Top Events and Festivals in Washington State
Explore this selection of the top annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) in Washington State.
Please note: Top Events USA does not include every single event on offer in Washington State – only those recognized as the best by residents of Washington, visitors to the "Evergreen State", the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA and officials of the state of Washington too.
Because of the abundant evergreen forests in Washington, the state of Washington was nicknamed “Evergreen State” for the huge presence of evergreen forests throughout the area.
Seattle Boat Show
late January – early February
An event that takes place both indoors and outdoors on South Lake Union, and considered to be the largest boat show on the northwestern coast of the USA, the Seattle Boat Show includes more than 1,000 recreational watercraft, seminars and the latest accessories indoors at CenturyLink Field, as well as all sorts of attractions afloat on South Lake Union.
For more information about the Seattle Boat Show visit:
Labelled by CNN as one of the "Five places to get your green on", the Seattle St Patrick's Day Celebration is the largest and oldest St Patrick’s Day celebration in the Northwest USA. Attracting well over 30,000 spectators each year, the route of the parade – the high-point of Seattle's Irish Week festivities – is marked out by Irish revelers with a mile-long green strip. Just as popular as the parade is the Irish Festival showcasing Irish films, Celtic handicrafts, non-stop Irish music, Irish language workshops and performances by champion local step-dancers.
For more information about the Seattle St Patrick's Day Celebration visit:
The 3-day Victorian Heritage Festival showcases the Victorian era and Port Townsend’s rich maritime heritage with many events including an antique bicycle presentation and race, classic fencing demonstrations, bare-knuckle boxing and a prize fight in 1800s style, a Gatling gun demo and firing, walking tours and guided bus tours, as well as a Victorian bicycle race, fashion show and the ever-popular Victorian Ball.
For more information about the Victorian Heritage Festival visit:
Daffodil Festival Floral Street Parade
Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting – Washington
Culminating the annual Daffodil Festival, the Daffodil Festival Floral Street Parade that has been a favorite event for 80 years features more than 45 floats decorated with fresh-cut flowers, the presentation of the Queen of the event and her court, as well as marching and mounted bands traveling through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting, all in one day.
For more information about the Daffodil Festival Floral Street Parade visit:
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Skagit Valley, Washington
Held every April since 1983, Skagit Valley celebrates the spring season of flowers from the daffodils in late March to the tulips in April and the irises and lilies in May. More than a million visitors come to see over 300 acres of brightly colored tulips and to enjoy the festivities in places like La Conner and Mount Vernon. Attractions include the Tulip Festival Street Fair, Tulip Parade, Kiwanas Club Salmon BBQ, art shows and Quilt Walk.
For more information about the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival visit:
Dragon Boat Festival
Attracting more than 4,000 visitors each year, the Dragon Boat Festival features the traditional dragon boat races in which teams race against each other in boats resembling giant dragons with dragon-like heads and tails and a drummer beating the pace of the rowing, as well as displays of traditional Chinese art, lion dances, appropriate music and martial arts demonstrations.
For more information about the Dragon Boat Festival visit:
Lilac Bloomsday Run
Recognized as the largest timed road race in the world,with around 50,000 participants, open to all runners, walkers, wheelchairs, assisted wheelchairs and strollers, the Lilac Bloomsday Run has been a popular event for 40 years and features a post-race party and selection of great food at the Bloomsday Food Court, live music and activities for the whole family.
For more information about the Lilac Bloomsday Run visit:
Seattle International Film Festival
mid May to early June
The largest and most highly-attended event of its kind in the United States, the 25-day Seattle International Film Festival has been a huge success for almost 40 years, enticing more than 150,000 visitors each year, and featuring more than 500 films from over 80 countries, as well as attracting hundreds of directors, actors and industry professionals and presenting awards for Best New Director, Best Documentary, Best New American Film and much more.
For more information about the Seattle International Film Festival visit:
Seattle’s traditional summer festival, Seafair is a month-long, region-wide barbecue that brings an entire community together in celebration. A community event for over 58 years, Seafair is the largest festival in the Northwest region hosting a myriad of events throughout the summer ranging from a Milk Carton Derby at Green Lake to the Seafair Triathlon at Lake Washington. Events include parades, Miss Seafair, the Navy and Coast Guard, amateur athletics, airplanes and of course, boat racing, culminating with the Unlimited Hydroplane races and Air Show.
For more information about Seafair in Seattle visit:
The biggest 3-on-3 street basketball tournament in the world, Hoopfest features over 7,000 teams, 3,000 volunteers, 250,000 players and fans, as well as 450 courts spanning 42 downtown city blocks along with live music, relative shopping opportunities at sports equipment shops, food and barbecues presentations and interactive entertainment.
