With state symbols ranging from historic songs to fascinating insects, Washington promises exciting adventures. Check out the state tartan or catch a glimpse of the massive state marine mammal – either way, you’ll enjoy your stay in the Evergreen State.
Since 1979, the square dance has been Washington’s official state dance. Today, you can enjoy plenty of year-round dance events thanks to the Square & Folk Dance Federation of Washington. Festivals, conventions and more are held throughout the state, along with opportunities to take classes with professional dancers. On October 8, 2011, head to the Yakima Valley Square & Round Dance Center in Moxee where the dance will honor the 2011 Square & Folk Dance Federation of Washington’s President’s Award winners. The event will also feature a potluck dinner. To learn more about the history of square dancing, check out the Square & Folk Dance Heritage Center of Washington in Spokane. Here, visitors will find everything from music collections to scrapbooks that were originally started in 1948. Go to www.squaredance-wa.org for more information.
Both kids and adults will enjoy a trip to Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm in Olympia. Washington’s state fruit, the apple, takes center stage at this beloved attraction. Open year-round, Lattin’s offers the freshest fruits and vegetables, so you know you’ll be taking home the season’s best. Annual events like the Easter Egg Hunt also provide lots of entertainment at the farm. Autumn, of course, is one of the most exciting times of the year, thanks to the Apple Festival. Held from the last weekend in September until the final weekend in October, the Apple Festival features bluegrass music, a pumpkin patch, tractor-drawn wagon rides and a dizzying maze. Enjoy caramel apples, apple crisp, apple butter or all three – just don’t forget to sample Lattin’s famous apple fritters. Find hours and directions at www.lattinscider.com.
Ever since fossils of the Columbian mammoth were found on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, there has been great interest in these creatures, so much so that the state legislature officially designated the Columbian mammoth as the state fossil in 1998. At the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, you can find mammoth fossils and more among the diverse collections. The museum holds over three million fossil specimens including invertebrates, vertebrates, modern mollusks and single-celled protists. After you’ve investigated the fossils, check out the museum’s other exhibits like ¡Carnaval!, which explores the traditions and history of carnival celebrations in South America, Europe and beyond. The exhibit runs from September 25, 2011 through January 8, 2012 and is organized by the Museum of International Folk Art. Plan your visit to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at www.burkemuseum.org.
Want to learn more about Washington’s state symbols? Visit www.leg.wa.gov where you can read up on the state flower (Coast rhododendron), state fish (steelhead trout) and state ship (Lady Washington). With so many fun facts, it’ll be easy to plan an exciting outing or vacation in Washington. Visit www.experiencewa.com today.