Autumn festivals are an ideal way to embrace the change in season and celebrate all the wonders fall has to offer. In the beautiful state of Washington, you’ll find several festivals that will have you falling in love with fall.
Attending the Leavenworth Oktoberfest is like taking a trip to Germany without having to make a flight across the Atlantic. The annual festival stretches across three weekends — Oct. 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20 — and over four venues, making it one of the bigger celebrations of the year. Live entertainment, beer and authentic German and German-inspired food are featured at each venue, and kids will have a blast taking part in numerous activities in the Kinderplatz. The festival also boasts souvenirs and crafts, ideal for getting a jump on your holiday shopping.
16th Annual Fresh Hop Ale Festival
Toast fall with a delicious craft beer made from hops harvested in the Yakima Valley at the 16th Annual Fresh Hop Ale Festival on Sept. 29. The festival runs from 5-10 p.m. at the Millennium Plaza and has been noted as one of the top 10 beer fests across the U.S. In addition to presenting a selection of locally brewed beer, the festival is a vessel of goodwill: Proceeds from the event are donated to organizations that focus on the arts and sciences, helping strengthen the community. Last year’s festival raised a staggering $103,464, which was put to good use by 19 groups serving Yakima County.
Fremont Oktoberfest boasts more than 100 craft beers, making it Seattle’s largest festival of beer. Set for Sept. 21-23, this year’s festival features beers from local craft breweries including Doghaus Brewery, Two Beers Brewing Co., Wild Ride Brewing, Cascade Lakes Brewing Company and Pfriem Family Brewers. Because it wouldn’t really be an Oktoberfest without authentic German beer, the festival also features beers like Spaten, Warsteiner, Franziskaner and Paulaner. General Admission and Grand Admission get you a 5-ounce commemorative miniature mug that can be filled up by cashing in tasting tokens, or you can opt for full-size steins or boots found in the Buxom Beer Garden. However you choose to enjoy your beer, make sure that you do so responsibly.
Kirkland’s annual Oktoberfest celebration takes place from Sept. 21-23 this year and is set to feature live music from authentic German musical groups, a wide selection of craft and German beer and wiener dog races. Games including cornhole, keg rolling and beer pong will get your competitive spirit up, and you can appreciate the gorgeous view of the waterfront if you prefer a moment of tranquility in all the revelry. You can satisfy your cravings with as much bratwurst and schnitzel as you can stomach and top it all off with the Oktoberfest staple of a hot pretzel.
The crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest is a place of great beauty in any season, but it’s especially gorgeous in the fall. Get out to one of these festivals and celebrate the autumn with fun, food, friends and family.
This article is presented by Bill Korum's Puyallup Nissan in Puyallup, Washington.