Leavenworth always finds something to celebrate—festivals and fairs circle the calendar. Contact the chamber of commerce (509/548-5807) for more information about all of these.
January brings Bavarian Ice Fest and its snowshoe and cross-country ski races, dogsled pulls, a tug of war, and fireworks in mid-month. Smaller festivals fill the months until the big Maifest, held on Mother’s Day weekend, when costumed Bavarian dancers circle the Maypole, and concerts, a parade, and Saturday night street dance are accompanied by oompah music from the bandstand and the chiming of bells from the Marlin Handbell Ringers.
Another fun Maifest event is the authentic traditional Bavarian farm wedding. Maifest also marks the start of Art in the Park, featuring area artists every weekend May–October in Front Street Park.
Other summer festivals are Craftfair in early June, and two popular mid-June events, The International Folk Dance Festival and Kinderfest.
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in early August brings concerts, workshops, and fun competition for all ages.
The Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival takes place the last weekend of September and the first weekend of October, with a grand parade featuring dozens of marching bands. It also includes daily polka music in the gazebo, Saturday night street dances, a pancake feed, flea market, and food booths.
Christmas is Leavenworth’s most festive holiday. The Christmas Lighting Festival is held the first and second Saturday in December, when all the Christmas lights go on simultaneously at dusk and Mr. and Mrs. Claus appear in their house in the park. Caroling, sleigh rides, concerts, and food booths add to the holiday festivities. The lights stay lit till February, so there’s no need to hurry to see them.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition