2017 Northwest Festival Guide – Music, Food, Arts, Beer, Wine and More

The heart of summer is short: only 13 weekends. Try to fit in some community festival fun in with your outdoor adventures. Here are some of our favorite regional festivals worthy of a road trip or local staycation.


ArtFest (June 2-4, Spokane)
Free outdoor festival, organized by the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, with more than 150 art vendors, a “Make it Art Kids Fair,” live performances from local bands, and food trucks and vendors – all happening at Coeur d’Alene Park in Spokane’s Browne’s Addition neighborhood. artfestspokane.com


Bavarian Bike n’ Juice Festival (June 10, Leavenworth)
A children’s bike racing event at the Leavenworth Ski Hill, featuring various race obstacle courses, from a X-Short Course (up to age 7) to a Long Course (up to age 12), as well as clinics and bike decorating events. $10 registration fee includes race, lunch, juice and cookies for kids ages 4-12 (kids age 3 and under only $1). bikenjuice.com


Gyro Days Carnival & Lead Creek Derby (June 15-18, Wallace)
Carnival rides, BBQs and more in downtown Wallace in the heart of North Idaho’s Silver Valley. wallaceidahochamber.com


Photo courtesy of the Nelson Fat Tire Festival.
Photo courtesy of the Nelson Fat Tire Festival.

Burlington Berry Dairy Days (June 16-18, Burlington)
The oldest festival in Skagit County, considered the western gateway to North Cascades National Park. A great add-on event to a western Washington camping and sea kayaking adventure. burlington-chamber.com


Sam Steele Days (June 16-18, Cranbrook, B.C.)
Live singing, dancing, parade, kids’ zone, food from regional chefs, handcrafts market, and more with friendly Canadians north of Idaho. samsteeledays.org


Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival (June 17-18, Walla Walla)
This annual event features live music, onion bowling, sack races, 5k race, and more. Camp overnight among old-growth trees at the Lewis and Clark Trail State Park in Dayton, Wash., along the Touchet River (parks.state.wa.us). sweetonions.org/festival


Molly B’Damn Days (July 1-2, Murray, Idaho)
Carnival, car show, parade, Molly Look-alike contest, and more to celebrate this old mining town’s history and the infamous Molly, “a big-hearted hooker who nursed miners through an 1880s smallpox epidemic,” as described by “People” magazine. silvervalleychamber.com


Spokatopia photo by Shallan Knowles
Photo: Shallan Knowles

Wallace Blues Festival (July 7-9, Wallace, Idaho)
Dance and party to live music from musicians who flock here from around North America. wallaceidahochamber.com


Roslyn Canine Festival (July 7-9, Roslyn, Wash.)
Premier Canine Aquatic Competition, brought to you by Puget Sound Dock Dogs, in this charming Cascade mountain town west of Ellensburg. facebook.com/plumcrazyevents


McCleary Bear Festival (July 7-9, McCleary, Wash.)
58th annual festival south of Olympic National Park near the Capital State Forest that includes a fun run, live entertainment, parade, and more. cityofmccleary.com


Spokatopia Outdoor Adventure Festival (July 8, Spokane)
A must-attend event for all outdoorsy folks and their families, offering recreation activities and adventure clinics ranging from paddleboarding and kayaking to disc golf and rock climbing; over 40 outdoor recreation oriented exhibitor booths; demos for bikes, paddleboards, canoes and kayaks; free slacklining and parkour clinics; a 5k or 1-mile trail run/walk; a mountain bike jump jam; a free morning yoga session; and a beer garden, live music, and food trucks. Free general admission, although some activities have a nominal fee. spokatopia.com


Timber! Outdoor Music Festival (July 13-15, Carnation, Wash.)
Tolt-Macdonald Park is the location for this epic festival celebrating music, nature, camping, and outdoor adventures. In addition to live performances, there is a 5k trail run/walk, Bob Ross painting party; mountain biking, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding; adult flashlight tag, and much more – such as a campfire sing-along to Violent Femmes songs. Children under age 12 are free and can join “Camp Timber!” for morning kids’ concerts, arts, crafts and science experiments. timbermusicfest.com


Cascadia NW Arts & Music Festival (July 13-16, Granite Falls, Wash.)
One-hour north of Seattle at the Masonic Family Park is where this 3-day festival of music, art, workshops, performances, and artisan vendors gathers. Festival tickets include camping accommodations. cascadianw.com


festival camping

Kootenai Highland Gathering Celtic Games (July 14-16, Libby, Mont.)
Whether you’re competing or just want to watch good ol’ Scottish games and men wearing kilts, outside the small town of Libby is where the fun takes place. facebook.com/kootenai.highlanders


Northwest Wine Fest (July 15-16, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Come on up for two days on the Schweitzer Village lawn. Great bands, great wine, great food and great fun. This year features 20 regional wineries with 80 wines, a craft beer tent, BBQ, arts and crafts vendors and activities for the whole family. schweitzer.com


