the area.

In addition, you can go on a Heritage Tour of the Downtown Historic District, choose a whale watching excursion, visit the Fiero Marine Life Center on the waterfront or go antique hunting and shopping in Downtown. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: maxwell/Fotolia

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Tacoma is beautifully situated along the banks of Puget Sound, offering a remarkably scenic backdrop to a modern city with an emphasis on the arts. There are a number of great museums you can visit in Tacoma, starting with the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, which will transport you back in time to life in a British outpost in the 1850's. Foss Waterway Seaport is a maritime museum popular with families, and motor enthusiasts can visit Lemay - America's Car Museum and the Lemay Family Collection at Marymount to see one of the largest collections of vintage cars in America.

Tacoma is famous for glass art, and at the Museum of Glass you can learn all about the art of glass blowing and see the amazing Chihuly Bridge of Glass created by local glass artist Dale Chihuly.

To experience the great outdoors you can make your way to Point Defiance Park where there are miles of walking and cycling trails, the lovely Point Defiance Rose Garden, the Point Defiance Pagoda and the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, which is a family favorite. Other attractions for families include the Explore It Scavenger Hunt and the Children's Museum of Tacoma where kids can have hours of fun with hands-on learning experiences.

Finally, you can explore an eclectic selection of boutique shops, restaurants and music venues along Sixth Avenue. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Gregory Johnston/Fotolia

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Beautiful Vancouver is one of the oldest cities in Washington State, dating back to the early 1800's, and it has a treat in store for all nature lovers and anyone interested in pioneer history. Vancouver has no shortage of green spaces and the Waterfront Renaissance Trail, which runs for 5 miles along the banks of the Columbia River linking Wintler Park with downtown Ester Short Park, is a great place for strolling, jogging, skating and cycling. Other popular outdoor attractions you can visit include Vancouver Lake Park where you can canoe, kayak or windsurf, and enjoy picnics and a children's play area, and Salmon Creek Regional Park, which has a sandy beach, a roped swimming area and a children's playground.

You can visit the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, which encompasses the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, the US Army's Vancouver Barracks and the Pearson Air Museum to learn about the origins of the city. Historic Officer's Row comprises 22 fully restored beautiful historic buildings that once housed the US Army officers, featuring beautiful architecture dating back to the 1800's.

Other interesting attractions you can visit include the Clark County Historical Museum, the Water Resources Education Center, the Cathlepotle Plank House and the weekend Farmer's Market in Ester Short Park where over 250 local producers will temp your taste buds. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Konstantin/Fotolia

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Bainbridge Island is situated just 35 minute west of Seattle (via the Washington State Ferry from Pier 52), making it the ideal destination for a weekend or day trip out of the city. There are several places where you can walk or hike, starting with the Waterfront Trail near the ferry terminal, which offers a 1.5 mile loop along the beach or a 2 mile loop through parks and historic sites. Other lovely parks and gardens you can explore are the Bloedel Reserve, which features a beautiful Japanese Garden, the Fay Bainbridge Park for camping and boating, the Fort Ward State Park and Battle Point Park, all of which you can easily access by jumping on the Frog Hopper Jump On - Jump Off bus.

If you would like to learn some water sports, make your way to Back of Beyond, near the ferry terminal, which offers canoe, kayak and paddle-board rentals and lessons. Bainbridge Island is great for cycling - you can rent a bike from Bike Barn Rentals.

If the weather is less than perfect you can spend your time enjoying the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum and the Kids Discovery Museum. You can also enjoy wine tastings and visit wineries, or simply stroll through Downtown Winslow which is packed with cute shops and many restaurants and coffee bars. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: jamesh77/Fotolia

Escape to North Cascades National Park for an outdoor adventure beyond your expectations. There is so much to do in this scenic and pristine wilderness that you will not know where to start, so it is a good idea to stop by a visitor center on arrival to get all the information you need for an enjoyable visit.

The most popular way to enjoy the beauty of North Cascades National Park is to hike some of the 400 miles of amazing trails that vary from short scenic walks suitable for families to steep and challenging climbs. Along the way you can enjoy excellent bird and wildlife watching, camping, picnicking, fishing or even cycling. You can also go on a guided walk with a ranger or attend an interpretive talk, which is great for younger visitors, or attend a class at the North Cascades Institute at the new Environmental Learning Center.

To give your legs a rest from hiking, you could jump aboard the Lady of the Lake Ferry for a cruise to the historic town of Stehekin, which lies in the center of the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. In winter the entire North Cascades National Park is transformed into a snow-covered paradise where you can try your hand at downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Zack Frank/Fotolia

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Point Roberts is unique in that it is the only little chunk of the USA that is only accessible through Canada, and you will need the necessary identification documents to cross the border. Point Roberts offers visitors the ideal destination for a laid-back beach holiday with plenty of outdoor attractions to keep you busy from dawn to dusk. There are several (free) beaches where you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, tide pooling and a variety of water sports, including Maple Beach, Monument Park, Lighthouse Marine Park and Point Lily Marine Reserve. Lighthouse Park is one of the best spots on Point Roberts for land-based whale watching and you can also visit the Orca Center, to learn all about the large pods of Orcas that frequent the waters.

You can go hiking along numerous trails in Monument Park and Lily Point Park, or explore on two wheels instead with bicycle rentals from Pedal Pushers. Point Roberts is an important nesting area for American Bald Eagles, and there are several easily observable nests dotted around Lily Point, which is a prime place to spend a few hours doing some bird watching. You can enjoy a round of golf at the Point Roberts Golf and Country Club, or visit the Blue Heron Gallery to see artworks by resident local artists. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Pierrette Guertin/Fotolia

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When you feel the need to escape the city and get back to nature in a magnificently scenic wilderness, Lake Wenatchee State Park welcomes you with year round outdoor activities for the whole family. Lake Wenatchee is situated on the shores of a glacier-fed lake, and offers two separate and distinct areas for recreation.

South Park is located on the lake shore and you can spend many happy hours exploring the beach or boating, swimming, wind-surfing and fresh-water fishing. There are several miles of hiking trails and you can camp under the stars and wake up each morning to the sounds of the gently lapping water and dozens of birds. There are sheltered fire-pits where you can build camp fires and enjoy toasting marshmallows after your evening barbecue.

North Park is a short distance from the lake, less developed and quite thickly forested. Here there are serviced RV sites for larger vehicles and you can go on guided horse rides through the forest to see a variety of birds and animals, including bears. In winter, the entire park is transformed into a snowy wonderland and you can look forward to enjoying cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding, in between building the ultimate snowman and having some snow-ball fun. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: tusharkoley/Fotolia

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Birch Bay is situated on a beautiful and peaceful crescent-shaped bay close to the Canadian border, offering the perfect escape from fast-paced city life. Here you can spend hours strolling along the quiet beach, sun-bathing, swimming or beach-combing at low tide. The atmosphere is conducive to relaxation, and you can choose from many enjoyable vacation activities such as cycling, hiking, picnicking and bird watching. If you enjoy water sports you can kayak or windsurf in the bay.

You can go hiking though forested areas to reach the beach at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve, or explore the forests and wetlands in the undeveloped 60 acre Birch Bay Beach Wildlife Conservancy adjacent to Birch Bay State Park; both areas are great for bird watching. If you are visiting with children you can plan a fun family camping experience at Birch Bay State Park where everyone will enjoy scavenging for seafood or hiking the Terrell Marsh Interpretive Trail.

For more enjoyable family activities you can visit the Birch Bay Waterslides where there are rides for all ages or Miniature World Family Fun Center which offers Go Karts (& Kidz Karts), mini-golf and miniature train rides. Birch Bay also hosts a variety of festivals throughout July, including the annual Art-2-Jazz Street Fair, the Birch Bay Sandcastle Competition and the Birch Bay Music Festival. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Lijuan Guo/Fotolia

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Situated in the heart of Washington State, Ellensburg is an ideal weekend getaway destination with an amazing variety of activities to suit all interests. The town is famous for the Ellensburg Rodeo held each year on the Labor Day weekend, but great weather has made Ellensburg a popular center for outdoor activities such as water-skiing on the Columbia River, rafting, golf, fishing and a variety of snow sports in winter. The John Wayne Pioneer Trail is great for cyclists, and hikers can explore a selection of trails in the Umtanum Creek Recreation Area, Lake Easton State Park and several other scenic locations, all of which also offer good bird watching.

History buffs can enjoy a walking tour of Historic Downtown Ellensburg, which is lined with many historic buildings that date back to 1889, when most of the original town was burned to the ground on the 4 th of July. Today these historic buildings house an assortment of museums, galleries, restaurants and interesting shops, including the Clymer Museum of Art, Gallery One, the Kittitas County Historical Museum and the Main Street Market Mall.

On Saturdays you can visit the KC Farmer's Market for fresh local produce, and if you are in town on the first Friday of each month you can join the Ellensburg First Friday Art Walk, when several shops and galleries display their works. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: myellensburg.com

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Orcas Island offers visitors a charming blend of cute villages, beautiful rural landscape, picture-perfect seascapes, beaches, water sports and a generous helping of the arts. A great place to start your exploration is at Moran State Park, which offers great hiking, cycling and horse-back riding though pristine scenery, including several lakes and the island's highest mountain. Foodies can go on an Orcas Island Food & Farms Tour to taste the best of Orcas Island produce, including visits to a variety of farms, restaurants, wineries, breweries and the Buck Bay Shellfish Farm.

To burn off some calories you can try kayaking with Discovery Sea Kayaks and Evergreen Escapes, which are two of several outfits offering guided kayaking tours. A whale watching excursion is a must-do activity on Orcas Island, and will get you up close to some magnificent whales, as well as seals, porpoises and many other marine animals and birds. Children can enjoy learning about the ecosystem at Orcas W.I.L.D. (Orcas Wildlife Institute for Learning and Discovery) or just have fun at The Funhouse Commons or Canoe Island French Camp. Back on dry land you can explore the vibrant Orcas Island arts scene by visiting some of the many galleries and venues for the performing arts, such as Island Stage Left and Orcas Center. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Jdubsvideo/Fotolia

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Washington's lovely Skagit Valley is situated in a wonderfully scenic area between Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. The four very charming rural towns in the valley include La Conner, Mount Vernon, Bow and Burlington, all of which offer both indoor and outdoor holiday attractions.

During the summer you can enjoy a variety of water sports on the Skagit River, ranging from family rafting trips to eagle watching and white-water rafting excursions with Pacific North West Float Trips or Alpine Adventures. Nature lovers can combine hiking with exceptional bird watching in the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, or go on a whale watching cruise with Mystic Sea Charters.

When you need a break from the beach you can visit a few of the interesting valley museums, starting with the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum, the Skagit County Historical Museum and the Museum of Northwest Art.

There are some delightfully original shops and galleries you can visit in the Skagit Valley towns and the valley hosts several annual festivals including the Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival in January, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April and the Skagit Valley Highland Games in July. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Photo: Bill Perry/Fotolia

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Vashon Island occupies an enviable position nestled in the midst of Puget Sound, about half-way between Seattle and Tacoma. The 20 minute ferry crossing offers outstanding views of the Seattle skyline, but Vashon Island has more than just good views to offer visitors. The beautiful setting of the island has attracted many resident artists - you can see their work at Blue Heron Art Center, Heron's Nest Gallery and Valise Gallery, to name but a few.

One of the best ways to get around is by cycling along the quiet country roads or around the circumference of the island, where you can stop off to picnic, swim, sun bathe and beach comb along an almost endless 65mile stretch of sea shore. Inland there are many parks and forests where you can enjoy hiking and bird-watching, particularly around Fisher Pond, which is the largest wetland on the island. You can visit Point Robinson Beach and Lighthouse, or make your way to Dockton Park on Maury Island to enjoy the marina and some hiking trails. If you love fishing you can try your luck off the long wooden pier at Tramp Harbor.

Vashon Island hosts a fun Strawberry Festival each year in July where you can taste everything remotely related to strawberries and join in the parade. 25 Best Places to Visit in Washington State - Courtesy Dave/Fotolia

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February Festival Sundiata: African-American Celebration Celebrating 25 years at Seattle Center, Festival Sundiata is the most comprehensive African and Black American cultural event in the city. Each February, traditional drumming and dance set a rhythmic tone for two days of continuous live entertainment, while an impressive line-up of Northwest artists take jazz, rap, gospel, Hop-Hop, R&B and traditional African styles to new heights. Named to celebrate the West African Mansa (king of kings) of the Mali Empire, who rescued the Griot -- his people's storyteller and tribal historian -- Festival Sundiata is a powerful representation of diverse cultural traditions, kept vibrant and current through dynamic creative expression. Music, visual art (including a children's exhibit depicting the Griot), hands-on children's activities and the UJAAMA cooperative marketplace with crafts and imported items, create a collective and comprehensive picture of the African and African-American journey. This outstanding African-American cultural arts celebration is produced by the Sundiata African American Cultural Association and Seattle Center's Festal.

March Port Townsend Victorian Festival. Nestled in the Northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula at the entrance to Puget Sound is beautiful Port Townsend, our historic Victorian Seaport and Arts Community. Come to the Victorian Festival and plan to stay a few days, partaking of the Festival fun and the limitless opportunities for exploration of historic sites and natural wonders all over the Peninsula. The city enjoys a unique place on the National Historic Register. One of only three such ports on the entire coastline of the United States, Port Townsend is known for its Victorian era architecture, breathtaking bayside harbor location and a wide variety of outdoor activities. Both marine and forest environments await. The Jefferson County Historical Society proudly presents our 10th annual VICTORIAN FESTIVAL. The entire town becomes a festival venue, with activities and presentations for the young and the young at heart; visitor and resident.

March Basset Bash & Brigade. Part of the Celebrate Woodinville celebration. On April Fools’ Day, in a town called Woodinville, Washington, the howling, rooing, and wolfing begins at day break. Hounds hurry past. Sidewalks crowd with folks. Jazzy music fills the streets. Kids on bikes pass out candy. The All Fools’ Day parade begins. First come tumblers, unicycles, and marching bands, and then comes the Basset Brigade. Bassets waddle. Bassets swing. Up and down the main street, Bassets sing. Bassets march down the street (and their people, too). Hounds wag fat tails. Hula hounds, Basset butterflies, jester dogs and more join the parade. And one question is on everyone’s mind. Who will be King and Queen of All Fools’ Day? Let’s head over to the Basset Bash and find out which hounds win. Roll out the blankets and open the picnic baskets. Bags of dog food, doggie sweaters and rosette ribbons are handed out to the dog with the best howl, the longest ears, the most freckles, and the most foolish human. And there you have it, folks, Woodinville's Basset Bash & Brigade. Woof it up! Hand out the chocolate dog bones. Waddle away. See you next year on April Fools’ Day. See also Celebrate Woodinville

March Driftwood Show and Artisan Fair. Held at Grayland, Grays Harbor County, this is a beachcombers delight where non-professional adults and children can enter their beach-combed art forms contests. There are 22 divisions to enter Driftwood, Flotsam, Jetsam, and Photography (coastal scenes). The rules say exhibitors may enter one item in each division. Examples of the divisions are finished or natural driftwood, carvings on driftwood and floral arrangements on driftwood. Ribbons and cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be presented to the winners in each division. You can start the day off with a South Beach Christian Outreach Pancake Breakfast. and then move right along with the flow of festivities.

March Washington State Science and Engineering Fair. To be Held at Olympic College in Bremerton, the Washington State Science and Engineering fair is open to all Washington State students in grades 1 through 12 of public, private, and parochial, or certified home schools. Kindergarten students may enter as first grade students. Come and let your mind be expanded.

March Irish Week Festival Held every March. There is much in common between Seattle and Ireland, in addition to the fact that Seattle and Galway are Sister Cities. The Irish community in Seattle has always celebrated St. Patrick's day, and this exuberant 2-day festival is committed to bringing authentic Irish culture to the community at large in order to foster a better understanding of Ireland and its people. The annual Irish Week Festival aims to create the Irish experience for immigrants and friends of the Irish alike. Irish dignitaries, visiting artists and a parade cap the event, while local folk participate in workshops and contests, hear lectures and watch films, try their skill at Irish step dancing and join in singalongs, search their ancestry, view cultural displays and tap their toes to lively Irish music and dance. The Irish Week Festival is produced by The Irish Heritage Club and Seattle Center's Festal.

April Junior Daffodil Parade Held in April, the Daffodil Festival Junior Parade is a prelude to Tacoma's Grand Floral Street Parade. The Junior Daffodil Festival is a community event that is hosted by the Proctor District of Tacoma and is geared to children to encourage fun and creativity for the young people of the area. Costumes, pets, music and non-motorized floats make this parade a special event.

April Daffodil Festival - Grand Floral Street Parade. Held in April, the Daffodil Festival is one of the nation's top 10 floral festivals, celebrating spring and the area's colorful commercial bulb fields. The parade begins in Tacoma, then travels through the four cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting and consists of approximately 40 float entries and over 80-some other entries, including bands, marching and mounted units, classic automobiles and precision drill teams. The Grand Floral Street Parade is the highlight of Festival Week. 2010 marked the festival's 77th year.

April Daffodil Festival - Daffodil Marine Regatta. Held on the heels of Tacoma's Grand Floral Street parade, Tacoma's Daffodil Marine Regatta is a tradition that began more than 50 years ago. At the conclusion of the Daffodil Parade, flowers are removed from parade floats and vehicles and then taken to the Tacoma yacht Club where members would decorate vessels and boats and parade up and down the Ruston waterfront. It is not unusual to see more than 150 boats participating in what has become one of the regions largest marine regattas.

April Puyallup Spring Fair. The Puyallup Fair (officially known as the Western Washington Fair) is the largest single attraction held annually in the state of Washington. The Fair continually ranks in the top ten largest fairs in the world. The Western Washington Fair Association hosts two annual events, the 17-day Puyallup Fair every September, and the four-day Puyallup Spring Fair every April. Situated south of Seattle and east of Tacoma in the shadow of majestic Mount Rainier, the Fairgrounds comprise 169+ acres, with buildings and land. The mission of the fair is to respond to the communities' needs by producing a dynamic Fair, in a year-round facility, that serves an ever-expanding circle of peoples. The Fair will showcase excellence in the traditions of the Past, the products of the Present and the vision of the Future in the areas of Agriculture, Trade and Industry. Values are placed on Family, Fun, People, Learning, Entertainment, Safety, Financial Strength, Responsiveness, Cleanliness and Flexibility. Come and enjoy!

April Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and La Conner Chamber of Commerce present the annual Poulsbo RV Tulip Frolic. Also featured will be musical presentations by local bands and organizations on two stages, one with full sound system and one for acoustical performances. Held in downtown La Conner.

April Woodfest. Held in Sedro-Woolley, Woodfest, brings out wood crafters, wood turners, chainsaw carvings, traditional carvers, high school woodshop exhibits & competitions, antique tools, and more.

April Willapa Bay Seafood Festival.Music, fresh seafood, beer garden, oyster shucking contests. Held at the Port of the Peninsula Mooring Basin, on the Long Beach Peninsula.

April Norwegian Heritage Festival. Held on the grounds of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, The Norwegian Heritage Festival showcases Norwegian food and culture, music performances and arts and crafts demonstrations. The festival includes children's story telling, genealogy classes, folk dancing and an authentic Norwegian cafe. Also included are woodcarving, weaving and live entertainment. The mission of the Scandinavian Cultural Center is to preserve the heritage and culture of the Nordic countries in the Pacific Northwest. The center provides the community with a wide array of exhibits, programs and special cultural events throughout the year.

May South Sound Classical Choir The South Sound Classical Choir is a chapter of The Valley Arts Society which was founded in May 1994 as a tax-exempt non-profit organization for the performing arts. The society was established to educate and increase interest of the general public in various types of music and drama as practiced by the society. It was structured as an umbrella organization providing an avenue for community performing groups to be able to perform in a professional atmosphere with all the benefits afforded professional entertainers. After South Sound Classical Choir’s founding in January 2003, it rapidly grew to 40 members during its first year. Currently, membership consists of more than 60 members and performs six to eight times a year.

May Colorama Festival - Grand Coulee North Dam Park - Held Annually on Mother's Day. This festival is a hometown favorite and draws people from the Grand Coulee Dam Area and the surrounding towns as well. It is a popular event for former residents of the area to return to year after year. The festival is held annually on Mother's Day weekend in beautiful North Dam Park (between Grand Coulee and Electric City). Activities for the weekend include two Pro-West Rodeos, a parade down main street, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, a beer garden, and a prize button raffle drawing with grand prizes.

May Tacoma Classic Weekend After a rounding success in 2006, Small Ships Tacoma and The Foss Waterway Seaport (home of The Working Waterfront Maritime Museum) have partnered to present Tacoma Classic Weekend. The event will be held at The Working Waterfront Maritime Museum located at the mouth of the Foss Waterway in Tacoma and will be held towards the end of June. Featured events will be classic wooden yachts, classic fiberglass boats, classic motorcycles and bicycles, classic cars, hot rods, music, food and beverages, miniature boat building, a spaghetti dinner and charity raffle. Do you have a classic wooden boat or fiberglass boat from the 1950s and 1960s that you would like to display in the water? Visit Tacoma Classic Weekend website for a registration form. Do you have a classic vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle you want to display? Is your classic car club interested in participating? Come on down on Saturday morning and be prepared to have a fun time. The event is sponsored by the Working Waterfront Maritime Museum, Small Ships Tacoma, The Classic Yacht Association, The Ed Monk Wooden Boat Club, The Antique and Classic Boat Society Pacific Northwest Chapter, Gig Harbor Antique and Classic Yacht Festival and many area merchants. This is going to be "the real thing."

May Penn Cove Water Festival. Coupeville, Washington. The Penn Cove Water Festival features annual tribal canoe races, Native arts and crafts, demonstrations, storytelling, dance performances, artist demonstrations, authentic Native foods, children's activities, and exhibits and displays. In 2004, a group of Whidbey Island community members formed the nonprofit Penn Cove Water Festival Association, to plan and produce an annual event. The Festival takes place on one Saturday in early May, depending on which Saturday has the best tides for the canoe races. The races have expanded to include more categories, including the large family “journey” canoes. The Water Festival provides the setting for Northwest tribes to share their heritage with tribal dancing, singing, storytelling, native artists’ booths and demonstrations, fry bread and salmon cooked over an alder wood fire.

May Seattle Maritime Festival. Seattle Maritime Festival is an annual event held at the beginning of May. Tugboat aficionados are a jovial maritime subculture, as indicated by the oxymoron-ish concept of a "tugboat race." The festival is a friendly invitation to join in their passions for a day or two. Most of the activity is held around the Bell Street Pier (Pier 66), on Seattle's Waterfront. The festival is very family oriented, with lots of free activities for kids. Tour a tugboat. See the maneuvers of remote controlled model boats. Outdoor barbecues and pier restaurants supply ample food. Or there are plenty of places to perch with your own picnic lunch if you want to keep the day inexpensive.

May University District Street Fair For over 35 years the University District Street Fair has been the kick-off event for the festival season in the Seattle region. Attracting more than 50,000 people and nearly 400 craft and food booths to the District, the StreetFair is an energetic and exciting celebration of arts and crafts, community, music, and food. You'll find a whirl of color, craft, creativity and downright craziness! Join the thousands of people who attend. There are two great music stages, a special children's area with age appropriate events, a live theatre stage, and a wonderful medley of street performers. Unique local and regional arts & crafts and an array of international food will delight you. The Street Fair is a free event, located in the heart of Seattle's University District on University Way NE, and is produced by the Greater University Chamber of Commerce.

May Lacey Spring Fun Fair Since 1988, Lacey Spring Fun Fair organizers have worked hard to create the perfect environment for kids. it’s called Kids World! With the help of non-profit organizations from the greater Thurston County region, St. Martin's University, the City of Lacey, and North Thurston Public Schools, the campus of St. Martin's University is converted into a kids' paradise every May. Additionally, Lacey Spring Fun Fair offers a wide range of free family-oriented entertainment! The outdoor Main stage and the indoor Pavilion stage provide a variety of local and regional entertainers including jazz, country, folk, golden oldies and gospel performances. You can hear talented singers, solo or in groups, with or without accompaniment. When you add in performing arts, such as drama, cheer & drill teams, and dance from ballet, folk, contemporary or hip-hop, Lacey Spring Fun Fair is truly the place to be for entertainment!

May Sasquatch Music Festival Sasquatch Music Festival is a music festival held annually over Memorial Day weekend at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington and is presented by the House of Blues. The Gorge Amphitheatre, near the Columbia River is a multiple winner of Pollstar magazine's award for Best Outdoor Music Venue where there is an emphasis on indie rock bands and singer-songwriters, but also includes alternative rock and hip hop acts.

May Edmonds Waterfront Festival The Edmonds Waterfront Festival is held in May at the Port of Edmonds Marina. Each year, there is entertainment, a family stage, a beer garden stage and ducks on parade. The Rotary Club of Edmonds, as its premier fund-raiser, presents this annual family festival which includes marine exhibits, arts & crafts and FOOD. This is one of Edmonds’ top outdoor events, attracting an estimated attendance of 35,000.

June Lakewood SummerFEST Don’t miss Lakewood SummerFEST! This event is held each year near the tail end of June or first part of July at Fort Steilacoom Park along Steilacoom Blvd. (8714 - 87th Avenue SW) Lakewood, WA 98498 Admission is Free and festivities on Saturday begin at 11:00 AM and run on into the night. All toll, there’s musical entertainment on two different stages; KIDZ Zone Play Area; Car Show and Motorcycle Rally; Historical Tours and Activities; Soccer Tournament; Safety Fair; Demonstrations and Displays; Army Strong Fitness Expo; R/C Boat Races, Vendor Booths; Outdoor Movie at Dusk; special appearances by the Seattle Seahawks and SeaGals, the Seattle Storm and the Seattle Sounders FC; And much, much more! For more information, please call the City of Lakewood at (253) 983-7780

June Roy Pioneer Rodeo. Held in June (and September) the Roy Pioneer Rodeo features an Old West flavor. At the Roy Pioneer Rodeo, there are bucking broncos, homemade sweets, bake sales, a cowboy breakfast, a spaghetti feed dinner, and evening country dancing, all in the country town of Roy, just south of Tacoma.

June JazzyJune On a hot August night in 2001, a Hot August Nights event was ushered in by a group of local women who began networking in support of success through real connections, to provide knowledge and opportunity through abundant resources and to allow for casual and comfortable conversations where relationships in business and life expand. It seemed to be the hottest night in August that year so it was decided that June might be a smidgy better, giving in to a little less heat and maybe a little more comfort. Since then, JazzyJune has steadily met with an increasing amount of success and each year providing a different charitable organization with the evening’s financial proceeds. JazzyJune was founded by Rachael Costner, director of Women's Resource and owner of Sands Costner & Associates who continually looks for new ways to purposefully connect and network by creating unique venues and opportunities that appeal to the busy lifestyles that many women lead. It will be found that the power of JazzyJune is in the variety, the fun, the laughter, the connections, the resources and the relationships that are built over time. " Experience the power of laughter and the folks that will make us laugh. As usual, there's a delicious spread of food, a no-host bar and a fondue fountain.

June Seattle Pride Since Seattle launched its first Gay Pride Festival in 1974, it's become the largest gay festival in the Northwest. As they make their way to the Freedom Rally in Volunteer Park, Northwest gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders march side by side in the annual Pride parade in celebration of their solidarity. Up Broadway they move with flamboyant splendor, their gay banners waving above the exuberant caravan of lavish floats, drag mavens in fancy duds, dykes on bikes and gay-friendly politicians. Besides the parade and rally, Gay Pride sponsors dances, sports events and special forums. Over the two-day festival, 100,000-plus supporters explore the caravan of vendors sprawled along Broadway, with the revelry spilling over into gay-friendly bars and restaurants.

June Edmonds Arts Festival Held in June. For three days, over Father’s Day weekend, the waterfront town of Edmonds is the site of one of the Northwest’s premier arts festivals. Each year art-lovers immerse themselves in a rich array of visual and performing arts. Great food and special activities for children round out this annual event including plaza & field artists, performing arts, kids creative corner, junior art exhibits, a juried gallery, a food court plus wine bar & bistro. Over 75,000 art lovers from the greater King and Snohomish counties and beyond are expected to attend this popular free three-day festival. One of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest and largest arts festivals, it offers a r ich array of visual and performing arts and art events in a stunning natural setting. Art lovers can stroll charming “streets” named after painters as they discover and purchase fine art and artisan crafts directly from the talented artists themselves. The Festival will showcase the work of over 200 selected artist exhibitors, offering oils, watercolors, pastels, drawings, mixed media, photography, sculpture, fiber arts, jewelry, glass, metal, pottery/ceramics, toys, collectibles, and furniture. This Festival has something for everyone, with performing arts, seminars, classes, children’s activities, musicians, and storytellers. A striking limited-edition Festival poster and a poster created by a junior artist will be specially produced to commemorate the event. The Annual Edmonds Arts Festival began in 1957. The mission then, as now, was to celebrate and promote the arts with a lively and pleasurable presentation of local and national work.

June Laser Light Festival. Held in June at Grand Coulee Dam. Nightly at 10 PM. The Grand Coulee Dam is used as a giant movie screen while lasers dance across the face and spillway, telling the story of the Columbia River, history and purposes of the Grand Coulee Dam. Nightly at 10PM (approx 37min) Entertaining as well as educational for all ages, with music. An unforgettable experience! The Columbia River tells you its story through this narrated production of brilliant lasers that dance across the face of the entire Grand Coulee Dam! Learn about the dam and enjoy the entertainment sections with a patriotic finale. Great for all ages! If you are not in a "speaker" section, the program can be heard on 90.1 FM Radio. There are several areas to view the show from. View from the Visitor Arrival Center bleacher area or park area below the center (speakers provided), Crown Point Vista, Coulee Dam parks, vista points, across from the Coulee Dam shopping area on the east side of the bridge bleacher area - grassy knoll (speakers provided>.

June Pike Place Market Street Festival Held during the first part of June each year, Pike Place Market Street Festival is held along the Seattle waterfront and is a two-day event in the Market Place. It features arts & crafts, food, beer and wine gardens, chef demos and the Strut Your Mutt Dog Show and Parade plus kids zone activities. Additionally, there is live entertainment galore and hundreds of local artisans. Experience a one of a kind marketplace, the likes of which is nowhere else but along Seattle's historic waterfront. Pike Place Market is a need-to-see place to go.

June Northwest New Works Festival Held in June. For 23 years, On the Boards (OtB) has celebrated the most innovative artists from our community and region, through the Northwest New Works Festival. The festival features 20-minute showcases of works by the region’s established and emerging contemporary performing artists and companies across a range of disciplines: dance, theater, music, solo performance, multimedia, and performance installation. Artists come from Seattle, Portland, Bellingham, Vancouver BC, and beyond! Line-up of artists are available on OTB's website.

June Meeker Days Hoedown and Bluegrass Festival. Held in downtown Puyallup, Meeker Days' festivities date back to 1939 and the golden Anniversary of Washington statehood. Meeker Days has grown from a small arts and crafts fair in Pioneer Park into what is now one of Pierce County's largest and most successful street festival. Meeker Days Festival will be held in conjunction with "Meeker Days at the Mansion," located at 312 Spring St., Puyallup.

June Sound to Narrows 12K Run. Held in June, the Sound to Narrows 12K Run is one of the top 25 foot races in the United States, drawing some 10,000 runners from all ages. The run begins and ends in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park and includes the park's Five-Mile Drive.

June Samoa Cultural Day The Asia Pacific Cultural Center, in partnership with Clover Park High School, will present a full day of authentic Samoan cultural activities at Lang Stadium at Clover Park High School (Lakewood, Washington). Activities include: Parade – Savaliga; Welcome Ava Ceremony; Traditional Village; Dances/Songs; Native Oratory Speeches; Samoa Traditional Games; Island Food Booths; Polynesian Handicrafts; Services Providers Information; And more.

June Tacoma Highland Games. Frontier Park, Graham, Washington, and held annually on the 4th Saturday in June, the Tacoma Highland Games Association brings alive the tradition of the Highland Games at Frontier Park in Graham. 2004 marked the 35th Annual Tacoma Highland Games. This event continues to be one of the most pleasant and family orientated Games in the area. The centerpiece of the Games are competitions in four major area: Highland piping, drumming, dancing and traditional Scottish athletics. Here you will be able to experience Scottish music, culture and food, and enjoy a variety of Celtic performances.

June Taste of Tacoma Held in mid-summer, Taste of Tacoma features the city's largest food festival, and is held in Point Defiance Park. Chefs and restaurants from the entire area participate. This event includes over 30 booths, offers goodies ranging from barbecue spareribs and ethnic dishes to heavenly desserts and Washington State wines and beers, plus live music and local artists. This is possibly the ultimate family picnic.

June Vancouver International Jazz Festival. In Vancouver B.C. Today, twenty years after its inauguration, the TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival is the largest music festival in British Columbia, winner of numerous awards for Best Festival and praised as one of the leading jazz festivals in the world. Acclaimed for its innovative and adventurous programming, stellar production values, community partnerships, solid fiscal management and extraordinary volunteers (1000+) the Festival brings audiences a state of the art look at the global jazz scene. Over 400 shows (including 130 free concerts) take place during the 10 days of the Festival. By taking the music to concert halls, clubs, parks, community centers, public plazas, and neighborhoods and streets, the Jazz Festival animates the city like at no other time of year. From Water Street in historic Gastown to grand concert halls like the Orpheum and the Commodore; from the picturesque Capilano Suspension Bridge to the huge outdoor stage at David Lam Park, jazz of all styles and stripes, blues, funk, Latin, fusion, electronica and world music resonates in venues big and small across the city.

June Freemont Fair. Held in June, the Fremont Fair is located in the funky and friendly Fremont neighborhood—Seattle, Washington's own "Center of the Universe." Now in its 39th year, Fremont Fair returns to celebrate the Summer Solstice and the best of its community: art, spirit, sharing, celebration and working together to help each other. During Fair weekend, people from all walks of life come together to shop, eat, drink, perform, smile, dance, run, converse, debate, groove and parade. And while Fremont Fair continues to emphasize good times, don't forget about the good work it does by raising awareness and understanding of the needs of low-income people in our community. Presented by Fremont Public Association (FPA), all donations received during this FREE event go directly to fund FPA programs that provide shelter, food, advocacy and care for low-income families and individuals throughout Seattle and King County. YOU CAN HELP! Bring a buck or two to drop in the orange donation boxes at the main festival entrances. It only takes $1 to make a difference! Thousands upon thousands of people come to Fremont to enjoy the sun, great food, music, street performances, wide variety of artisans and imports while supporting the fight against poverty in the community.

June Olympic Music Festival. Imagine a turn-of-the-century dairy farm nestled on 55 acres of tranquil farmland on Washington's beautiful Olympic Peninsula. the sounds of exquisite chamber music floating in the air. Inside the beautiful barn, world-renowned musicians clad in blue jeans are enthralling Northwest natives and visitors with outstanding music from the most-beloved classical composers. The Olympic Music Festival has been voted "Best Classical Music Festival" for many years. From late June through early September, performances are held every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 2pm. Pack a picnic, bring your friends, and spend a day roaming the Festival grounds before the concert.

June Shoreline Arts Festival Held annually in June. With continuous entertainment, music and dance, juried art shows for adults and students, a photography show, artists and crafters in action, hands-on art, readings, theatre presentations, a used-book sale, and food there is sure to be something for everyone! One of the goals of the Festival is to provide participatory experiences in all the arts. In addition to dance lessons and hand-on art activities, some exciting new projects are always in the wind. This very successful event will be a great opportunity for the community to celebrate summer through the arts. Plan to be there! This creative, community event will takes place every June at the Shoreline Center, 18560 - 1st Ave. NE in Shoreline.

J une Northwest Garlic Festival. Held at Ocean Park's Sheldon Park, on the Long Beach peninsula. In the land of clams, crab and oysters what are folks looking forward to in June? Garlic, and plenty of it! Celebrate the passion for this exalted bulb with the faithful throngs who make their annual pilgrimage to the NW Garlic Festival which is held each June in the seaside community of Ocean Park, Washington, located on the Long Beach Peninsula. The Garlic Olympics of Gastronomy is not held for the region's Garlic growing ability. This Festival was born out of love of great, garlic-laden cuisine and fabulous wine to go with (and stand up to) it! More than 80 specialty food and craft vendors offer up this supernatural powered herb, prepared and put to use in every imaginable way including some ways that go beyond. Where else could indulgence be so healthy? Don't miss the succulent garlic oysters or garlic-smothered sausages paired with a garlic jam. For desert, decadent chocolate-covered garlic or some donuts laced with garlic herbs and cheese. Come and enjoy!

J une Maritime Gig Festival. Held on the first weekend in June in Gig Harbor, it includes the "blessing of the fleet" and includes many favorite activities and events, including the Fun Run, the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, the Grand Parade, Regatta, the Round Rock Contest, music and entertainment, food vendors, historic boat displays, arts and crafts, loads of children's activities. In conjunction with Maritime Gig Festival, there is the Gig Harbor Antique and Classic Yacht Festival available with about 450 linear feet of dock space at two locations: City Dock, 300 feet and Tides Tavern 150 feet. Moorage is free, but no water or power at either location. Rafting at City Dock is allowed. Attendants will greet you Friday, June 2nd from 1600 on to help you moor. This promises to be a fun filled weekend with thousands of people in attendance. A sister website for the event weekend is at the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce Also scheduled in for your memoriable visit is the Taste of Gig Harbor event: "Sample Our City's Finest Cuisine" gig.

July July – August

Puyallup Concerts in the Park. This popular series attracts thousands of music lovers every summer from July to August. The noon concert series at Pioneer Park in downtown Puyallup begins July 10th and is geared toward families and children. The Thursday evening concerts in Pioneer Park begin July 12th and runs every Thursday night until August 23rd. The evening concerts are programmed for adults and families. This year, by popular demand, Puyallup Parks and Recreation will be producing an August concert series at Bradley Lake Park on Puyallup’s South Hill. These concerts will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 18, August 1 and August 15. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and enjoy Puyallup’s Concerts in the Park. The full concert lineup will be announced later this spring, but you may also check cityofpuyallup.org.

July Viking Fest. Poulsbo's Viking Fest is a celebration of Norway's Constitution Day of May 17th (in Norwegian -"Syttende mai"), it is also referred to as Norway's national holiday (independence day is incorrect). In Norway, it is a festival of flags and colorful processions, where children have a central part to play as they walk to the music of marching bands. It is a time when you see traditional Norwegian costumes as a very prominent and natural part of the celebrations. The festivities last from the early morning to late at night. Parties with family and friends featuring traditional food and drinks are common. This is the most important day for the children during the summer.

July Tacoma Jazz Music Festival. Generation to Generation: Passing on our Traditions. The cultural focus of the Festival brings masters of traditional arts to the Festival to show us what they believe is important to pass on to the next generation. See the Festival Program Guide for a complete list of performances and demonstrations. The purpose of the festival is to create a premier jazz festival that highlights the rich and significant achievements of northwest jazz and blues musicians and their impact on the local and national scene, to enrich and educate young music students, and to bring some of the top local, regional and national talent together in a perfect partnership, venue, and beautiful city for jazz and blues, Tacoma, Washington.

July Puget Sound Bead Festival. Held primarily around the second weekend in July, The Puget Sound Bead Festival began in 1996 and has been running ever since. Throughout all those years, the show has had to move venues four times to accommodate an ever-growing list of vendors, class selections and attendance. With a running vendor list exceeding 75 and bead classes exceeding 100, attendance has been swelling each and every year. It is currently the largest national bead show on the west coast. Drawing levels of beaders from all over the country, including Canada and Japan, artists & bead merchants and artisans bring beads from all over the world: beads made from glass, clay, semi-precious stones, silver, wood, and polymer. Beads range from hundreds of years old to contemporary one-of-a-kind glass beads made by local artists. Each year, the show progressively grows and class selections increase, along with the show’s national appeal. All workshops are taught by nationally- known instructors who teach glass bead making, seedbeading, wireworking, contemporary jewelry design and marketing. It is a function of the Puget Sound Bead Festival each year to bring high quality bead merchants and national bead instructors to the Pacific Northwest. Each year the Bead Festival tries to increase the quality of the show by adding features and services to enhance the attendees’ experience. With well over ten years of driving experience, the Puget Sound Bead Festival is the place to be for any beader who is fashion-driven and craving for high quality materials. Each year, classes are held in all the latest jewelry techniques where attendees are shown how to make fashionable jewelry and where that special beader-craving can be satisfied. Motto number one is to deliver a bead show unlike any other, with the highest quality vendors, classes & show services for the vendor, teachers, students and attendees. No matter how one is involved, attendees are treated like family to create an atmosphere that is inspiring, creative, and fun! For 2010, the Puget Sound Bead Festival is located in the Murano Hotel’s Bicentennial Pavilion at 1320 Broadway in downtown Tacoma.

July Tacoma Freedom Fair Air Show and Fireworks Extravaganza. Along the Ruston Way Waterfront, the Tacoma Freedom Fair events cover two miles of the Ruston Way waterfront on the 4th of July. Events include live entertainment performances featuring country, rock, folk, jazz, blues, Latin, folk, and music and dance. Everyone attending this annual extravaganza will find games, rides, kids carnivals, and an open-air market with arts, crafts and an international food court. In addition to that, a log boom for boaters, a classic car show, Dragon Boat races and Metro Parks Family fun zones are available for enjoyment. Of special interest to thousands every year is the Tacoma Air Show, and then capping off the day is the spectacular Grand Finale Fireworks Display. TacomaScene.com invites you to visit our photo album and experience our experiences at Freedom Fair 2001, 2002 and 2003.

July Art on the Avenue Annually, in July, Art on the Ave. is held along the 6th Ave. business district in Tacoma, between Trafton St. and Pine St. Each year, the 6th Avenue Merchants Association invites the populous to participate in a celebration of the arts. This high-energy neighborhood festival offers art demonstrations, art vendors, children’s activities, several music stages and much, much more. Local artists are always encouraged to participate. Look to see, maybe, about 10,000 folks coming to enjoy this ever-increasing popular event. 2005’s attendance was around 8,000 individuals and families. Art on the Avenue covers eight blocks of interesting and unique facades. There will be many interesting live performances. All this and numerous arts and crafts activities for the kids and young at heart. Glass, ceramics, woodworking, furniture, forged metal, mixed media, photography, weaving, watercolor and jewelry are just a smattering of the types of art vendors you may find. Do not expect to see any commercially manufactured or mass produced goods.

July Tacoma Old Town Blues Festival . Held in the Old Town District, the Tacoma Old Town Blues Festival was founded in 1994 by Ted Brown and is becoming an annual South Sound favorite. An entire day of blues delights can be had during this musical event which highlights well-known local and regional blues acts. The day starts off with a Bluesberry Pancake Breakfast and continues right on into the night with "sounds to simmer your mind." This blues event brings blues lovers from all over and features vibrant music, smiling faces, dancing feet and soul-soothing dynamics

all in one activity–packed Saturday! In presenting a full menu of musical delights it provides more than 15 hours of live entertainment performed by some of the best known local and regional blues acts.

July Job Carr Days. Looking for some good old fashioned fun, come to Job Carr Days' Pioneer Day Festival that is held on the third Saturday in July in Old Town Park (Tacoma), home of the Job Carr Cabin Museum. This event is a full day celebrating the "birthplace of Tacoma." There will be games for all ages, such as gunnysack races, 3-legged races, watermelon seed spitting, tug of war, and many others. Throughout the day you will be entertained. This is a full day of booths, contests, music and good old fashioned fun for the whole family.

July Tacoma Farmers Market -- Annual Dog Days of Summer - [Farmers Market is held each Thursday, from 10 am to 3 pm May 18th - Aug. 31st and 10 am to 2 pm Sep. 7th - Oct. 19th Downtown on Broadway Street, between 9th and 11th] -- The Broadway Street Market has over 80 booths of food, flowers, produce, and more. Restaurant and prepared food booths fill lunchtime shoppers with hot, delicious meals from a world of culinary traditions. Artists and craftspeople display handmade candles, fragrant soaps, sparkling jewelry, and colorful paintings. Our local farmers’ booths overflow with fruits, vegetables, plants, and huge bouquets of the freshest flowers. And there’s no better place to stock your pantry with artisan breads, tasty jams and jellies, and much more. Perhaps the best part of the Broadway Street Market is the hundreds of people who come there each week — to meet friends, listen to live music, or get a quick, delicious bite to eat. The Tacoma Farmers Market has become the seasonal spot where downtown Tacoma comes together. July marks the month that merchants, artists and animal welfare organizations get together. Learn about service animals, spay service, pet sitting, grooming, boutiques, animal artists, and more! And here you can learn about Woofstock, AnimaloCity Pet Parade and other events coming in the summer. Come not only for the Farmer Market experiences, but also come to see how you can help the animals of Pierce County.

July Key Peninsula Community Fair. A carnival. A midway. Vendor booths. A cultural and historical center. A food court. An arcade. Rides. Games. Dance areas. Non-stop entertainment. Face painting. 4-H exhibits. Petting zoo. Youth events. That's what's at the Key Peninsula Community Fair, located on the historic Key Peninsula, 10 miles SE of Purdy. This Fair is much more then you would expect from a community fair, while maintaining ole' time charm. Located on 20 acres, the fair is a wonderful family oriented event serving both young and old. There are events featuring an ole' time pie judging contest, historical re-enactment actors, kids workshops, horticulture and animal events as well as three stages of entertainment and a beer garden.

July Wooden Boat Festival Held annually in July. The Center for Wooden Boats holds a Fourth of July festival on Lake Union each year that attracts some 10,000 participants. The theme is heritage wooden boats. The ambiance is that of an old-fashioned, down-home waterfront festival where everything is fun, almost everything is free and nothing much is fancy. It's as authentically grassroots American as you can get and has been for over 25 years. If it's at the festival, you can probably touch it, try it or do it. Experience maritime culture first hand. It's a hands-on festival right in the center of the city, in the summer, on a bustling lake. Families come down in droves because everything can be done by young and old together - toy boat building, sailing model boats on the pond, boat rides and races, picnicking, clambering over boats big and small, festive food and music, and general joy. Over the last 25-plus years, the festival has developed into a gem of the Seattle Summer. We hope you'll join us. Try it -- you may like it: Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival and Classic Speedboat Show. Some of the activities you'll find: Lots of exhibits where families and individuals can go for a boat ride or "experience the craft" of boatbuilding and maritime skills; partnering activities with the Antique and Classic Boat Society; more than 40 classic runabouts and speedboats on display; on the water kayak and rowing shell demos, historic longboat rides.

July Pacific Lutheran University’s annual Jazz Under the Stars professional summer concert series marks its fourteenth year this summer -- 2012. This series is FREE to the public, our gift to our community. The 2012 concert series will focus on the wealth of jazz talent right here in Tacoma, including PLU graduate Sommer Stockinger, Buddy Rich band veteran Tracy Knoop, and saxophonist Bill Ramsay. Bill is going strong in his 80s and has played with the orchestras of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Bob Florence and others. Starting July 12th, the series runs 6 consecutive Thursdays from 7-9 PM in the outdoor amphitheater of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the PLU campus. Bring your lawn chairs and your picnic food. (PLU is a dry campus. Bring the brie, leave the chablis!) The series is sponsored by the PLU music department and KPLU 88.5 FM. Music faculty member Paul Tegels offers an intermission performance on the world-famous Fuchs pipe organ in our beautiful Lagerquist Hall. Complimentary coffee at all events and stargazing after the last three concerts at PLU's Keck Observatory, weather permitting, courtesy of the PLU physics department.

July Zoobilee. Zoobilee is an annual black tie fund raiser under the stars that benefits Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, and is held the third Friday in July. For the last several years, Zoobilee has been a sold-out gala event. It is held on the third Friday in July every year. Since its inception in 1991, it has raised over $2 million in cash and in-kind support for educational and special needs at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Zoobilee funds have been used for new educational graphics, the elephant restraint chute, expansion of the Red Rooster Grill deck, the Jellies: Jewels of the Sea exhibit, the education building offices and classroom space, parking lot and entrance lighting, and general operating expenses at the Zoo.

July Zoobilee Encore. Held at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Zoobilee Encore is a casual family festival that is held the third Saturday in July, the day following Zoobilee. Zoobilee Encore was designed for families to enjoy the sights and setting of Zoobilee in an alcohol-free setting and showcasing the entire Zoo. Zoobilee Encore hosts a stage concert appropriate for all ages and includes magicians, mimes, jugglers, a game area featuring kid's karaoke, carnival games and a basketball free-throw contest. It also focuses on education with live animal encounters and informative activity booths.

July Sumner Rhubarb Days Friday & Saturday, July 13-14 2012 Sumner is the "Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World”. Sumner's hold on that designation is unique and threads deeply through the fabric of Sumner's history. Sumner’s connection to rhubarb is strong -- Sumner has been growing it for over 100 years and it's still the number two producer in the country. The Sumner Downtown Association sees Rhubarb Days as the logical extension of our Pie Capital theme. It is considered to be Sumner’s signature event. Rhubarb Days is reflective of Sumner’s personality: it is family orientated, family friendly and offers something for all age groups and genders. It promotes Sumner as an active community and Main Street as the center of that activity. It is the kind of event Sumner wants to nurture. Families come and stay and play all day. Sumner plans to build on that in all the Rhubarb Days to come. Sumner appreciates how its area community has supported Sumner over the years. Rhubarb Days is its way to "give it back” to the community. The Sumner Downtown Association knows that "community" does not end at its city limits. Rhubarb Days events and activities are designed to interest everyone, whether they live in the Puyallup Valley, on the Plateau, in Western or Eastern Washington, the Pacific Northwest, the country or the world. These two days are a time to learn more about the history of Sumner and its valley and a chance to add to your knowledge of a unique agricultural product and the area where it is grown. It is also an opportunity to join in a lot of fun and family focused activities, the kind that lift the spirits of communities and the spirits of the individuals that participate whether they come from Sumner, the Valley or from afar. Join in at Sumner Rhubarb Days 2012, Friday and Saturday, July 13th and 14th, Downtown Sumner in Washington State.

July Bellingham Music Festival. Also billed as Bellingham Festival of Music by some, is held at various venues during its season. Established in 1993, the Bellingham Festival of Music attempts to provide the area with educational opportunities to experience live music performances at the highest artistic level by nationally and internationally renowned musicians in a concentrated festival format. For over 13 seasons, the Festival has presented 175 concerts. The Festival has been dubbed by Arts & Entertainment Television as the “Premier Northwest Summer Music Festival." The annual series of concerts consists of classical, chamber, jazz and world music with a resident 40-piece orchestra of musicians from major American and European ensembles. The Festival utilizes various indoor and outdoor venues during the season. Adult education is provided via Prelude talks prior to most concerts and other lectures. An interactive youth education program called “Beethoven in the Schools” is presented annually in Bellingham and Whatcom County schools and has reached over 12,500 students. Annually, the Festival attracts over 10,000 people to its various activities drawing audiences locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

July Ethnic Fest, also known as Tacoma Ethnic Fair. This is a July festival held at Tacoma's Wright Park and is an annual celebration of diverse cultures. There are exhibits of arts and crafts, food vendors, and several stages featuring performances by many of Tacoma's ethnic groups. Ethnic Fest has celebrated Pierce County's cultural and ethnic diversity since 1986 and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Each year, the festival features the many cultural and ethnic groups that make Tacoma and Pierce County a great place to live. At Ethnic Fest you can enjoy performing and visual arts, crafts, dancing, information and foods representing the many cultures from within Tacoma and Pierce County.

July Salmon Bake - Steilacoom. Held on the last Sunday in July from noon-4:00 pm, the Sunnyside Beach Salmon Bake features delectably grilled salmon complemented with clam nectar, fresh fruit pies and live entertainment. This meal is prepared in Washington State's historic Steilacoom, truly a Northwest experience.

July Sequim Lavender Festival. Held in Sequim, the Sequim Lavender Festival is a three-day summer celebration of the joys of lavender. This annual Festival includes Farms on Tour, each offering a variety of lavender-centered activities, including, lavender lore, demonstrations, agricultural history, workshops, horticultural programs, food, music and the opportunity to spend time in the fields. The Street Fair features more than 125 craft artists of hand made items and vendors of lavender and other Olympic Peninsula specialties. Also at the Street Fair is fine musical entertainment, great local foods and an Olympic Peninsula wine tasting event.

July Seafair Indian Days POW WOW Held in July in Seattle's Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Discovery Park. The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation holds an annual celebration on the grounds of Discovery Park with the Pow Wow averaging 400-600 dancers in full regalia, 30 drum groups and 10,000 spectators who come to celebrate the richness of the Native American culture. In addition to the dancers, more than 60 vendors showcase a wide array of Native American arts and crafts which include jewelry, carvings, intricate beadwork, artwork, tapes, CD's, and T-shirts.There are food concessions and on Saturday and Sunday there is a traditional Salmon Bake. Just some of the activities include traditional singing, dance contests, drum contests, arts & crafts, food booths, salmon bake grand entries. A highlighting event is the crowning of a Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow Princess.

July Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival. Held at the Center for Wooden Boats, south Lake Union. Each year, The Center for Wooden Boats holds a Fourth of July festival on Lake Union that attracts some 15,000 participants. The theme is heritage wooden boats. The ambiance is that of an old-fashioned, down-home waterfront festival where everything is fun, almost everything is free and nothing much is fancy. It's as authentically grassroots American as you can get and has been for the last 28 years. If it's at the festival, you can probably touch it, try it or do it. Experience maritime culture first hand. It's a hands-on festival right in the center of the city, in the summer, on a bustling lake. Families come down in droves because everything can be done by young and old together - toy boat building, sailing model boats on the pond, boat rides and races, picnicking, clambering over boats big and small, festive food and music, and general joy. Over the last 28 years, the festival has developed into a gem of the Seattle Summer. Also, each month, all year 'round, The Center for Wooden Boats has many maritime heritage activities, classes and lectures for a person to participate in.

July Seafair. Seafair is Seattle's summer community festival. It is a month-long, region-wide barbecue, that brings an entire community together in celebration. For over 50 years Seafair has been about community events, parades, Miss Seafair, the Navy and Coast Guard, amateur athletics, airplanes and of course, boat racing. But most of all, Seafair has been about people and it continues to be. There are more than 5,000 Seafair volunteers, hundreds of thousand of spectators who come out for the parades and hydroplane races, thousands more that participate in the half marathon, torchlight run and triathlon and the youth who participate in the Miss Seafair Scholarship. It’s about Drill Teams who practice for hours each week to synchronize their movements, hydroplane crews that fine tune helicopter turbine engines to perfection, the Pirates and Clowns that visit hospitals and convalescent centers in the “off-season” and marching bands that rehearse songs and steps for weeks in preparation of their performances in neighborhoods and through the streets of downtown. Seafair is for everyone. As someone once mentioned, it’s a part of what makes up a “Quintessential Northwesterner.”

July West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival. HiYu is a non-profit organization, established in 1934 by West Seattle's service clubs to produce a summer festival to promote the West Seattle Community. The annual HiYu Summer Festival is held throughout the month of July. Dozens of events occur all around West Seattle during this time. The kick-off event is the Seattle Seafair Pirates Landing at Alki Beach, and it finishes at the end of the month with the Miss West Seattle HiYu Scholarship Program and the Seafair Torchlight Parade. Named in 1934 (16 years prior to Seafair), in a community contest, HiYu means "much, plenty, abundance" in native Chinook jargon. It includes a kids fun fair, kids fishing derby, concert in the park, bowling tournament, kiddies parade and a grand parade.

July Renton River Days. Each year Renton River Days welcomes almost 50,000 festival-goers to discover Renton's amenities, enjoy lively entertainment, and participate in extraordinary events and has been running for 20 years. Renton has been home to summer celebrations for decades with Renton's first ever summer festival, Frontier Days, held in 1939. Frontier Days catered to the cowboy and Wild West culture that was popular at the time. Renton became a tourist attraction with events like a beard growing contest, parade, cowboy movies at the local theaters, and a competitive Rodeo featuring cowboys from all over the western United States and Canada. By the 1970's Frontier Days was renamed Western Days and was sponsored by Renton Western Wear. The new festival boasted a parade, sidewalk sale and street dance. Other events also took place throughout the summer season, including the Mile Parade and activities at Longacres. After twenty years, Renton River Days has become a fixture in our community, each year bringing together thousands of neighbors and friends for an incredible experience. Just as businesses supported Frontier Days in the '30s, nearly 100 businesses contribute to the success of Renton River Days and continues to be a family friendly event that grows and flourishes.

July Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering. - King County Fairgrounds - Competitive Highland Dancing, individual Piping and Drumming, Pipe Bands, Scottish Athletic Events, delicious, traditional Scottish Foods -- you will see and experience it all, plus much, much more at the King County Fairgrounds, in Enumclaw. Will you join in for a few hours or the entire weekend? Are you a veteran or a novice? No matter, you will find yourself on the doorstep of experiencing a wee bit of Scotland right here in the Pacific Northwest! Thrill to the bourdon of the bagpipes and the cadence of the drums as you witness first hand the fine array of talented pipers and drummers competing before judges of worldwide renown. Behold the grace and elegance of the Scottish dancers as they regale you with the Highland and National dances of Scotland. Be amazed by the titans who deftly toss the caber and put the stone, matching skill and strength, against the odds on the athletic field of battle. And during your visit, you'll be able to sample a wide variety of traditional Scottish foods. Take a stroll through the Avenue of the Clans and the Glen of the Clans and delve into your Scottish ancestry and heritage. Wind through the Hall of the Vendors and observe the fine workmanship of Scottish artisans, and spend your hard-earned tuppence on lovely imported goods from the British Isles. You and your party will be able to witness a Scottish Farm with shaggy Scotch Highland, Ayrshire and Galloway cattle, Clydesdale horses, and Black Faced sheep. Complete your tour with a visit to the Celtic Kennel as Celtic dog breeds will be featured at work and at play. Plan to attend the Ceilidh - a traditional Scottish party with music, sing-along, stories and Scottish country dancing. It is a weekend full of fun, education and traditional Scottish activities where you can enjoy a wee bit of Scotland right here in the Pacific Northwest!

July Chief Seattle Days. Annual pow-wow celebrating the life of the chief for whom Seattle is named with canoe races, art exhibits, and a salmon bake, among other events. Held at the Suquamish Indian Reservation on the Kitsap Peninsula, third weekend in July. "A Northwest Indian Festival," in honor of Chief Seattle. Held on the Celebration Grounds in downtown Suquamish, there is no admission charge and everyone is welcome. Among the festivities is a Salmon bake, Indian Art, Parade, Canoe races, Pow-Wow, Traditional Indian dancing, fireworks display, and a special memorial service to Chief Seattle. Don't miss the Princess Contest, Teen Dance and the multitude of events! Just think: a Miss Chief Seattle Days Pageant, Canoes arriving, Teen Dance, fireworks displays at dusk, a Memorial at Chief Seattle grave site, parade, canoe races, dance demonstrations by dancers from many northwest tribes, Pow Wow competitions, Salmon Bakes, Fun Run and canoe races.

July Bite of Seattle. A Seattle mid-summer tradition for the last 23 years, held at the Seattle Center, on the third weekend in July. It is hailed as "The Northwest's Premier Food Festival." Out of the dozens of festivals and special events held at Seattle Center each year, the Bite of Seattle ranks among the most popular. Food is not the only attraction; you'll also be able to enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, and family-friendly entertainment. Visitors to "The Bite" have the opportunity to indulge in tasty treats of all kinds, including entrees, desserts, fruit drinks, microbrews, and wine. You'll be able to sample a variety of different ethnic foods, including Thai, German, Greek, Filipino, French, Russian, and Hawaiian. Adults can savor an alcoholic beverage at one of the Bite of Seattle's many beer and wine gardens. Beers of the world, Northwest wines, and brand-name cocktails can be enjoyed at designated locations throughout Seattle Center. You can rest your stomach between all those goodies by taking in live music and entertainment at one of Seattle Center's four stages. Rock-n-roll, swing, jazz, and reggae are just a few of the musical stylings that will be offered from noon to closing each day.

July Ballard Seafood Fest. This is Ballard, Washington's Annual Seafood Fest. Besides seafood, there is musical entertainment, craft vendors, eating & coverall contests and firemen rescue demonstrations. They even have an official Seafood Fest Song. Each year this festival is held in Historic Downtown Ballard, centered around NW Market St. and is presented by the Ballard Chamber of Commerce. AND DON'T FORGET The Annual Lutefisk Eating Contest. Once a year at two o'clock on Saturday during Ballard Seafood Fest, iron-bellied contestants challenge their physical constitutions and eat with gusto and attempt to consume as much Lutefisk as their appetites can muster. This is classic. Check out participants shoveling gelatinous white-lyed cod down their gullets under hot July sun for a $100 reward! Motivation? It's all about Tradition, Nostalgia, and Fortitude. For the uneducated, Lutefisk is a centuries-old Yuletide delicacy in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Most anyone of Scandinavian descent has fond memories of the steaming hot plate placed so lovingly in front of them on Christmas Eve; mushing up the glob of jellied cod into their mashed potatoes, topping it with good greasy bacon gravy, dolloping some dried green peas on the side and covering the whole concoction with mustard and pepper. A lot of pepper. Check it out.

July McCleary Bear Festival. The McCleary Bear Festival Was dreamed up in 1958 by Norman Porter, then editor of the McCleary Stimulator, the home town newspaper. It wasn't that he disliked bears, but he and other residents of this area knew that bears liked to eat the soft cambium layer of the inner bark of young evergreen trees. They especially crave this delicacy when they emerge from hibernation, and to satisfy their hunger they often strip a tree of all its bark, causing it to die, It started with a remark by a friend of Porter's by the name of Roy Craft, then editor of the Skamania County Pioneer in Stevenson, Washington, who claimed that Skamania bears, if properly cooked, were the world's most delicious. Porter countered with the claim that Grays Harbor's bears were the tops. The two agreed to meet head-on in a bear-tasting contest in McCleary. Civic minded McClearians got interested, formed committees and decided to stage something more than just a bear-eating contest. Working with Porter, they created the First Annual Second Growth and Bear Festival. It not only helped to rid the forests of unwanted surplus bears, but also supplied the Festival with bear for the barbecue. In 1966, fifteen bears went into the communal pot. Now selected portions of inspected bear meat is combined with beef to provide the distinctive flavor associated with McCleary Bear Stew. McCleary is a slumbering little lumber town 30 minutes west of the Capitol City, Olympia. Although the Bear Stew is the big attraction to the festival, there is also a kiddies parade, grand parade, royal court ceremony, bands, dances, slow-pitch baseball, and many other events during the run of the festival.

July Music In the Park - Olympia A summer-long music festival on Wednesday evenings in Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia, Wash. during July and August. For over 25 years, this event has been organized by the Olympia Downtown Association and offers a range of musical genres -- ranging from traditional and patriotic to rock, soul, funk, hip, campy big band, blues, local talent, new talent, established talent -- and often including the Fort Lewis Army Concert Band. This event will typically draw some 10,000 people during its run. It is not unusual to see families showing up with picnic baskets or with food from one of downtown local restaurants. From toddlers to grandparents, concertgoers mingle with old friends they might not have seen all year and share space on their blankets with new friends.

July Redmond Derby Days. Kid's parade, grand parade, live music, Derby Day Criterium, fireworks, and more. The Derby Days Carnival, including games and rides, runs outside the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center. Redmond Derby Days, which has run annually for over 65 years, is a summer tradition that came to life at the end of the Depression. It began as a drive to raise money for downtown holiday decorations and school athletic equipment. The Redmond Bicycle Derby was the outgrowth of a small town's community spirit and is now the nation's oldest bicycle race. The event includes activities for young and old. The Redmond Derby Days is sponsored by the City of Redmond and many community businesses and organizations. It all started in July 1939 when the annual Derby Days bicycle race was inaugurated in Redmond, Washington. Redmond is located in King County and is on the east side of Lake Washington. Bicyclists race the 25-mile route around Lake Sammamish. The criterium is a multi-lap race on a closed course, and laps are typically shorter than one mile. This style of racing has bred a unique athlete, stressing speed and bike handling.

July Mercer Island Summer Festival. Mercer Island’s annual Summer Celebration has run for over fifteen years. A premier community festival for the entire family, Summer Celebration! has become an island tradition and showcases summer at its best, with the idyllic beauty and diversity of Mercer Island. The festival offers a broad spectrum of activities for people of all ages and abilities – free admission with a minimal cost for ticketed activities. It is a period packed with fun and excitement that includes a fireworks show, community parade, music, entertainment, arts and crafts, food faire, children’s celebration, giant inflatable rides and games, boat rides around the island, teen battle of the bands, classic car gathering.

July Chinatown/International District Summer Festival. Authentic international food, arts & crafts, community booths, and cultural entertainment, the Chinatown-International District Summer Festival is known to be the largest Asian-American Streetfair in Washington and offers a variety of Asian-inspired Entertainment including Japanese Drumming, Chinese Martial Arts, Filipino Dancing, Lion and Dragon dances plus live concerts featuring Jazz, New Age and Pop music. You'll find lots of hand-made Arts & Crafts, authentic Asian Cuisine and even a Karaoke Stage for those that feel inspired to showcase their vocal talents. It has taken place each summer since 1975. It has been delighting visitors of all ages with live cultural entertainment, authentic Pan-Asian cuisine, and beautiful Asian-inspired arts & crafts. The two-day event also includes a Children's Corner, Karaoke Idol Contest, car show, Sports Corner, Eco-Village, martial arts demonstrations and much more.

July Kla Ha Ya Days Festival The annual Kla Ha Ya Days celebration began back yonder in 1938 and is still being held in downtown Snohomish. A former volunteer for the festival studied the history of the celebration and said Kla Ha Ya Days got its name from the Chinook term meaning "welcome." The celebration was a time for residents to gather and take part in games such as frog jumping, watermelon seed spitting, bed races and the baby crawl. Frog jumping is still a favorite part of the event. Other things going on include arts & crafts, antique shops, live music, silly contests, balloon flow, carnival, farmer's market, a hot-air balloon show, skydivers, circus clowns, fireworks display at dusk, street fair, food booths, games, entertainment and shopping, Salmon Bake, a five-mile river run, a one-mile run-walk, a kid's dash, soapbox grand prix, ice cream eating contest, baby crawl, pie eating contest, street chalk art drawings, drill team competition and classic car show.

July Kent Cornucopia Days. Kent's Cornucopia Days celebration has been around for over 35 years and the City of Kent considers it to be the largest family festival in South King County. Events include skateboard and inline skate tournaments, bike race, fun run, and several dozen other things including carnival, street fair, a Miss Cornucopia scholarship pageant, Old Timers King & Queen, "Cornucopia Cup" Soccer Tournament, Cornucopia Days Grand Parade, Dragon Boat Races (apparently now the largest race in the State of Washington).

July Mission Folk Music Festival. - British Columbia - Held at Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission, British Columbia you can discover one of B.C.'s musical treasures – the Mission Folk Music Festival. Located in the midst of the beautiful Fraser Valley, overlooking the majestic (and muddy) Fraser River, the Mission Folk Music Festival offers great music from all over the world in the intimate, pastoral setting of Fraser River Heritage Park. An eclectic gathering of musicians take to the stage over three days. A variety of food concessions, a coffee kiosk and a licensed bistro are available on site, including Folk Art & Import market kiosks with great local crafts and fascinating, beautiful and sometimes even useful items from around the world. Also available are festival souvenirs and CD sales (featuring Festival artists and many others). This is your chance to find the rare and wonderful.

July Fern Hill Annual Classic Car Show & Street Fair. - Tacoma - Beginning to be a long standing neighborhood community event, each year there is the Fern Hill Historic Business District's Annual Street Fair & Car Show. 2005 saw the community hosting its 8th annual event on Yakima Ave. between So. 83rd and 84th Sts. Each year promises to be a great day for fun, a classic car show, live music, children's fun and games and lots of great food.

July Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival. Held in downtown Gig Harbor. It doesn't take long for a visitor or new resident to recognize the artsy orientation of the Gig Harbor Peninsula. Galleries and shops are filled with the work of talented local artists and craftspeople. The natural splendor of Gig Harbor has always attracted creative types, especially those working in the visual arts. For nearly a quarter century, Peninsula Art League has brought together many of the artists who live and work in our area. PAL sponsors exhibitions, workshops and classes and many other opportunities for artists to play, paint, learn and exhibit together and celebrate the creative spirit of the area. In 1984, PAL took a leap of faith and created the first Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival. By year two, the size of the festival doubled, and today the event includes over 160 booths. A scholarship fund from revenues was quickly implemented. Our goal of promoting arts education was realized, and it remains the fundamental mission of PAL. Other Art League activities include a variety of classes, a Plein Air Painting Group for the outdoorsy artist, a Portrait and Figure Group for those interested in portraying the human form, and special workshops taught by local and more widely acclaimed instructors.

July Port Townsend Jazz Festival by Centrum. Summer jazz festival featuring internationally acclaimed jazz artists. Washington’s finest summer jazz festival featuring internationally acclaimed jazz artists. Enjoy a weekend full of jazz’s most electrifying artists performing in a WWI-era balloon hangar and in historic downtown clubs. Listen to participant combos from Centrum’s Port Townsend Jazz Workshop between the afternoon and evening shows.

July Ritzville Blues Festival. Held on the second Saturday in July in downtown Ritzville (between Moses Lake and Spokane) from noon to midnight. For over a dozen years, the Ritzville Blues Festival has entertained and mesmerized thousands. It is a one-day event featuring top-caliber regional, national and international blues acts. Over 25 bands play at multiple venues including an outdoor stage located on the streets of Ritzville. The downtown location makes the festival unique for an outdoor event. Festival goers can roam the streets and choose from many different acts playing in different locations. Featuring the entire range of blues - from traditional southern blues, to boogie woogie, and Cajun zydeco - the Ritzville Blues Festival offers something for everyone. The music starts at noon on the outdoor stage and doesn't stop till 2 a.m. in the bars around town. Headline acts play 1Ѕ hour long sets on the main stage. The regional bands perform at bar/restaurant locations - all located within two blocks of the outdoor stage. Many of these groups will play two sets during the day, giving everyone the chance to see lots of different bands. Besides the bars and local restaurants, numerous food vendors are set up to keep you energized for the long day. Booths at previous festivals have included BBQ Chicken, Pitchfork steaks, Chinese food, Pasta, and Sno Cones. Beer, wine, and liquor are sold at the indoor venues as well as numerous outdoor beer gardens.

July Sky High Blues Festival. - Rock Creek, British Columbia. The Sky High Blues Festival had its 14th annual festival in 2011. This great outdoor music event takes place in late July. The entertainment is seasoned and up & coming blues artists, predominantly Canadian and is family oriented. There is a campground with private beach access. Children under 16 are free, half price for students with I.D. and seniors. Concession stand are open all weekend. Great music, great

July Methow Music Festival. In the Methow Valley near Winthrop - Chamber Music in the Methow. Its purpose is to present professional performances of, but not limited to, classical music in the barns and meadows of the Methow Valley. The Methow Music Festival is a magical, financially stable, famous and unique classical music series featuring artists of excellence and held in a spectacular setting. This well-endowed program is based in a permanent venue with indoor and outdoor seating. Educational opportunities and master classes complete this broad-based program. Each year goals are set which combine these documents, community feedback, and evaluations. Audience survey cards indicate that as a result of festival workers, the Festival is recognized throughout Washington, Oregon and California as producing quality classical music events in a unique, beautiful, serene, rural environment. In 2003, the Festival collaborated with Cascadia in presenting a concert to introduce young people to classical music. With the guidance and advice of Methow Arts, an organization that brings arts into the schools, underwriting from Cascadia, and a committee representing four nonprofit organizations, this young person’s concert was offered to the community free as part of an expanded Community Day. Since then, the Festival has been emerging strongly into newer stages of growth, including a delightful blend of chamber music, friendship, and gustatory pleasures. Management philosophy is that with innovative programming, varied venues and community partnerships, chamber music festivals can attract and satisfy like no other medium.

July King County Fair. Held in Enumclaw at the King County Fairgrounds, it is the Oldest Fair West of the Mississippi. The King County Fair was founded in 1863 - when Abraham Lincoln was president and Washington Territory was 26 years from statehood! It began as a simple celebration of agriculture and originally took place in the Georgetown area south of Seattle. The King County Fair moved to Renton around 1900, and then to Enumclaw after World War II. Included in admission price, is access to all shows, with entertainment scheduled on three different stages. Over a dozen vendors offer an international array of dishes, from Hawaiian fruit skewers to the traditional barbecued beef, turkey legs, corn dogs, ice cream and double dipped chocolate strawberries. More than 43,000 passed through King County Fair gates last year. The King County Fairgrounds feature a number of historic buildings originally constructed for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair

Puyallup Concerts in the Park. This popular series attracts thousands of music lovers every summer from July to August. The noon concert series at Pioneer Park in downtown Puyallup begins July 10th and is geared toward families and children. The Thursday evening concerts in Pioneer Park begin July 12th and runs every Thursday night until August 23rd. The evening concerts are programmed for adults and families. This year, by popular demand, Puyallup Parks and Recreation will be producing an August concert series at Bradley Lake Park on Puyallup’s South Hill. These concerts will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 18, August 1 and August 15. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and enjoy Puyallup’s Concerts in the Park. The full concert lineup will be announced later this spring, but you may also check cityofpuyallup.org.

August South Tacoma Business District Annual Classic Car Show. The South Tacoma Business District merchants each year put on their own version of a summer car show and call it their Classic Car Show. 2010 marked their 14th annual show and takes place on South Tacoma Way between South 54th and 56th Streets.

August Lakewood International Festival Lakewood, Washington's International Festival is a multicultural event that is held at the Sheila McGavick Student Center, Clover Park Technical College each year in association with the City of Lakewood's Sister Cities Association. Every year, there are arts and crafts booths, cultural food vendors and live entertainment. Family fun is a core of the festival and is for the benefit of the Lakewood community and surrounding areas. It is an opportunity to view and taste a variety of international foods, sing and dance to ethnic tunes, and to see traditional cultural costumes. Lakewood's international city affiliates are: Okinawa City, Japan; Bauang, Philippines; Danzhou, P. R. of China and Gimhae, South Korea. It is an opportunity for folks to enrich their lives and to participate in forums for community involvement. It is an event that celebrates culture and diversity.

August Music and Art in Wright Park Music and Art in Wright Park is a free outdoor festival celebrating the talents of local artists and musicians in our community --- Rock, Rock-n-Roll, Alternative, Pop, Punk, whatever you want to call it, T acoma has a great history in it and a bright future for it. It is an event which relies on the generosity of individuals and local businesses for its continued support. The festival, which started almost two decades ago, has become a cultural institution in our community. As in previous years, it includes local food, art and craft vendors and continuous music throughout the day. Music and Art in Wright Park for 2012 will take place on Saturday afternoon, August 11th. It is a family friendly, free, music and arts event filled with art, crafts, food and a ton of music!!

August The Browns Point Salmon Bake is held every other August. 2012 will celebrate its 66th anniversary and will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4 and Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Browns Point Improvement Club. Now, according to the Browns Point folks, “This is Granddaddy of them all!” and is the “best event in the Northwest” with big salmon dinners. The event is free and includes live music, entertainment, a beer garden and activities for children. Salmon dinners cost $20 for adults, $12 for children and $17 for seniors. Dinner includes corn on the cob, green salad, a roll and beverage, and of course, salmon, which – unique to Browns Point – is baked on cedar spits over fire pits of green alder wood. Dessert, chowder, hamburgers and shakes will also be available. While there, folks can also visit the neighboring Browns Point Lighthouse Park to tour the 1903 restored Lightkeepers Cottage and museum. The Lighthouse and museum house exhibits featuring the Life and Times of Jerry Meeker as well as hands-on displays of a single-room school house and historic kitchen; a Boat House maritime museum with replica Coast Guard surf boat; and the Pump House where the original lighthouse fog bell is hung and can be rung.

August The Festival at Mount Si, formerly known as North Bend Alpine Days. This Festival has changed its name and returns to the Si View Community Center Park, 400 SE Orchard Street in North Bend. The community center allows North Bend to put on a very large festival each year. In the past, over 30,000 people have come to the weekend long summer festival. The Festival at Mount Si , formerly known as North Bend Alpine Days, celebrates North Bend 's community spirit by preserving the past, celebrating the present and embracing the future. The festival hosts an array of exciting weekend events and activities for folks of all ages. People come from all around Puget Sound to enjoy the music and entertainment on two separate stages at Si View Community Center where you can groove to the rhythmic beats of jazz, blues, rock-a-billy, Caribbean and reggae music played by some of the Northwest's finest musicians. Many also come to take part in the Snoqualmie Valley Track Club 5K/i OK Run and 1.5 Mi. Walk that begins Saturday morning before the colorful Grand Parade. The parade features a Grand Marshal in a grand procession with over 100 floats, bands, equestrian riders, drill teams, and more. In addition, the Festival at Mt. Si will have children's rides & games, spectacular fireworks, a beer garden, Skate Jam, Silent Auction and rides on the historic Snoqualmie Valley Train.

August Fort Nisqually Brigade Encampment - Point Defiance Park. Reenactment of life in 1855 at the restored Hudson's Bay Company fur trading post in Point Defiance Park with participants in period garb demonstrating blacksmithing to candle making.

August The Rainier Roundup - The Rainier Roundup happens on the fourth weekend of August when Blue Grass Bands roll into Wilkowski Park and the city is abuzz with happenings. It is never too early to mark your calendar to make sure you don't miss a great weekend Rainier. Vendors are sponsored by the Rainier Historical Society and are here from Friday through Sunday. Round Up Events will be an informal weekend of Bluegrass pickin' and grinnin' @ Wilkowski Park. Friday night dinner, sponsored by the Rainier Lion's Club where a little pickin and grinnin' may come into play also. Corn is served every evening at the park and the Senior Center Bake sale is found at the Blue Grass gate. Vendors Row opens Friday morning. On Saturday: The Round Up Parade at 11 a.m. There are things to see and do: Vendors Row, the Bluegrass Shows and a Saturday evening street dance. In addition to the “Bluegrass Pickin Party,” the Rainier Roundup is held beginning with the parade down main street starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Come early so you can get a good spot for the parade. There will also be a flea market, bakes sales, corn feed, yard sales, and more. For a weekend of camping, suggested donation of $15 per rig. Stay all week, $20. Sunday brings the Gospel Jam and many of the vendors are on vendors row until mid afternoon.

August Seattle Chamber Music Festival. The Seattle Chamber Music Society presents a summer festival of music at Lakeside School and an annual Summer Festival at The Overlake School in Redmond. Hear amazing chamber music concerts with pre-concert recitals, Music Under the Stars outdoor broadcasts, an Emerging Artist Concert, and Family Concerts. Established in 1982, the Seattle Chamber Music Society's mission is to foster the appreciation of chamber music in our region by presenting performances featuring world-class musicians in accessible and inviting formats, with an emphasis on developing a broad-based sustainable audience through education and community outreach. For its concerts, Seattle Chamber Music Society brings to the city some of North America's finest young chamber players.

August Proctor Summer Arts Festival. The Proctor District in Tacoma was established in Tacoma’s North End nearly 100 years ago. Each year The Proctor District plays host to an annual arts and craft fest in its unique and convenient “village.” 2004 marks the district's 8th annual arts fest.

August Whidbey Island Highland Games . Held annually in August. "Come and join us when the traditions of the Highland Games come alive at the Greenbank Farm, located in Greenbank, Washington on beautiful Whidbey Island. The centerpiece of the Games is competitions in four major areas, Highland Piping, Drumming, Dancing, and traditional Scottish Athletics. Bring your family and experience the Scottish music, culture and enjoy the variety of Celtic performances which are scheduled throughout the day on the Main Stage. Trace your ancestry as you stroll amongst the Clan Tents or enjoy browsing throughout the vender shops, which display traditional Scottish clothing, literature, music and much, much more. Thrill to the sound of the bagpipes and the cadence of the drums as you witness first hand the fine array of talented pipers and drummers competing before judges. Behold the grace and elegance of the Scottish dancers as they regale you with the traditional Highland and Nationals dances of Scotland. Be amazed by the titans who deftly toss the caber and put the stone, matching skill and strength against the odds on the athletic field of battle."

August BrasilFest Held in August. The rest of the world has nothing over Brazil when it comes to joie de vive. BrasilFest, with its upbeat rhythms, joyful dance, and spicy flavors, takes place at the height of Seattle's summer - escalating the fun, celebratory atmosphere. Brazilian Folklore Day, not typically celebrated outside of Brazil, gives reason for the festival's date, but the usually good weather lends an authentic feel to the mostly outdoor event. Both folk traditions and contemporary arts have expression at the festival, where some of Seattle's most vibrant performers take the stage, along with impressive visiting artists. A focus on a specific region of the vast country gives visitors both a cultural and geographical understanding of the diversity found there. Stay tuned for more information about this year's theme. BrasilFest is produced by ShowBrazil Productions and Seattle Center's Festal.

August Tibet Fest Held in August. Ritual and tradition are the heart of Tibet Fest, where the modern and ancient combine in an effort to preserve Tibet’s unique cultural identity. Not only just the country of Tibet, but neighboring Nepal, North India, Ladakh, Bhutan and Mongolia. Performing groups share centuries old stories and legends through lilting melodies and rhythmic movements, wearing symbolic masks and authentic costumes made of rich fabrics and brocade. A Tibetan-style bazaar with traditional handmade items, prayer flags and more, creates a festive atmosphere. Instruments include unique combinations of flutes, horns, drums, bells and cymbals. Tibet Fest is produced by the Tibetan Association of Washington and Seattle Center's Festal.

August Omak Stampede. Always the 2nd weekend in August in Omak, Washington, is billed as the wildest ride in Washington State which includes the world famous suicide race. Featured events include a Motor Rodeo, Horse Rodeo and an Indian Encampment. The Omak Motor Rodeo is a mechanical mayhem with a western twist. The night gets an exciting kick start by opening with a full blown demolition derby. Between the rounds of crunching, twisting steel, the night continues to heat up with the lawnmower races. And this ain't your grandpa's old lawnmower either. these are souped up riding lawnmower chassis that resemble ATV's more than lawnmowers that burn up the track in this exciting event. The evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display. The Omak Horse Rodeo is just as wild, but with real life bucking bulls and horses plus all that smelly 'ol hay and straw that goes with 'em. THEN we have the Omak Indian Encampment & Pow Wow. And that little ditty is sponsored by the Colville Confederated Tribes. This annual Indian Encampment and Pow Wow is held at the Omak Stampede Grounds and is a traditional gathering featuring authentic teepee village, dancing, drumming and singing competitions and stick games - a Native American game of chance. The encampment grounds are open to the public throughout the weekend. Stroll on through and enjoy the beauty, grace and sacred traditions of our Native American culture. This is a bit of excitement learning.

August San Juan County Fair. Held on San Juan Island, the aim and purpose of the San Juan County Fair is to showcase San Juan County and its diverse skills, talents and accomplishments in Agriculture, 4H and youth activities, arts and crafts, fabric and fiber arts, environmental stewardship, service organizations, local history and industry. The San Juan County Fair offers high quality entertainment, education, great food, good old fashioned fun and neighborly socializing.

August Kitsap County Fair & Stampede. Held at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The first recorded Kitsap County Fair was held in 1923 in Port Orchard, some 15 miles from its present location. It moved to Bremerton, its present location, in 1958. In 1929 exhibitors at the Fair totaled 1,000; today there are more than 6,000 and annual attendance exceeds 80,000. In 1960, the Chief Kitsap Stampede sold stock certificates for $1 and constructed the Thunderbird Arena. When completed it held 12,000 spectators. In the late ‘70’s portions of the Arena were condemned. The covered grandstands were later added. Today the Arena holds 5,000 spectators and is used year-round for various events such as D-derby, Draft Horse Show, monster trucks and more. The complex has an annual overall attendance at its various events of more than 211,000.

August Pierce County Fair. Graham, Washington. For over 60 years, the Pierce County Fair Association has put on an annual fair highlighting rural life, agriculture and good ol' family values. It is situated amongst the firs and green grass of Frontier Park. Each year, wide selections of tasty fair foods are offered up to those so inclined and interested while viewing some of the many free entertainment acts and attractions. The Pierce County Fair is a local link to an agricultural past and a fast paced modern life. Farm related projects are the emphasis of the fair. The 4-H Fair, as it was called then, had drawn youth members from all over the county. When it first began, there were few entrants and there were few categories. For the first three years, the fair was without a permanent home. From Benson Grange, it moved to Woodland School and then to the Fruitland Grange. The 4-H fair gave way to the Pierce County Junior Fair which gave way to the Pierce County Fair.

August Thurston County Fair. The Thurston County Fair in Olympia, Washington is a family-oriented, old fashioned, five-day fair. The fair runs Wednesday through Sunday, always on the first weekend in August. Come join us and pet the animals, spin some wool, cruise the carnival, visit the exhibits, get dizzy on the rides, check out the commercial vendors, and feast on the fabulous fair food. And above all, duck in and have fun. Included in fair activity are 4-H contests where members learn how to "make the best better," or in other words, how to improve their projects. Contests and fairs also give members a sense of pride and accomplishment. 4-H'ers receive ribbons and prizes for their efforts. The Thurston County Fair is its showcase event of the year.

