10 Events to Celebrate in Wenatchee in 2020
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 indoor market, budding startup scene and breweries and wineries abound have all recently put the Wenatchee Valley on the cultural map.
While the Fourth of July celebration and Mission Ridge’s Christmas on the Mountain are some popular events in town, there are many more ways to celebrate the city. To kick off the next decade, we’ve put together a list of some of Wenatchee’s can’t-miss events for 2020. So grab a bike (or some ski poles) and get ready to drink some beer.
Rails and Ales
If beer and fresh powder are your thing, you’re in luck. Celebrating its fifth year, Mission Ridge’s Rails and Ales event brings the snow to you, turning downtown Wenatchee into a boozy winter wonderland for the night. Celebrate with a beer garden and lively music while some of the state’s top skiers and boarders compete in a rail jam competition right on Orondo Avenue.
An unexpected hub for entrepreneurs, Wenatchee draws a crowd of investors, community members and business-minded individuals from around the state each year for a full day of seminars, speaker panels and other professional resources. Six companies will compete for an investment award of more than $100,000, with previous year’s finalists including Washington startups Beta Hatch and Cartogram.
For serious athletes (or passionate cheerleaders), this Boston Marathon qualifier boasts a scenic route along the Columbia River. Runners and walkers can choose between the full marathon, half marathon and 10K, all supplemented by stunning views of the Cascade Mountains.
Apple Blossom Festival
April 23 – May 3
Returning for its 101st year, Wenatchee’s Apple Blossom Festival is not only a huge source of pride for the community, but is also one of the longest running festivals in Washington State. A two-week lineup of varied events, from carnivals and beer gardens to golf tournaments and craft fairs, cater to a range of age groups and interests.
If not just for the clever name, avid cyclists should make note to gather for the Wenatchee Valley Velo Club’s annual Tour de Bloom this spring. The three-day event is composed of two road races, a time trial and a twilight criterium race at twilight, all of which are open to the public.
Just outside of the city in the foothills of the Cascades, the Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival takes place in small city of Cashmere, featuring a handful of musicians performing traditional acoustic tunes. In addition to the main acts, food and merchandise are always available, as well as instrument workshops for both kids and adults. Dedicated folk fans can even camp out or rent 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 the state. The competition takes place at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, featuring more than 100 award-winning wines from more than 30 wineries. Bonus: tickets are 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 wine drinkers.
Dark Side Festival
September (date TBD)
More than just a cycling event, the 7th Annual Dark Side Festival takes place at Squilchuck State Park just outside of Wenatchee, featuring an evening mountain bike ride, beer garden, food, music and more. Put on by the Wenatchee Valley Velo Club, the event is a fundraiser for local trails in the Wenatchee Valley, with money raised directly going to the Central Washington Chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
Wings and Wheels
Not just limited to outdoor recreation, Wenatchee is also the landing place of Miss Veedol – the first plane to make a nonstop, trans-Pacific flight. In celebration of this piece of history, the Wings and Wheels Festival takes place each year in East Wenatchee on the anniversary weekend of the flight, consisting of a swap meet, Miss Veedol showing, flying demonstrations, 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 Saturday in November. In addition to live music from numerous bands, the 21+ event also provides tasty grub and a beer garden featuring local favorites such as Icicle Brewing, Badger Mountain Brewing and Iron Horse Brewery.