Leavenworth Festivals and Events
Leavenworth Washington's festivals and events are well known. Since the 1960s when the town's people got together and created the Bavarian theme for the town, these events have become part of life in Leavenworth. Beginning with the Tree Lighting Festival that has become extremely popular, the city now has more than 10 annual festivals spread throughout the year.
Here is a list of events Leavenworth has planned for 2014-2015 in date order. You will find that there really is something for everyone. Make your plans early, as accommodations fill up fast for the most popular ones on the schedule.
Bavarian Ice Festival
Start your new year off the right way by visiting during the Bavarian Ice Festival which takes place January 16th through the 18th in 2015. Enjoy a fun filled weekend of outdoor activities for everyone. There are snow sculptures, a dog sled pulling competition, fireworks in the evening on Sunday, a hilarious Bavarian mug relay race, and the famous Smooshing contest. For kids 6 and under there is even an ice cube scramble.
Spring Sensations Pear Festival
If you visit Leavenworth in the springtime, you can witness the beautiful Cascade Mountains coming to life after the winter, and experience the Pear Festival which is from March 29th until April 29th. Every year the kick off for Spring Sensations is the first weekend of April. The Leavenworth area is the country's largest organic pear exporter, and they want everyone to know it. The entire month is filled with outdoor fun, and many of the shops, restaurants, Bed and Breakfasts, and wineries have specialties that highlight pears throughout the month. There is even a pear map for you to follow and find out what is available.
Leavenworth Choral Festival
Every other April is the Choral Festival, where five choirs are selected from those who apply. The weekend includes workshops, an evening desert reception, and the main event is a public concert taking place on Saturday night. This concert features a massed choir of over 200 voices. The next Choral Festival will be held in 2015.
Taste of Leavenworth
Also in April is the Taste of Leavenworth on April 5th, From 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For this event, businesses in Leavenworth highlight dishes centered around pears and offer many unique dishes for visitors to the town. There is a fee for this event.
The Leavenworth Ale Festival, April 12th, 2014 is a benefit event for the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. Enjoy yourself with the sounds of many popular bands from the northwest while tasting the brews from 20 micro-breweries and dining on traditional foods. More information can be found on the Alefest website.
The second weekend of May you can usher in spring in the true Bavarian style with Maifest which is an old world Bavarian folk festival. In the center of Leavenworth you can watch folk dancers twirling around the May Pole on Front Street. On Saturday listen for the Alphorn to signal the start of the Grand Parade at noon. You can see the townspeople dressed in dirndl skirts and lederhosen, the traditional clothing of the Bavarian people, along with horse drawn wagons, carts pulled by goats, and the beautiful Bernese Mountain Dogs wearing spring flowers and pulling small carts that are also decorated with flowers. All these things are accompanied by Oompah bands and folk dancers. This beautiful Alpine setting is a wonderful place to celebrate the end of winter.
The Leavenworth International Accordion Festival takes place June 19th through the 22nd, if you are a fan of accordion music there will be exhibits, performances, and a competition. If you play, or would like to learn, there are also free lessons. Check out the schedule of workshops and events at the Accordion Festival Website.
International Dance Festival
On June 28th and 29th, the Leavenworth International Dance Festival draws talented dance groups from all around the Pacific Northwest to share the joy of dancing and their incredible expertise.
Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival
On June 29th through the July 20th, the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival brings internationally acclaimed artists to Leavenworth for weekend concerts at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. After the performances, there are receptions where you can enjoy wine and cheese while mingling with music lovers from around the world. This event is put on by the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.
Icicle Creek Theatre Festival
The Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, from August 13th through the 19th, offers aspiring playwrights and opportunity to develop and share their work. It also provides students of all aspects of the theater a chance to work with professional actors and gain valuable experience and insight to the world of theater, while enriching the culture and arts of the state of Washington.
Leavenworth Blues Festival
The Blues Festival, September 13th through the 19th, brings some of Washington's finest wineries to town. You can spend a beautiful autumn afternoon tasting Washington State's best wines, listening to jazz music, and sampling the best of the local cuisine. For those who want to give it a try, there is even grape stomping.
The Wenatchee River Salmon Festival, September 19th through the 22nd, is the perfect combination of fun and education. Enjoy the beautiful fall colors while learning about the environment and nature. There are many hand-on activities and interactive exhibits, along with live animals, art, music, and the opportunity to interact with Native Americans in a village setting. There are also several runs that you can enter or sponsor, including the Salmon Run.
Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival
The Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival, September 27th through the 29th, is the oldest festival in Leavenworth. There are parades and entertainment continuously throughout the festival, along with yodelers, clowns, singers, bands, and folk dancers wherever you look. The North Cascade Mountains offer the perfect way to enjoy the autumn foliage while celebrating in this unique Bavarian Village. Learn more on the official Autumn Leaf Festival Website.
Oktoberfest in Leavenworth is a festival in the true Bavarian style. There is live music, arts and crafts, and too many family activities to count. You can purchase authentic Bavarian clothing and listen to the sounds of many musical groups from around the United States and from Germany. Every Saturday at 1:00pm there is a Keg Tapping ceremony. For 2015 the Leavenworth Oktoberfest dates are October 2nd and 3rd, 9th and 10th and 16th and 17th. Here is more detailed information on the Leavenworth Oktoberfest celebration.
Christmas Lighting Festival
The Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth occurs annually on Saturday and Sunday night of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd weekends in December and can only be described as magic. The town welcomes you with its old world charm including traditional caroling, roasted chestnuts, a living Nativity, and the annual Christmas lighting ceremony, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday night. You can create your own enchanted Christmas in a setting where you expect an old world Santa to show up any minute.
More to Explore
The Nutcracker Museum is much more interesting than one would expect. Check it out.
All Seasons River
A beautiful Leavenworth bed and breakfast on the Wenatchee River that will soothe the soul.