August Skagit County Fair. Held in Mt. Vernon where there is live entertainment fun for the whole family. Each August people honor the Skagit valley’s rich agricultural history by attending the Skagit County Fair. Since the first fair in 1898 many venues have come and gone, but always at the heart of this summer tradition was the farm families and the crops and animals they raised. For over a hundred years, the Skagit County Fair has existed. Dozens of displays and exhibits flourish, from honeybee and flower displays to the sheep, goats, dairy cows and horses shown by 4-H and FFA kids, all honoring the agriculture foundation of the Skagit Valley. Savor cotton candy or a “fairburger” while watching the FFA dairy judging. Admire a pig. Check out the new rodeo. Enjoy some live music. Toss a dart at the carnival. As you explore the fair, relish the experience - then come back for more. Main attractions include stage shows, often ranging from country and bluegrass, to steel drum bands and Cajun groups. And for those who enjoy jump-starting their hearts, enjoy the spinning, sliding, whizzing, and lurching rides. There are also games of skill and chance for the opportunity to win your sweetheart a stuffed animal.

August Grays Harbor County Fair. Held at Elma where there's Poultry in Motion. Activities include a Creative Kids Exhibit where children ages six through fifteen can exhibit their creativity and skill. It includes art, baking, creative writing, photography, sewing and bird houses/feeders. Additionally, there is quilt block contests and talent shows. The Fairgrounds is 68 acres in size and includes 15 major buildings and barns, 1200 parking spaces and two outdoor stages.

August Hempfest. The Seattle Hempfest is billed as "the foremost cannabis policy reform event in the world," and "the world's phattest protestival." Seattle Hempfest 2005 was apparently a smashing success, as thousands of freedom lovers enjoyed the bright summer sunshine along the downtown waterfront. Established first in 1991, Hempfest now spans two of Seattle's downtown gems, Myrtle Edwards and Elliot Bay Parks and lasts for two days in August. Multiple stages, hundreds of vendors, and scores of political organizations come together at Hempfest to make the world's phattest protestival a safe and educational demonstration of people power. Hempfest contends it is a work party with a new permanent theme of education, with a specific additional focus on an individual topic each year.

August Oldtime Fiddlers Contest Held in August. For over 10 years, the Oldtime Fiddlers Contest has been held in Winthrop, Washington every August in the beautiful Methow Valley at the Winthrop Park Bandshell. Championship fiddlers and top notch acoustic musicians from all over the Northwest and as far away as Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado and Canada have competed here. Brad Pinkerton, contest chair, has attended and competed in oldtime fiddle contests since 1970. "We changed some of the standard fiddle contest rules to loosen our contest up and make it more fun for both the fiddlers and the audience. At most Northwest contests the fiddlers have a strict four minute time limit within which the contestant must play three tunes; a hoedown, a waltz, and a tune of choice. Because of the time limit the audience is told not to applaud in between the tunes, just at the end of the round. At our contest there is no time limit for a contestants round and the audience is strongly encouraged to holler their encouragement to the fiddlers during the tunes and to just generally whoop it up! We also allow as many accompanists as the fiddler wants, so the dads and moms can play along with hot-shot accompanists behind their fiddling kids. And we allow cross tuning, so you can hear some of the old archaic tunes. Oldtime fiddling is a living folk art, one of the last. Some of these old tunes are 300 years old and have been passed down from generations. Where else could you see a kid playing a tune in 2005 that his great-grandpa played in 1902? The music is learned by ear, not sheet music. The oldtime fiddling harks back to when music wasn't made by celebrities, but by your uncle and neighbors. At a fiddle contest there are no 'stars' kept separate back stage. You can meet and greet some of the best fiddlers in the world here. It's just a different music scene." In addition to the fun of fiddling, a big draw for the fiddlers is the prize money. This is the best paying dinky contest in the country. All of the prize money is generously donated by local merchants and individuals. Bring your lawn chairs & blankets. Seating will be available for seniors under a shade tent. Divisions break down like this: Pee-Wee (age 11 & under): Senior (age 60 & over): Junior (12 to 17): Open: Championship: Accompanist division: Miscellaneous acoustic division (open to banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, bass, accordion, tuba, banjo sexto, etc.) If 'yer into fidlin' this is for you! This is definitely classic.

August Seattle Tibet-Fest. Northwest Tibetans will gather to celebrate and display Tibetan culture, art, handicrafts, music, and traditional food for the general public. The spectacular music and dance of Tibet are the star attractions at this colorful two-day festival at the Seattle Center. Featuring arts, crafts, literature, lectures and plenty of food, TibetFest is a cultural feast of entertainment from the Land of the Snows that is guaranteed to dazzle all visitors. Members of the esteemed Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts from Dharamsala in India join local dance troupe Nyenchen Thangla to present traditional folk music and dances of Tibet. Dressed in stunning silks and brocades of many colors and dripping in silver and turquoise jewels, the dancers wow audiences with tales of nomads and farmers and dances of gypsies, stags and yaks. TibetFest has been running since 1985 and is brought to Seattle by the close-knit community of Tibetan refugees who live in the area, through a local organization called the Tibetan Association of Washington.

August Makah Days. The grand parade, street fair, canoe races, traditional "slahal" games, singing , feasting, bone games, salmon bake, traditional dancing and a spectacular fireworks show are all part of Makah Days. This celebration is held every year towards the end of August at the Makah Indian Reservation, Neah Bay.

August Anacortes Arts Festival. In downtown Anacortes, the Anacortes Arts Festival's mission is to promote the arts in the community, reflect a desire to expand the support of the arts and to continue to promote a high quality yearly festival with a commitment to produce an outstanding fine art show. For over 40 years, the Festival is one of the oldest and largest in the Northwest. Since the early 60’s the Festival has been building a Permanent Collection, which includes pieces from many Northwest artists. The Anacortes Arts and Crafts Festival got its start in 1962 from the Parisienne Montmartre - a French open-air cafe. With the support of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, the first festival in July of 1962 was billed as “the longest art display in the world”. In the 45 years since that simple beginning, the Festival has grown into one of the largest and most respected Festivals in the northwest.

August Washington State International Kite Festival. The Washington State International Kite Festival has been held in Long Beach for more than two decades and is held during the 3rd full week of August each year. This event has been voted Best Kite Festival in the World. Its a place where you can come and join in the fun during a colorful, friendly fun- filled week. Festivities start out with Kite Trains, Arches and Multi-line stacks and join the "engineers" for some fun. It includes a workshop for adults and children with special needs. Then comes Tubular Tuesday, followed by Red, White and Blue Day honoring our flag. On Thursday, there is Handcrafted Kite Day, which is a popular event for all with a variety of categories and three levels of competition. On Friday, there are Demos, Hot Tricks, Junior Dual Line Competition and Mass Ascensions. The night skies are lighted with the Night Fly and fireworks. Starting Saturday off are Fighter Kites, Rokkaku babbles and the cody Kite Fly. Then there are more mass Ascensions, the Pin Challenge and Showtime. Saturday evening brings the Kite Museum Auction / Festival / Awards and Fireworks on the beach. Sunday wraps things up with a Family Fun Fly.

August Seattle Music Fest. Seattle Music Fest at Alki Beach is billed as Seattle's premiere summer event showcasing emerging Northwest bands and select national acts. It is a free, all-ages, three-day music festival with a beautiful waterfront stage at Alki Beach in West Seattle. Three days of amazing music at one of the most beautiful beaches around. New music, new things to do, new foods to try, and an atmosphere like no other event. SMF is unique among NW festivals. • It focuses on the music. • It showcases extraordinary, emerging artists as well as featured headliners, giving some of the most carefully scouted bands an opportunity for us all to get to know them. • It's hip, but never hipper-than-thou. All the cool music with a very welcoming environment.• It's truly all-ages. The beautiful surroundings and open tradition make this a show for families. Tattooed and pierced 19-year-olds stand next to retired folks. • It's a menu of good music. If you'd like to go out more to see live music but have no idea who those bands are, here's your chance to see dozens of bands in three days and pick your favorites. • It's low-cost for those who need it. SMF is free with a small, suggested donation. Those who can't afford other concerts can attend here. Three Short Days to Discover Great Music.

August Arts in Nature Festival. During August, experience jazz, folk, classical, and other music; dance and theatre; visual arts; and kids' activities held by the Nature Consortium at Camp Long in West Seattle. Arts

Nature Festival is a 2-day celebration exploring themes of nature through the creative arts. There is music, dance, theatre, an outdoor museum of sound, kids & family activities, food & drink and a whole lot more where creative artists of all genres "come out to play in the woods" during this funky annual celebration. From dancers scaling a glacier to an outdoor museum of sound, this festival will showcase an impressive number of locally renowned performing artists, sound artists and ensembles. This multidisciplinary event is nestled in the forested arms of Camp Long in West Seattle. Eight rustic cabins will house the "museum of sound" where artists will take up residency for the weekend, creating interactive sound and visual installations. Wandering musicians, characters and dancers will also infiltrate the forested landscape between the cabins. The festival will have 4 performance venues: in the Lodge, in a forested grove by the Pond, on the climbing "Glacier," and at the creative sound stage by the fire circle. There will be a wide array of eclectic and traditional offerings from experimental & improvised to classical, Javanese, traditional Latin American and indie/brit-pop. The event includes a 2-hour Kite Festival on Saturday and a Laughter Circle on Sunday. There will be hands-on interactive EcoArt workshops in the Family/Kids area and String Figure Art in the Woods by the West Shelter. In addition, there will be healthy, delicious food & drink. With a serious commitment to conservation, all festival marketing materials are printed on tree-free paper made from the kenaf plant.

August Olalla Bluegrass Festival. Held in Olalla (on the Kitsap Peninsula, north of Gig Harbor and south of Port Orchard) here's an opportunity to "kick the city off your shoes" during mid-August of each year. Here you can experience old time fiddlers, hand-crafted arts and crafts, good country food, a kid's parade and a berry pie contest. Plus old-time craft demonstrations. "Olalla" means "land of many berries." What tastier way to celebrate roots than with a homemade berry pie. For those so interested, your best berry pie can be declared the tastiest in all the land. Olalla may be a small place, but it has a big appetite for good berry pie. If you think that you can tip the M-m-m-m Scale, give the Olalla Bluegrass Festival your best shot while enjoying good ol' bluegrass music.

August Loggers Jubilee. Every year on the second weekend of August, the town of Morton, Washington opens it's doors and welcomes all to come and experience their past and present community history. The Loggers' Jubilee has become "the Granddaddy of all Logging Shows" and a celebration for people of all ages. From the Main Street Parades to the Lawnmower races, the world famous Logging show to the Jubilee Queen Coronation, Morton's Loggers' Jubilee promises a good time for anyone.

August Evergreen State Fair. Held at Monroe, Snohomish County the last weekend of August since 1908.

August Northwest Washington Fair. Held at Lynden in Whatcom County. "Our Vision is for the Northwest Washington Fair to become a destination event where families and individuals come to enjoy an experience that is totally unique. They will be impacted as a result of their personal involvement with the Fair and its interactive exhibits in an environment that sets the industry standard for safety, cleanliness and aesthetics. Our facilities, considered a resource by the community, will be impeccably maintained and will grow and expand as is required for the development of the fair and to reflect the needs of the area. Our Mission is that the Northwest Washington Fair Association will organize an annual “Fair” that will promote an appreciation for our agricultural heritage, provide education about the role agriculture plays in life today while providing youth with a hands on experience. The annual Fair will be a social gathering place where family values will be honored and individuals of all ages will be entertained. The mission of the association will further be accomplished by generating revenue via rental of the facilities during the off-season, developing promotional activities to encourage off-season usage, and promoting agriculture as a way of life."

August Bremerton Blackberry Festival. Located on the Bremerton Boardwalk in the heart of downtown the Bremerton Blackberry Festival draws over 50,000 people from around the country. It is held on the first weekend of September and has been moving right along for well over 15 years. And for this occasion, the Bremerton Main Stream Association brings its biggest street party of the year to bear for this annual festival over Bremerton's picturesque waterfront each and every September. From modest beginnings in 1990, the berry-fest has evolved into THE summer-ending extravaganza for the Puget Sound. As the festival draws more public attention, it also gains a plethora of unique entertainment and culinary delights, blackberry-style! Breezing down Bremerton's boardwalk, one can stop and sample the best blackberry jams, jellies, pies and cobblers. The beer garden has blackberry cider and the very popular blackberry wine with the festival label. More than one hundred vendors offer a vast array of foods, drinks and art. For children, the little Blackberry Festival is a storybook come to life. Kids will be fascinated by magicians and musicians. They can play games and have their faces painted. Little artists can even grab some colored chalk and make their mark on a giant blackberry poster mural. As in past years, the Bremerton Blackberry Festival is packed with free entertainment. Some of the best musicians and entertainers in the area will perform throughout both days. Other Festival staples are back each year, like the Berry Fun Run and Dream's on Wheels Car Club Car Show right next door in downtown Bremerton.

September Commencement Bay Maritime Fest Held at Dock Street, Thea Foss Waterway, and the Port of Tacoma, the Commencement Bay Maritime Festival is a week long festival to celebrate Tacoma’s working waterfront. The Fest encourages all citizens to celebrate its waterfront by experiencing art, history, environmental education, music, trade, boat and train rides, cultural diversity and hands-on activities unique to the Thea Foss Waterway and the Tacoma Tideflats. Organized by the Port of Tacoma, featuring a celebration along Thea Foss Waterway, this event is held in September and features activities from parades to port tours, cruises to concerts, tugboat races to rip-tide rowers. The Commencement Bay Maritime Fest is a relative newcomer on the scene, yet the city's waterfront community has a long tradition of tugboat and steamboat racing -- going back over a hundred years. The setting for the Tacoma event is perfect, with activities taking place along Thea Foss Waterway, named, of course, after the woman who told the old man to get out there with that row boat and bring those square riggers and schooners in here! If you're a maritime fan, you will probably find something of interest along Thea Foss Waterway come the middle of September of each year.

September Sequim Balloon Festival Western Washington now has an amazing first class hot air balloon festival on Labor Day Weekend. Bring your camera because you are in for a sensory overload. Not only will you get to see five-story balloons fly across the Dungeness Valley, but a huge classic car show, arts and crafts booths, live music, street dances, Balloon Glow at night in a reflection pond, food court, chalk drawing contest, kids corral, beer and wine garden, wine stomp, Volksmarch, running race, bicycle race and more. And this all happens in the best weather in the state - Sequim, Washington.

September Roy Pioneer Rodeo. Downtown Roy, Washington - Held in June (and September) the Roy Pioneer Rodeo features an Old West flavor. At the Roy Pioneer Rodeo, there are bucking broncos, homemade sweets, bake sales, a cowboy breakfast, a spaghetti feed dinner, and evening country dancing, all in the country town of Roy, just south of Tacoma.

September Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Chamber Music Series 2010 marks the sixth year for Classical Tuesdays in Old Town that are held each September, October, November and December. Tacoma's Old Town Business & Professional Association presents an outstanding chamber music series on the second Tuesday of each of these four months. These live concerts are held in the beautiful setting of the grand old Slavonian Hall located at 2306 N. 30th Street. Innovative programming features some of the Pacific Northwest's finest classical musicians. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Pamela Ryker, this popular series is free and open to the public.

September Decibel Festival - International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Arts and New Media. Held annually in September in Seattle's Capitol Hill District. This festival reflects the burgeoning audience and growing interest in this adventurous multimedia world. Decibel Festival features more than 75 electronic music artists from around the world, presented in 17 individual performance showcases spread out over four days. As part of a new visual arts focus, Decibel will host talented visual artists throughout the weekend which will culminate in DB-Optical, a multimedia fusion of installations and live art. Decibel will happen on eight stages throughout the event with several showcases dedicated to emerging performers and DJs. Genres accepted include: Electronica, Downtempo, Electro, Techno, Tech House, Experimental, Ambient and Electro Pop. Decibel is a four-day, multiple venue, community music and arts festival exposing the Northwest to both the international and regional electronic music scene. A goal of the festival is to educate and entertain through workshops, seminars, open discussion, venues, sound, riveting performances, interesting visuals, and a diverse selection of quality electronic music.

September Kittitas County Fair. Held at Ellensburg. From the first organized Kittitas County Fair in 1885 to the modern five day event held each Labor Day weekend, the fair has always been about agriculture. From its inception by local farmers and ranchers the fair has showcased the best that Kittitas County has to offer. With the building of the rodeo arena and the first permanent buildings on the fairgrounds in 1923, the beginnings of the permanent location for the combined County Fair and Rodeo took hold. Now, each year, as in 1923, agricultural exhibits and competitions, a four day rodeo and a gathering of Yakama Indians takes place. The fair has something for everybody! Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, the Kittitas County Fair has special attractions to celebrate the history, heritage, and culture of the county. Want to step back in history, dance under the stars, or hob-knob with the clowns? There is plenty going on at the Kittitas County Fair. Frontier Village - Step through the gates of this turn-of-the-century town and visit homesteaders from Cooke Canyon, the blacksmith, the sarsaparilla saloon keeper, and the schoolmaster. Meet Betty Kelley, manager of the General Store and fill your pockets with penny-candy or a big fat pickle. Don’t forget to try your luck by panning for gold with Marv at the old mine shaft. Everyone can be a Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn in Frontier Village. Heritage Center - The Center Association launches new displays and improves the Heritage Center each year, pivoting on the historical importance of mining in the region. Kids Town - Kids come first at the Kittitas County Fair. Nestled between the Rodeo South Grandstands and Frontier Village is an exciting entertainment center just for kids. That’s where you’ll find Let’s Pretend Wild West Show and Linda Hulet’s Silly Staff Production of Kids Town. Face painting, bean bag toss, hula hoops, kiddy shows, and much more! Pee Wee Rodeo - Grab the bull by the horns; throw a leg over the stick horse and ride – it’s Pee Wee Rodeo time for tots. Kids show their “tough stuff” in the make-believe rodeo arena in front of the big Coke Stage. Every kid contestant is a Rodeo Star – yahoo! Beer and Wine Exhibit - No need to travel to the south of France – visit Kittitas County Fair’s beer and wine exhibit located in the Armory near the 8th Avenue entrance gate. The exhibit celebrates Washington’s contribution to the wine and beer industry. Collect educational material on how to brew beer or age wine. Visit the tasting corner to sample local wines and beers (must be 21 years of age). And while you sip your wine, take time to listen to musical entertainment scheduled throughout the day. And More.

September Freemont Oktoberfest. Held in the Freemont District of Seattle. Historically, in old Germany, the brewing season began with the fall harvest of barley and hops and any beer left at harvest time had to be consumed before the new beer arrived. September was designated as the time to drink-up all of last season's beer. It officially became Oktoberfest in 1810, when Ludwig I, the Crown Prince of Bavaria declared a 16-day celebration in commemoration of his wedding. According to Fremont advocates, since most of us have to work on Monday and cannot party for 16 days, they invite everybody to experience how the Fremont Oktoberfest squeezes 16 days into one unbelievable weekend. The Fremont Oktoberfest will fire up the chainsaw, turn up the high-energy and tap over 50 distinct Northwest Microbrews in the beer garden. Additionally, there will be an Urban Carnival with classic carnival rides for both adults and children. Long standing Oktoberfest favorites will return as well. Live music is scheduled on two stages. There'll be the Microbrew Garden, the Brew-ha-ha 3 Mile Fun Run and a wide assortment of local arts and crafts, imported treasures, and festive treats as well as traditional German food. And everyone's favorite… the Fremont Arts Council once again brings us their Annual Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest. This is just one more event for you to squeeze into your summer fun.

September Central Washington State Fair. Held in Yakima. In 1892 the first fair was held in Yakima. Previous to this time the entire State of Washington had been in an uproar trying to decide on the location of the State Capitol. On February 16, 1892, the Legislature made its decision and Yakima received the nod for the State Fair and Olympia retained the title of Capitol City. Agricultural exhibits, Indian races, war dances, coyote hunts, harness races, and horse races began to take hold. Starting in 1925, harness races, horse races, and automobile races were the feature grandstand attractions. Fireworks displays were always popular for the night shows. A great many free acts were brought in to fill in the lull between the ever-popular horse races. Since the first Fair was held in 1892, throughout its history, when the Central Washington Fair Association was incorporated in 1939, and continuing to this day, the purpose of the Association has remained steadfast -- to hold an annual fair and to promote and develop agriculture. The annual Fair is truly a showcase of agriculture -- with the world-renowned Grange displays, all forms of livestock, horticultural displays, farm equipment -- and the fastest-growing agricultural commodity for the Yakima Valley -- wine and wine grapes. The Fair, of course, encompasses all the attributes that make it a fair -- every imaginable kind of food, exciting carnival rides and games, entertainment to satisfy every age group, exhibits of all kinds, cutting-edge technology displays -- all showcased on the beautiful 135-acre park-like fairgrounds.

September Rainier Mountain Festival. Held annually at Rainier Base Camp, Ashford, the third weekend in September. Event highlights include: World Class Climbers -- Mingle, ask questions, and get autographs from mountaineering legends such as Ed Viesturs, Jim and Lou Whittaker, Jim Wickwire, Dave Hahn, John Roskelly and many more. In 2004, over fifteen Everest summiteers attended the event. Trail Run at Rainier -- Five mile trail run starting in the high foothills of Mt. Rainier. Trail is hilly at times and located directly behind the festival grounds. This course can be run or walked. Alpine Games -- Compete for cash prizes in mountain events such as Ice Climbing, the sled pull, Erect-a-tent and Speed Bouldering. Mountain Technique Demonstrations -- Get helpful hints from Mountain Pros from fitting a backpack, Ice Climbing, boot fitting and other great tricks of the trade. Book Signings -- Famous climbing authors, when on-site, will sign copies of their books. Raffle -- Over $10,000 worth of gear will be raffled off with all proceeds going towards The Washington National Park Fund. Films and Slideshows -- Personal video and slide presentations by mountaineering legends such as Jake Norton, who found the long lost body of George Mallory high on Mt. Everest in 1999. And countless others. Salmon Bake N’Brews -- Join us for our all-day Salmon feast. The menu includes wild salmon, bake potato, lots of veggies, salad and bread. Quench your thirst with an ice cold ale or soda pop. Music -- On Saturday come and be entertained with live music starting on festival grounds at around 4:00 PM moving to the local watering hole at around 9:00 PM. Kids Games -- Great fun for kids. There will be a free rock wall to climb and have fun with, ice climbing demo’s for kids of all ages and an inflatable bounce house. It's all fun and it's all free!

September Ellensburg Rodeo. The Ellensburg Rodeo. The Tradition Lives On! Started in 1923, the Ellensburg Rodeo is one of the top rodeo events in the nation, and is held in conjunction with the Kittitas County Fair on Labor Day Weekend. The Ellensburg Rodeo is one of the "old rodeos." It has earned its place as one of America's Top 25 professional rodeos. Started in 1923 with the same volunteer spirit that still "fuels the fire" of today's volunteers, the rodeo has grown from a local competition among ranch hands to the Professional event of today with over 500 contestants and prize money in excess of $250,000! Today's best riders, ropers and wrestlers compete in what many consider to be the best rodeo arena in the nation. The Friday night opening performance starts in the evening and ends under the stars. The Saturday and Sunday afternoon "perfs" feel electrically charged by the brilliant blue sky. It all leads up to the Labor Day Monday Championship Finals. the best of the best dueling in the dirt! Surround all this with the fun of the Kittitas County Fair, the old-west hospitality of the City of Ellensburg, and you can understand why in Ellensburg, it's "More than just your average rodeo."

September Puyallup Fair. The Puyallup Fair (officially known as the Western Washington Fair) is the largest single attraction held annually in the state of Washington. The Fair continually ranks in the top ten largest fairs in the world. The Western Washington Fair Association hosts two annual events, the 17-day Puyallup Fair every September, and the four-day Puyallup Spring Fair every April. Situated south of Seattle and east of Tacoma in the shadow of majestic Mount Rainier, the Fairgrounds comprise 169+ acres, with buildings and land valued at more than $54 million. The facilities are available for rent during the year, making the grounds a valuable community resource. A staff of 55 works year-round. Over 1,900+ employees are hired each September during the Puyallup Fair. The mission of the fair is to respond to the communities' needs by producing a dynamic Fair, in a year-round facility, that serves an ever-expanding circle of peoples. The Fair will showcase excellence in the traditions of the Past, the products of the Present and the vision of the Future in the areas of Agriculture, Trade and Industry. Values are placed on Family, Fun, People, Learning, Entertainment, Safety, Financial Strength, Responsiveness, Cleanliness and Flexibility. Come and enjoy!

September Pike Place Market Buskers' Festival. A "busker" is a street performer and the Pike Place Market has a long tradition of being friendly to street performers. Dating to 451 BC Rome, buskers, or entertainers, have performed for the public masses and receiving "tips" by the populace by them throwing coins to the performers for their "wares." Later, King Henry VIII of England ordered the licensing of “beggars who could not work, as well as pardoners, fortune tellers, fencers, minstrels and players.” Later, British law regarded street performers with, “Cripples, blind men, old men, women, children, sweepers, match girls, sham watermen, fishermen, and gardeners” as people for the police force to “Watch,” which basically implied that it was alright to harass them. Indeed it would seem that, throughout history, buskers have been pushed to the fringes of society, by the very society they seek simply to entertain. Even today, it is illegal to busk in most major cities, all over the world. Yet people continue to sing, dance, juggle, draw, act, paint, sculpt, and prestidigitate on the streets and sidewalks, willingly risking punishment (albeit less violent than in times gone by) for the pleasure and entertainment of passersby, and a coin or two. So the next time you see street performers, carrying on the great and ancient occupation of busking, remember the history they carry, and the risk involved, and remember to toss a buck or two their way. Now, apparently in an organized fashion, Seattle's Pike Place Market offers to refine the profession of busking.

September Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. The Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival is the premier annual celebration of wooden boat enthusiasts in North America. There are hundreds of boats & expert demonstrations, activities for the whole family. Its mission is to celebrate and preserve traditional maritime skills, heritage and culture through education and community participation. It is the largest gathering of wooden boat enthusiasts on the West Coast and premier festival of its kind, this three-day educational celebration should not be missed by the true boat enthusiast. Over 100 finely crafted wooden boats are displayed in the water and on land. Workshops, lectures, demonstrations, regional music, food and fun for the entire family. Proceeds support the Wooden Boat Foundation's mission.

September Bumbershoot: The Seattle Arts Festival. At the Seattle Center, Labor Day weekend, Bumbershoot explodes with music, film, comedy and a heck of a lot more. It made its debut in 1971, and is one of the country's largest urban arts festivals. And with hundreds of artists of all kinds performing today, it's a sensory overload. And each and every Bumbershoot features at least one "act of absurdity" to help kick things off and keep things rolling. It began at a fertile time -- during the arts explosion of the 1970s that gave rise to such institutions as the Pilchuck Glass School, Northwest Folklife Festival, Linda Farris Gallery and the Empty Space and Intiman theaters -- and is now so ingrained into Pacific Northwest lifestyles that it is just about THE thing to go to EVERY YEAR. As a Bumbershoot spokesperson states: "Bumbershoot fits the personality of this city so well because people here are curious and engaged and they come to the festival to sample."

September Olympia Harbor Days. Arts & crafts booths, food fair, music, kids' activities (including slides, bounce houses and a climbing wall), tugboat tours, Swantown Regatta (human-powered boat races) and Tugboat Races. Held at Percival Landing in Olympia. Boats and crowds fill the boardwalk on the downtown Olympia waterfront for Olympia's annual Harbor Days Festival each year. Tugboat tours.

September Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival. Held in Leavenworth. "Bavarian Harvest Time." Since 1964, Washington State Autumn Leaf Association has presented the Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth, which is situated on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. It is a non-profit organization and all volunteers work year-around promoting our Bavarian Village. Celebrate the area's spectacular fall foliage! Enjoy the Grand Parade at noon on Saturday. Continuous entertainment, food booths and activities for the whole family.

September Seattle Fiestas Patrias. Celebration of Mexican independence, held at the Seattle Center, along with the independence of other Latin countries, Seattle Fiestas Patrias celebrates with an annual Fiestas Patrias. Entertainment and cultural displays by artists from countries such as Peru, Honduras, Argentina, Mexico and Columbia offer an authentic look at a culture where countries share language, food and sounds, but have very distinct traditions. Of course there will be Mariachi, fabulous costumes and satisfying food - favorites among the festival goers. Seattle Fiestas Patrias is produced by the Seattle Fiestas Patrias Committee and Seattle Center's Festal. Seattle Center's Festбl is a year-long series of world cultural events that honors the richness and diversity of our region. Festбl plays a vital part of Seattle Center's role in connecting our dynamic and varied community. The collection of events is produced by Seattle Center and individual cultural organizations.

September Italian Festival. The largest Italian-American event in the northwest, featuring music, dance, and theater performances, food, plus a bocce tournament, grape stomping contest, children's puppet show, and film festival. Held at the Seattle Center. Fiesta Italiana is a series of events held the last week of September which culminates in a major Italian Festival at Seattle Center. For over 15 years, Festal Italiana has celebrated the cultural roots of Italians and Italian-Americans by presenting and promoting the arts, the food and the spirit that are uniquely Italian. Highlights include a free all-ages concert and dance, plus cooking demonstrations by Seattle's leading Italian chefs. In addition, there is a wide array of cultural and educational opportunities in which to participate but as always, the main attractions continue to be food, entertainment and fun for the whole family! Learn culinary secrets from the masters at the "Great Italian Chefs" cooking demonstrations outdoors in the piazza. Explore the Bocce Tournament -- now indoors and on three courts -- this is the Italian version of lawn bowling that is one of the fastest growing sport in America and one of the most popular events at the festival. Explore the Grape Stomp -- jump in with both feet and make wine as they used to in the old country. Team competition and a chance to win great prizes! Click here for Grape Stomp information. Come for the Food - Stay for the Fun!

September Westport In September. All during the month of September, there are activities galore in Westport. Come check ‘em out. There’s an annual seafood festival, a world famous oyster feed, a Washington tuna classic, a huge blues festival, a boat basin salmon derby and an art show & wine tasting event, plus loads of other stuff to go to. Check ‘em out.

September Korean Cultural Celebration Held in September. Ch’usok or Harvest Festival Day is one of the great holidays of the year in Korean culture. On this day, feasts are prepared, families hold memorial services at ancestral gravesites, and full-moon viewing takes place in the evening. This Korean holiday is considered not only the most generous in spirit, but a day of thanksgiving for a good harvest. As on Lunar New Year’s Day, families come home from all across the country to celebrate together. Traditionally, new clothes were worn, but today people dress up in customary Korean dress, such as the han-bok. Ancestors are remembered with wine, newly harvested chestnuts, jujubes, persimmons, apples, pears, and songp’yon, half-moon-shaped rice cakes. New Year’s Day activities and games are also popular during Ch'usok when the weather is good and, according to the Korean saying, “The sky is high and the horse is fat.” The Korean Cultural Celebration is produced by the Korean American Art & Cultural Association of the Pacific Northwest and Seattle Center's Festбl.

October Steilacoom Apple Squeeze. Attending this annual event in October, you will experience old-fashioned presses squeezing apples into cider in Washington State’s oldest incorporated town. You can bring your own apples to squeeze. Various apple delicacies are for sale, such as fresh apple pie and apple butter. You can also visit the 1895 Bair Drug Store, which features a 1906 soda fountain. While you are there, don’t forget to visit the historic Town Hall Museum and Steilacoom Tribal Cultural Center & Museum.

October City of Fife Harvest Festival. Held annually in October, the event begins with a parade from Fife City Hall to Dacca Park. Festivities include entertainment and family-friendly activities including local organizational informational booths and vendor & food booths. Entertainment will include live music, a Native American dance group, a Mexican dance group, a fire dance and a martial arts demonstration and will conclude with a fireworks finale at approximately 8:30 PM. For the children, there's face painting, a magician, clowns and various other activities and games.

October Tacoma Greek Festival Held annually in October, over a three day weekend at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Over the years, stewardship alone has not provided sufficient funds to support the church and all of its expenses. Tacoma's annual Greek Festival has evolved from a tiny bazaar by a few dedicated ladies to a large festival, staged by members of St. Nicholas with the help of friends and welcoming guests from around the Puget Sound region. Each year the parish selects an overall chairperson and chairs for each committee. It appears that all of Tacoma looks forward every year to this event. Each year, there are exquisite pastries, salads, gyros, music, Greek Folk Dancing, imported goods, beverages, calamari, coffee, a raffle, and Greek folk dancing in colorful costumes in additional to a Children's Corner, and more.

October Lokahi ‘Ohana O Hawai’i Ho'olaule'a -- Held semi-annually at Chief Leschi School, 5625 52nd St. E., Puyallup, WA. Here's ten hours of continuous Hawaiian entertainment, island-style shopping, arts & crafts, food, and fun! How's this assortment of Hawaiian/Polynesian items for openers? . island comforts, Hawaiian prints, blankets, hula bags, material flowers, orchid and butterfly magnets, towels and aprons, Hawaiian clothing, pillows, jewelry, checkbook covers, lehua blossoms, Hawaiian dolls, quilts, children's books, ps'u skirts, bonnets, fabric-art, wall hangings, stickers, soaps, fresh water pearls, Portuguese sausage, Hawaiian alphabet and slippah quilts, planters, wind chimes, sun catchers, sarongs, kukui leis, silk leis, island snacks, t-shirts, decals, lotions, perfumes, CD's, hair accessories, crack seed, cookies, chips, jellies, books, cushions, specialty paddles, iup's for vehicles, home fragrances, Hawaiian snacks, car seat covers, body sprays, paintings of Hawaiian flowers, artwork, handbags, necklaces, paniolo hats, island flowers. Lokahi 'Ohana O Hawai'i (United Families of Hawai'i) is a non-profit Native Hawaiian organization in the State of Washington formed in 1992. It provides information and resources to local and Native Hawaiians. Lokahi 'Ohana O Hawai'i welcomes local involvement to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture. It is wholly operated and composed of volunteers. Lokahi Board of Directors, their family and friends are committed to serving our communities through various activities and projects to enrich our lives.