For more information about Hoopfest visit:
Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest
end June - beginning July
A popular event for over 32 years, the annual celebration of the Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest named in honor of Sundiata Keita the historic and legendary King of Kings of the Mali Empire in West Africa, features African-American Heritage, culture, arts and history in relevant local and regional entertainment, art and photography exhibits, food offerings and a wealth of children’s activities in the same theme.
For more information about the Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest visit:
Lynden, often referred to as "A Little Bit of Holland", celebrates the largest harvest of raspberries in North America with the annual Raspberry Festival complete with a benefit golf tournament, children's activities in downtown Lynden, raspberries and ice cream sundaes, jazz music and a basketball tournament. Other attractions include petting zoos and wagon rides, wine tasting, the "Berry Fair" Street Market & Sidewalk Sale, the “Razz & Shine” cruise-in car show, and an “all you can eat” raspberry pancake breakfast.
For more information about the Raspberry Festival visit:
Washington State International Kite Festival
Long Beach, Washington
Voted best kite festival in the world by Kite Trade Association International, the WSIKF is a weeklong kite celebration that has been popular since 1980, and features a competition that has skies ablaze with color, high flying action and choreographed movement. Washington’s Kite Festival draws famous kite fliers from all around the world, and tens of thousands awed spectators, many of whom participate in the fun with their own kite flying adventures.
For more information about the Washington State International Kite Festival see:
or visit: http://www.kitefestival.com
National Lentil Festival
The National Lentil Festival draws people from all over the country to enjoy fun activities and a diverse assortment of lentil culinary delights. The lentil is a small, lens-shaped legume and approximately a third of the world's lentils are grown in the beautiful Palouse region. Since 1989, the National Lentil Festival has celebrated this wonderful little legume with an evening of activities in downtown Pullman on Friday, and Saturday festivities are held all day in Reaney Park and in other various locations throughout Pullman.
For more information about the National Lentil Festival take a look at:
late August - early September
The 3-day urban event, Seattle’s premier music and arts festival, takes place on Labor Day Weekend. The Festival stretches across the 74-acre Seattle Center, located beneath the city’s iconic Space Needle, and programs 20 indoor and unique outdoor venues. This progressive Festival features a diverse array of arts including live music, comedy, theatre, dance, film, urban crafts, and literary and visual arts.
For more information about Bumbershoot visit:
late August - early September
One of the "old rodeos", the Ellensburg Rodeo has earned its place as one of America's Top 25 professional rodeos. Started in 1923 the rodeo has grown from a local competition among ranch hands to the Professional event of today with over 500 contestants and prize money in excess of $250,000. Today's best riders, ropers, and wrestlers compete in what many consider to be the best rodeo arena in the nation.
For more information about the Ellensburg Rodeo visit:
Pig Out in the Park
late August - early September
Spokane’s favorite food and entertainment event for more than 28 years, Pig Out in the Park offers six days of 75 free concerts, more than 225,000 servings of food, desserts, beverages and treats from over 42 food booths and three adult beverage gardens. Staged in beautiful downtown Spokane in Riverfront Park, the festival begins on Wednesday at noon, and continues to the end of the day on Monday.
For more information about Pig Out in the Park visit:
Washington State Fair
Puyallup – near Seattle, Washington
Previously called the Puyallup Fair, the Washington State Fair is the biggest annual event in Washington, and one of the top ten largest fairs in the world. Attracting over a million people in just 17 days, the Washington State Fair offers an incredible scope of entertainment, from the ever popular fireworks show every Friday night to the top comedians and musical concerts, as well as the ever popular animals on display and the interaction activities with them, to even more fun things like face painting and interactive pirate events for the children, art shows, a rodeo parade, and many more features.
For more information about the Washington State Fair visit:
weekends - early to mid October
A three-weekend festival held annually in Leavenworth, the charming Washington town modeled after a Bavarian village, the Leavenworth Oktoberfest attracts over 10,000 people and features four venues with concerts of live traditional German music from the USA and Germany, typical Oktoberfest food like bratwurst, cold beer, imported German brews , and Leavenworth's Mayor honoring a Bavarian tradition of “tapping the keg”, European shops, wooden carvings, and even an Oktoberfest marathon.
For more information about the Leavenworth Oktoberfest visit:
Issaquah Salmon Days Festival
Winner of several awards from the Washington Festival and Events Association, the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, which attracts more than 180,000 people every year, celebrates the return of salmon to the nearby lakes and streams, and features salmon, of course, as well as lots of free, live entertainment, arts and crafts, cuisine from all over the world, 5K and 10K runs, and the ever popular Grande Parade.
For more information about the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival visit: