Though it fits the bill as an outdoor-lover’s paradise,there’s much more to Wenatchee than nice hikes and scenic vistas. A lively indoormarket, budding startup scene and breweries and wineries abound have all recentlyput the Wenatchee Valley on the cultural map.
While the Fourthof July celebration and Mission Ridge’s Christmason the Mountain are some popular events in town, there are many more waysto celebrate the city. To kick off the next decade, we’ve put together a listof some of Wenatchee’s can’t-miss events for 2020. So grab a bike (or some skipoles) and get ready to drink some beer.
Rails and Ales
If beer and fresh powder are your thing, you’re in luck. Celebrating itsfifth year, Mission Ridge’s Rails and Ales event brings the snow to you,turning downtown Wenatchee into a boozy winter wonderland for the night. Celebratewith a beer garden and lively music while some of the state’s top skiers andboarders compete in a rail jam competition right on Orondo Avenue.
An unexpected hub for entrepreneurs, Wenatchee draws a crowdof investors, community members and business-minded individuals from around thestate each year for a full day of seminars, speaker panels and otherprofessional resources. Six companies will compete for an investment award ofmore than $100,000, with previous year’s finalists including Washington startupsBeta Hatch and Cartogram.
For serious athletes (or passionate cheerleaders), thisBoston Marathon qualifier boasts a scenic route along the Columbia River.Runners and walkers can choose between the full marathon, half marathon and10K, all supplemented by stunning views of the Cascade Mountains.
Apple Blossom Festival
April 23 – May 3
Returning for its 101st year, Wenatchee’s AppleBlossom Festival is not only a huge source of pride for the community, but isalso one of the longest running festivals in Washington State. A two-weeklineup of varied events, from carnivals and beer gardens to golf tournamentsand craft fairs, cater to a range of age groups and interests.
If not just for the clever name, avid cyclists should makenote to gather for the Wenatchee Valley Velo Club’s annual Tour de Bloom thisspring. The three-day event is composed of two road races, a time trial and atwilight criterium race at twilight, all of which are open to the public.
Just outside of the city in the foothills of the Cascades, the WenatcheeRiver Bluegrass Festival takes place in small city of Cashmere, featuring ahandful of musicians performing traditional acoustic tunes. In addition to themain acts, food and merchandise are always available, as well as instrumentworkshops for both kids and adults. Dedicated folk fans can even camp out orrent an RV in the surrounding campground.
Wenatchee Wine and Food Festival
August (date TBD)
Considered Central Washington’s premier food and wine event,this festival is a can’t-miss for foodies and wine connoisseurs across thestate. The competition takes place at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, featuringmore than 100 award-winning wines from more than 30 wineries. Bonus: ticketsare all-inclusive, so no additional tasting tokens are needed. Craft beers,ciders and a cigar bar are also available for those who aren’t avid winedrinkers.
Dark Side Festival
September (date TBD)
More than just a cycling event, the 7th Annual Dark SideFestival takes place at Squilchuck State Park just outside of Wenatchee,featuring an evening mountain bike ride, beer garden, food, music and more. Puton by the Wenatchee Valley Velo Club, the event is a fundraiser for localtrails in the Wenatchee Valley, with money raised directly going to the CentralWashington Chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
Wings and Wheels
Not just limited to outdoor recreation, Wenatchee is alsothe landing place of Miss Veedol – the first plane to make a nonstop,trans-Pacific flight. In celebration of this piece of history, the Wings andWheels Festival takes place each year in East Wenatchee on the anniversary weekendof the flight, consisting of a swap meet, Miss Veedol showing, flyingdemonstrations, a car show and more.
To kick off the ski season each year, Mission Ridge Ski& Board Resort hosts its annual Pray for Snow Concert on the first Saturdayin November. In addition to live music from numerous bands, the 21+ event alsoprovides tasty grub and a beer garden featuring local favorites such as IcicleBrewing, Badger Mountain Brewing and Iron Horse Brewery.