Five Ways

Northwest Festival Forecast: January

Break in the New Year with mountain movies, drinks, and chocolate that benefits Mother Nature.

By Jack Russillo January 6, 2017

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Washingtonians will have opportunities to see harrowing feats—like this rock-climber in Norway—when the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival stops in Pullman and Walla Walla in late January.

Image: Banff Centre

This January, get out around the PNW for wintertime festivals that celebrate the cold and sometimes the indoors.

Leavenworth: Bavarian Ice Festival 

By the time that Martin Luther King Jr. Day comes around in Leavenworth, there’s tons of ice and snow in the North Cascades. The mountain town embraces the weather with a Bavarian-themed ice festival at the Front Street Park that emphasizes family-friendly attractions. Enter the snow-sculpting contest, go ice fishing, or carve an ice statue. Fireworks go off on Sunday night. Jan 14–15 

Port Townsend: Strange Brewfest 13

While the days in January are getting longer, they’re still going to be cold. At Port Townsend’s American Legion Hall, beer-loves mark January's final weekend with local libations at the city's 13th annual brewfest. Food draws inspiration from around the globe, like local organic paella or a Hawaiian pulled-pork sandwich. There will be 60-plus individual drink concoctions created by 30 regional breweries and cideries. Live music will be playing throughout the event. Jan 27–28

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Since 2006, Portland's ChocolateFest has attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Image: ChocolateFest

Portland: ChocolateFest

Did one of your New Year’s resolutions include helping the environment? In Portland, the opportunity to raise money for Mother Nature is combined with artisan treats at the Oregon Convention Center, where visitors can help fundraise for the World Forestry Center—with chocolate. Since 2006, the non-profit’s chocolate festival has allocated 100 percent of its proceeds back into educating about the world’s forests and environmental sustainability. Join the thousands of attendees to try cocoa samples from over 50 chocolatiers and sip down spirits from the 20 alcohol venders. Jan 20–22

Walla Walla/Pullman: Banff Mountain Film Festival

Did you resolve to get outside more? The world’s largest mountain film festival shows world-class films about skiing, climbing, kayaking, base-jumping, and other mountain sports at a stop in eastern Washington. The best outdoor films—from two minutes shorts to full-length documentaries—will be on display in Walla Walla and then in Pullman the following day. The tour travels to more than 35 countries around the world, and this eastside stop is a rare chance to see some of the best athletes in the world go to extreme locations. Jan 25, 26

Florence: Winter Music Festival

Indulge in the arts this January at the Florence Event Center. Local artisans—selling anything from teddy bears to lavender products to weaved clothing—set up shop for the weekend while local musical artists put on live performances all day. Featuring shows from the likes of Danny O’Keefe and Haley Johnsen, amongst others, the western Oregon music festival will also have a massive pie sale with wide range of pies. Jan 14–15

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