October Oktoberfest Northwest Puyallup Fair Grounds, Puyallup, Washington. The first annual Oktoberfest Northwest took place October 6-9, 2005 at the Puyallup Fairgrounds, bringing German culture and entertainment to Western Washington. Nearly 15,000 festival attendees enjoyed German music and dancing, arts and crafts, authentic cuisine and family activities over the four days of the event. The event kicked off with the Tapping of the Golden Keg by Festmaster Bob Carlson on Thursday evening, which was attended by almost 4,000 people and filled the Festhalle Biergarten. Thousands more braved the uncertain weather to come out and celebrate Oktoberfest throughout the rest of the weekend. The Bavarian Brewer’s Band from Germany was a huge crowd favorite, playing polkas and dances that energized the Festhalle Biergarten Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The Schaefer Brothers Band and the Greg Meier Bavarian Quartet were also big hits, getting the crowd on their feet and even involving over 1,000 people in the Chicken Dance at the same time! Festival-goers also enjoyed the Scandinavian Heritage Festival, which paired with Oktoberfest Northwest and showcased Scandinavian foods, music and crafts. Event producers have received much positive feedback on this first-time event and plan to make Oktoberfest Northwest an annual tradition.

October Leavenworth Oktoberfest Celebration. Held in Leavenworth. A German tradition from the old country with great German bands in the Festhalle, lots of food, and a traditional parade! Two Weekends of Fun-Filled Activities. Leavenworth invites you to celebrate with them at their Annual Oktoberfest. Leavenworth, "The Bavarian Village," is the ideal setting for you and your family to enjoy a great tradition. There will be continuous live music featuring music groups from Germany and Austria plus German groups from the US. There will be German food & beer, Kinderplatz- "For Kids Only," Arts and Crafts, Traditional Biergarten, Used Bavarian Clothing Sale, and more. Celebrate in Leavenworth, the ideal setting for you and your family to enjoy the great tradition of Oktoberfest!

October Cranberry Harvest Festival. Held in Grayland every October, it has recently celebrated its 12th Annual Cranberry Harvest Festival. (The Historic Grayland Community Hall-located a country block off of SR Hwy 105, on Grange Rd., in Grayland. (Approximately 25 miles south of Aberdeen) Celebrating the harvest of Cranberries is a tradition going back almost 100 years. At the Historic Community Hall you will find local crafts featuring, of course, the Cranberry, in food, drink, and decoration. At the Cranberry Heritage Museum you will find cranberry and area artifacts galore. Don't miss the Annual lighted "Firefly Parade" Saturday evening. This annual event is sponsored by The Cranberry Coast Chamber of Commerce. Highlights of the Cranberry Festival include: Jog the Bog, Cranberry Pancake Breakfast, Cranberry Bog Tours and Furford, Cranberry Museum Tours, Cranberry Cook-Off, Cranberry Market Place, Lighted Firefly Parade, Growers Big Berry Contest, Bite Of The Beach, Children's Games, Inside and Outside Vendors, Live Entertainment, Quilt Show, Dueling Fiddlers, Meet The Royalty .(Royal Blossom (Berry Young); Royal Berry (Berry Ripe) and Royal Crasin (Berry Old)

October Wild Mushroom Festival. At Long Beach, Seaview, Ilwaco, and other locations, the annual Wild Mushroom Festival kicks off in October and runs through the end of the month. As part of the festival, participating restaurants, inns and bed and breakfast establishments will offer daily wild mushroom specials. Wild mushroom workshops, field excursions and prix-fixe dinners will also be offered.

October CroatiaFest Held in October. Experience the treasures of Croatia - breathtaking landscapes, music, art, history and folklore during CroatiaFest at Seattle Center. From the cosmopolitan 1000 year old capital of Zagreb, the city of history and legends, to the port city of Split, home of Diocletian’s Palace, on the Dalmatian Coast; from the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, a favorite of the rich and famous, to the sixteen Plitvice Lakes, one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world, CroatiaFest invites you to discover Croatia, one of the last undiscovered treasures on earth.

October Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival Port Angeles. The Festival is located at the Port Angeles City Pier and the Red Lion Hotel, at the foot of Lincoln Street, and overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with Victoria, B.C. just a ferry ride away. This waterfront park is a welcoming haven to boaters and visitors and a great place to enjoy the view and salty fresh air. In the main tent, you'll find an old-fashioned Crab Feed complete with large kettles of fresh crab, tender oysters, sweet mussels, and succulent clams. Wild Northwest salmon will scent the air. There will be wine tasting by award-winning local wineries, a beer garden, live music, and cooking demonstrations, activities for kids, marine and agricultural exhibits, and more.

October OysterFest. West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship and Washington State Seafood Festival, held at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Shelton. Heading into its 25th year. OysterFest is held annually on the first full weekend in October. The word is, that during OysterFest, the Mason County Fairgrounds is a great place to be. With the help of nearly 100 community organizations, Skookum Rotary stages it's annual small town, BIG event! The gates are open from 10am to 6pm each day; you are invited, and the Rotarians hope to see you there! The Pacific Rim Oyster Open Speed & Half-Shell Oyster Shucking Contests are the centerpiece of the festival. Two other Open events are the Art and Photography Competition and the Seafood Cook-Off. Free entertainment is on-going. Wine tasting is provided by several Washington State Wineries and the Microbreweries certainly know how to do their thing. Not to mention the food venders -- none of whom may duplicate another's delicacy. Our advice-Come Hungry! The Fairground is located on Sanderson Field, 1/2 mile north of Shelton, west of US Highway 101. Many folks with private aircraft fly in for the event, park their planes and walk or ride to the Fairground. Skookum Rotary Club contracts for the Free Shuttle Service with Mason County Transportation Authority. Free parking areas and pick-up points are located at the Shelton Civic Center, Shelton Yacht Club, Olympic College, Shelton High School, the Port of Shelton property adjacent to the Olympic Air facility. It is recommended that you consider the Port of Shelton satellite parking area which is reached through the Main Entrance to the Port of Shelton. (The Port entrance is about 3/4 of a mile north of the Fairground Entrance, both of which are on US Highway 101. Also, the Port Entrance has a left turn lane in this stretch of the highway for Northbound traffic.)

October Dia de Muertos. Offering a warm, bold and electric cultural experience, the annual Dia de Muertos Celebration at Seattle Center is as relevant today as it was a millennium ago, the holiday pays tribute to ancestors while celebrating one's own mortal existence. Altars, artwork, food and music are prominent, but music and dance are hardly an afterthought. Performing artists, both local and visiting, offer exceptional talent, both traditional and contemporary, representing countries throughout Latin America. Artwork depicts both heritage and vision. Candlelight graces altars adorned with vibrantly colored artwork and personal artifacts for a deeply moving, visually compelling, experience. This celebration is produced by La Casa de Artes and organized by dedicated community members who work countless hours, dedicating their ideas, creativity and hands-on work. They do so because they believe it’s vital to show the depth of their culture and their many traditions.

October Issaquah Salmon Days Festival. "Salmon Days -- Celebrating the annual return of the salmon to our streams and hatchery!" The Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, presented by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, is the annual celebration of the returning salmon to our lakes, streams and downtown hatchery. This two day event held annually the first full weekend in October draws crowds of more than 150,000 people. Salmon Days features a weekend full of salmon and free fun, including more than 300 artists, the Foods of the World, a Grande Parade, 5k and 10k runs, four stages of live entertainment, the Field of Fun, and much more. Come see what’s in the water at the Issaquah Salmon Days. In 1970, the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce presented the first Issaquah Salmon Days Festival to celebrate the return of the salmon to Issaquah's lakes, streams and downtown hatchery. Since then, the Festival has grown into one of the Northwest's premier community events. Along with more people attending, the overall Salmon Days experience has also grown. Today, more than 300 artists line Front Street and Sunset Way, fifty-plus food vendors featuring delightful entrees from all over the world fill Depot Park, the Field of Fun bustles with excited children and bursts with free activities for the family to enjoy and three stages offering live entertainment enchant ears throughout the weekend. Salmon Days prides itself in being an event the entire community can benefit from and enjoy.

October Earshot Jazz Festival. Seattle's Jazz Festival. The newest edition of "Seattle's most important annual jazz event" is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and compelling ever. From mid-October, for a couple of weeks, Seattle’s non-profit jazz-support organization presents hundreds of the most important artists of our day in more than 50 events in venues all around Seattle. In addition to concert performances, the festival includes educational programs and panels, a film series, poetry and author readings, and a photo exhibit. Earshot Jazz collaborates with Seattle organizations and institutions such as: The Central District Forum, Consolidated Works, Kirkland Performance Center, The Triple Door, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Seattle Chamber Players, and Town Hall Seattle. Earshot Jazz also joins the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Film and Music in dedicating a 12th and Jackson Historic Jazz District. For over 16 years, Earshot Jazz has been pumping out beat after beat. Some of the projects that have taken place include: The World Saxophone Quartet’s Jimi Hendrix Project, "Seattle Jazz Legends," New Cuban Jazz, Jazz Poetry on Jackson Street, Solo, presentations by the award-winning Garfield and Roosevelt High School bands and many more, including over 100 Seattle resident artists.

October TurkFest Held in October. For many centuries, Turkey has been a mosaic of cultures and a bridge between Europe and Asia, connecting Eastern and Western cultures, both geographically and historically. From Hittites and Assuryrians to Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine cultures, each civilization has left relics that can be found in many corners of the country and represented in its music, dance and art. The annual Turkish cultural festival presents concerts of classical and contemporary music, folk dancing, films, fashion and carpet shows, workshops and more. Produced by the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, the Turkish American Cultural Association and Seattle Center's Festal.

November Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Chamber Music Series 2010 marked the sixth year for Classical Tuesdays in Old Town that are held each October, November, December, January and February. Tacoma's Old Town Business & Professional Association presents an outstanding chamber music series on the second Tuesday of each of these five months. These live concerts are held in the beautiful setting of the grand old Slavonian Hall located at 2306 N. 30th Street. Innovative programming features some of the Pacific Northwest's finest classical musicians, such as baritone Charles Robert Stephens, violinists Maria Sampen, Jennifer Caine and Timothy Christie, flutist Pamela Ryker, cellist Sally Singer, lutenist Elizabeth Brown and the brass ensemble Brass Unlimited. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Pamela Ryker, and now in its fourth season, this popular series is free and open to the public. Join us!

November Ballard Jazz Festival. Held late November. Formerly an oddly timed supplement to the Earshot Jazz Festival's epic three weeks of concerts, the Ballard Jazz Festival has blossomed into a distinct, down-home event. Earshot does what big festivals should do — it explores the outer margins of its stated purview — while the Ballard Jazz Festival stays closer to home, booking more local musicians for concerts and its jazz pub crawl, the Ballard Jazz Walk. It's a thing that will, typically, stuff 12 groups into nine venues. This way, instead of staying for a whole set you can wander in and out of a bunch of venues. You get a feel for who's doing what and maybe discover a group you haven't heard before.

November Hmong New Year Celebration Held in November. A well-attended festival by both Hmong and non-Hmong people, this is the largest of the Hmong New Year events in the Pacific Northwest. Symbolizing the end of the harvest, this is the time when Hmong relax, prepare special foods, and begin courtships. Most Hmong have been in the United States less than 30 years, and Washington's Hmong population is growing. A little known culture, the Hmong people most recently came from the mountain regions of Laos, Thailand and Burma. Retrospective photo and artifact exhibits tell the Hmong story, as do demonstrations and hands-on learning of distinct cultural activities such as embroidery, basket weaving, and leaf blowing. With no modern telephones, smitten youth declared their love for each other by blowing through leaves – an innovative communication device that carried sounds across mountaintops! The Hmong, whose written language was almost lost centuries ago, preserved it through intricate and vibrant embroidery. This functional art form is also a significant part of Hmong attire, now worn only on special occasions but at one time was part of everyday dress. The beautifully colored, hand-made costumes are now an integral part of the New Year celebration, and are seen on stage and off at this festival. The Hmong New Year Celebration is produced by the Hmong Association of Washington and Seattle Center's Festal.

November Holiday Torchlight Parade & Tree Lighting. Held in late November / early December, the annual Tacoma parade is located downtown and ushers in Santa and the Christmas season, culminating in the lighting of the city's official Christmas Tree at So. 9th and Broadway, downtown. The majestic fir tree is donated annually by Fort Lewis and its troops who transport it to Tacoma, a tradition since 1946 recognizing the Tacoma community's support for the armed forces. November 28, 2004 will mark the start of things in the Stadium District on Division & Tacoma Ave N down to 9th & Broadway, Tacoma. Come & watch the festive parade featuring floats, marching bands, vintage autos & much more!

December The Tacoma Philharmonic Throughout the year, The Tacoma Philharmonic enriches the cultural life of Tacoma by presenting classical music performances of world-renowned orchestras and artists otherwise unavailable in the Tacoma area and offers many unique music education opportunities. Originated in 1933 by a 21-year old hitchhiker from Portland, Oregon, Tacoma’s Philharmonic Orchestra has grown into and become truly "the South Sound Source for World Class Classical Music." Additionally, the Tacoma Philharmonic has a Music Education Program that has been designed to enhance classical music education for children in Pierce County which provides free educational programming. It also conducts outreach activities that reach under-served populations in the community. With Christmas-time having so much musical relativity, it is no wonder that this time of year can be filled with ear-tantalizing splendor. In 2007, the original group's "12 Days of Christmas" video became a YouTube phenomenon with more than 7,000,000 views during the month of December alone.

December The Christmas Revels in the Rialto Theater. Each year at the Rialto Theater in downtown Tacoma, The Christmas Revels involves 60 to 90 people on-stage, the heart of which is a large chorus of adults and children (auditioned from the community) to which is added professional actors, storytellers, singers, dancers and instrumentalists with each show being professionally lit and costumed. The Puget Sound Revels incorporated in 1992 and have been producing and putting on Christmas tidings at Tacoma’s Rialto Theater since 1994. Audiences can expect a different and new theme from year to year that revolves around the mid-winter themes of light and dark. Puget Sound Revels’ challenge is to give the audience that experience while exposing them each year to a different time and place (i.e. Italian, Nordic, Celtic, American, Victorian, Medieval, etc). It is dance, drama and storytelling rooted in ancient seasonal ritual and traditions. It is seasonal, celebratory, and participatory -- long on theme, short on plot, not a concert, not a play. The Christmas Revels revives the ancient connection between the community and the arts, between celebration and the seasons as we create a celebrating village onstage that ends up encompassing the whole theater. Unique in its intentional blending of community and professional theater and its blending of folk and more formal forms of song and dance, the material is ancient, beautiful, funny and strong and has an unusual way of touching the players and our large, multi-age audiences.

December ZooLights. Each year, ZooLights features approximately a half a million holiday lights which illuminate paths and create replicas of 100 animal figures. This event is held at Point Defiance Park Zoo & Aquarium. Come and visit and taste apple cider or hot cocoa and holiday treats of all kinds while listening to live holiday music.

December Christmas at Meeker Mansion. The time-honored Ezra Meeker Mansion in Puyallup each Christmas is decorated for the season with special displays. Family fun and enjoyment on the weekends is available with readings from Ezra's short stories for children plus planned special entertainment.

December Victorian Country Christmas. A Victorian Country Christmas Festival is held at the Western Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup every December. The fairgrounds are transformed into a Victorian Village filled with sights and sounds of Christmas festivities.There are shops, stores, entertainment stages, food, music, dance and more. A "living nativity" scene is also featured, including over 100 singers and dancers. 2010 was the 23rd annual Victorian Country Christmas Festival at the Puyallup Fair Grounds and will be held December 1st thru December 5th.

December Fantasy Lights. Each year, Pierce County Parks & Recreation promotes Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park, billed out to be the largest animated drive-through display of seasonal lights. 2010 was its 16th year. The Fantasy Lights drive-thru runs each year during December. Visitors viewing from cars, vans and buses will be treated to thousands of lights and creative animation that promises to dazzle the eye and tantalize the imagination of the whole family. This holiday 2-mile drive-through spectacular features over 200 elaborate displays as part of 60 major scenes in the park by the lake. Fantasy Lights boasts more than 260 displays along its two-mile route which begins just west of 152nd St. and Pacific Ave. in Spanaway. The annual show depicts holiday themes, northwest traditions and recreational activities.

December Snowball Express Christmas Train. Tacoma-Elbe Run - For an opportunity to experience the Golden Age of Steam as you chug across spectacular bridges and travel through lush tall forests, make it a point to ride the rails of Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. All trains are pulled by vintage steam locomotives departing Tacoma from Freighthouse Square..

December Festival of Trees. Usually held in early December, Festival of Trees is an annual display of decorated Christmas trees at the Tacoma Dome to benefit Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. Proceeds benefit Mary Bridge Children's Hospital's Critical Care Services. In all, the Festival of Trees has contributed more than $4,200,000 to Mary Bridge facilities.

December First Night - December -- Come December 31st, you can join in on the family-oriented, alcohol-free, New Year's Eve celebration of the performing and visual arts in Tacoma's Broadway Theater District and just way too much more to fit into a few sentences. Celebrate the coming of the New Year. Overcome adversity with grace and strength and land on your feet. Buy a button. Volunteer. Bring a friend. But most of all, fully involve yourself, family and friends in a spectacularly and meaningful start to the New Year. Please check out First Night's website at www.firstnighttacoma.org for updates and more.