Five Ways

Northwest Festival Forecast: April

The start of spring brings bulbs, brews, and blossoms.

By Liz Weber April 11, 2017

Tulips tfohjd

Say hello to spring with a little pop of color at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

With a longer-than-average winter (mostly) in the past, it's time to stow parkas and pray for a peek at the spring sun. April festivals across the state are dedicated to plants in bloom and getting outside.

Mount Vernon: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Nothing says spring quite like flowers in bloom. While the organizers of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival are careful to note that the plants bloom according to Mother Nature’s schedule, they guarantee prime tulip viewing will fall somewhere within the span of the celebrations: April 1–30. Designed more as a driving tour than a one-site festival, it also includes events, like a wine tasting, color run, salmon barbecue, and more throughout April. But for the main attraction—fields of pink, yellow, and red—look to the fields of Tulip Town featuring blooms from the Washington Bulb Company. The festival's Facebook page provides regular updates on when the petals will do their thing. April 1–30

Portland: Spring Beer and Wine Fest

The Portland Spring Beer and Wine Fest offers 35 breweries, 17 wineries, 10 distilleries, and 20 exhibitors of cheese, chocolate, and other finger foods. Located in our funky sister city to the south, the festival runs from noon till 10pm on Friday and Saturday. In addition to the beer and wine, the festival features music from eclectic bands, such as the Hawaiian shirt–wearing Tropical Storm and the Northwest Pan Man. The first 500 people through the door on Friday, April 14, get to attend the event for free. April 14–15

Seattle: Wild and Scenic Film Festival

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival is a one-night screening of environmental and nature films championing our wild places. Proceeds from the event and a silent auction during intermission support the Washington Water Trust, a nonprofit protecting the state’s rivers and streams. Ashley Ahearn—environmental reporter for Seattle NPR affiliate KUOW and contributor to EarthFix—will be the special guest emcee. The films play at SIFF Cinema Uptown and include tales of adventure photographer Ace Kvale and his desert dog, a 63-year-old pipeline threatening the Great Lake, and the first Bangladeshi to climb the Seven Summits. Happy hour starts at 5:30pm. April 19, 6:30pm

Puyallup: Washington State Spring Fair

While similar to its fall sibling, the Washington State Spring Fair draws smaller crowds but delivers mild weather and unique attractions. The spring animal shows include dancing horses, racing pigs, and swimming dock dogs, while, for those less inclined toward the soft and fluffy, Motorsport Mayhem has monster trucks (on Friday only) and car-smashing stunts. This year enjoy a free performance by country artist Aaron Crawford on Friday at 7pm. April 20–23

Wenatchee: Apple Blossom Festival

Starting the last weekend of April and leading into the first weekend of May, the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival is one of the oldest major festivals in the state. The Wenatchee Valley is known for its vineyards and river views, but during festival time, you'll find carnival rides, parades, a food fair, a golf tournament, an arts and crafts fair, and kids art events. The official Apple Blossom funnel cake vendor, Keep It in the Valley Foundation, is continuing to offer fifteen $1,500 college scholarships to Wenatchee students, funded largely through the purchase of funnel cakes. April 27–May 7

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