Rhubarb Days (July 15-16, Sumner, Wash.)
In addition to boasting more than 25% of the nation’s growing acres for rhubarb, that pretty tart vegetable that grandmas like to use for pies and Jello salads, Sumner also has spectacular views of Mount Rainier. Family-friendly activities take place in and around the city’s historic Main Street. rhubarbpiecapital.com


Kimberley Julyfest (July 21-23, Kimberley, B.C.)
The 44th annual event in Canada – northwest of Bonners Ferry (off Hwy 195) – celebrates music, food, dancing, and sports, including bocce ball (and the Canadian Bocce Championship), invitational soccer tournament, extreme downhill longboard racing, and kids festival. kimberleyjulyfest.com


Renton River Days (July 21-23, Renton, Wash.)
Attracting both local residents and Puget Sound tourists, this city’s downtown area – located near the south end of Lake Washington – hosts this annual family festival. Stage entertainment, parade, recreation, arts and crafts vendors, KidZone, and more at two locations – Liberty Park and Cedar River Park. If you go, be sure to also visit Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park and enjoy Ivar’s clam chowder al fresco, and explore the 4.5-mile Cedar River Trail. rentonriverdays.org


Watershed Festival (July 28-30, Quincy, Wash.)
A three-day country music and camping festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre. watershedfest.com


Testy Fest (August 2-6, Rock Creek, Mont.)
One of the “most unpredictable” festivals around the region is The Testicle Festival at the Rock Creek Lodge, to celebrate Rocky Mountain Oysters – aka bull testicles. Bands, sideshows, DJs, testicle eating contests, and more, with limited on-site camping. therockcreeklodge.com


The Festival at Sandpoint (August 3-13, Sandpoint)
This 35th annual summer concert series features eight nights of live music along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, including headliner country music star Jake Owen. festivalatsandpoint.com


Art on the Green (August 4-6, Coeur d’Alene)
Family-friendly summer tradition on the campus of North Idaho College, featuring a marketplace for 190+ artists, live performances, and a beer and wine garden. Ride the free shuttle bus between the festival grounds and downtown Coeur d’Alene, or park your bike for free at the bike-corral. artonthegreencda.com


Kaslo Jazz Etc. Summer Music Festival (August 4-6, Kaslo, B.C.)
On the west side of Kootenay Lake north of Nelson, the village of Kaslo hosts this annual festival featuring live performances of jazz, blues, folk, world music and more. It all takes place at Kaslo Bay Park, a “natural green amphitheater” where the “music [reverberates]” over the lake, as listeners “dance in the sand, swim around the stage, or relax in the grass,” according to the festival website. Children age 12 and under are free, and Kindermusik Kids Tent is open daily. kaslojazzfest.com


Wapiti Music Festival (August 11-12, Fernie, B.C.)
The Elk Valley welcomes Canadian indie artists and veteran performers to Riverside Park, near downtown Fernie. Kids’ craft tents, beer, food, and other vendors are available. Tickets required for adults; kids and seniors are free. wapitimusicfestival.com


Pend Oreille Arts Council’s Annual Arts & Crafts Fair (August 12-13, Sandpoint)
City Beach’s lawn is flush with artist booths, live entertainment, food vendors and more (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). artinsandpoint.org/events/arts-crafts-fair


Huckleberry Festival (August 18-19, Wallace, Idaho)
Live music, dancing, raffles, pancake breakfasts, street vendors, children’s games on the lawn of the Northern Pacific Railway Depot grounds, dunk tank, and 5k walk/run – all celebrating the beloved huckleberry. wallaceidahochamber.com


National Lentil Festival – Food & Brew Fest (August 18-19, Pullman, Wash.)
When 18% of the world’s lentils are grown on the Palouse, of course this unpretentious legume deserves its own festival. Festivities include a 5k fun run, the Tour de Lentil Bike Ride, the world’s largest bowl of lentil chili (over 350 gallons), Lentil Land Kids’ area, beer and wine garden, food court (serving everything imaginable showcasing lentils), lentil cook-off, cooking demos, lentil pancake breakfast, grand parade, and more. lentilfest.com


Chief Seattle Days (August 18-20, Suquamish, Wash.)
Three-day festival started in 1911 to honor the leader of the Suquamish Tribe. Includes powwow, 5k fun run, craft and food vendors, royalty pageant, and more. suquamish.nsn.us


Brewsfest (August 19, Kellogg, Idaho)
Craft Beer and Music Festival at Silver Mountain Resort. silvermt.com


Washington State International Kite Festival (August 21-27, Long Beach, Wash.)
37th annual week-long celebration and competition, hailed as the greatest, grandest, Kite Festival on the North American continent!” according to KiteLife.com. kitefestival.com


Nelson Fat Tire Festival (August 24-27, Nelson, B.C.)
22nd annual event featuring races for women, men, and children (age 2+), and bike decorating and parade at Rosemont All Wheel Bike Park. nelsonfattire.com 


Kelowna International Dragon Boat Festival (August 26-27, Kelowna, B.C.)
Watch the action at Tugboat Bay in Waterfront Park Kelowna. kelownadragonboatclub.com//

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