Best Washington Summer Events Not to Miss!
By Sydney Day
Visiting Washington this Summer? Don’t miss these events if you’re looking to have a good time and take in all the many things our fine state has to offer!
Cannabis lover and beer aficionado? This three-day event hosts over 200 beers from all over the world! Tickets run from $25 – $50 depending on how many samples you want, and entry comes with your very own keepsake glass to enjoy those samples. Hosted at Seattle Center, the beer fest is near many restaurants and top Seattle sites, just make sure to keep your wristband on if you leave! Keep in mind, if visiting with children, this is a 21+ event.
If you have a green thumb or simply appreciate all the amazing ways lavender can be used, then you won’t want to miss this festival in Sequim, WA.
You can really make a whole day of it by taking the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and then driving the scenic route the rest of the way to Sequim. The festival hosts over 150 lavender and craft booths, along with live music and a diverse food court for when the munchies hit. The area grows over 110,000 lavender plants each year so this festival is certainly a purple site you will remember!
If any event were to satiate the munchies, it has to be Bite of Seattle. Hosted at Seattle Center since 1982, this festival takes Seattle’s love of food festivals to a whole other level. You can get your grub on from over 60 restaurants and specialty food companies that will be serving “Just a Bite” dishes for $5 or less. During the three day event, they will host live bands, food demonstrations, and a bite movie night. This is a great way to sample some of Seattle’s nicest restaurants for cheap, so you won’t want to miss out!
Seafair is the perfect event for those who love boating or laying out in the sun on the beach. This event hosts the famous Boeing Air Show featuring the Blue Angels and their incredible aerial stunt work. If boats are more your jam, then you will love the Seafair Cup featuring H1 Hydroplane racing. You can see the show from any beach on Lake Washington but to participate in the games and get the best views, you’ll want to head over to Genesee Park where the event is hosted. This year marks the 70th anniversary for Seafair so there will be bigger celebrations going on. Admission is free on that Friday but $25 for the next two days.
Feeling a little bit country? Watershed is hosted annually at The Gorge Amphitheatre on Washington’s Columbia River Gorge. This three-day festival is a favorite among country music lovers. This year’s musical guests include Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, and many more. If you love camping out at festivals, this is the place to do it. The Gorge offers beautiful views and typically has amazing weather. Tickets are available for the whole event or day passes.
Calling itself, “the undisputed King of Protestivals, and the largest cannabis convocation in the world,” this is definitely the event the cannabis community is most widely known for. Hempfest works to promote policy reform for cannabis while also hosting a weekend full of over 400 craft, food, and informational vendors. With a broad range of speakers from congressman to actors, Hempfest has always been a voice for reform. This event runs along Seattle’s waterfront at Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, and Centennial Park, so the views from Hempfest are amazing. It’s also a perfect place to pick up some new glass or snag the latest in cannabis accoutrements.
Music lovers unite! Bumbershoot started in 1971 and has been a cultural standard in Seattle since then. Bumbershoot always hosts a diverse lineup of music, theater, comedy, dance, and visual arts. Food and drink are abundant at the festival and so is a good time. This year’s lineup includes The Lumineers, Tyler, The Creator, Rez, Hippie Sabotage, Carly Rae Jepsen, and many others. Throughout the weekend there will always be a silent disco, several art exhibits, performances by Drag Queens of Seattle, and shows at the Seattle Laser Dome. It’s the perfect event for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in Seattle’s rich music and art culture.
Nerd Alert! PaxWest is all about video games and any game lover, cosplayer, or someone who wants to participate in game tournaments can and should check out this yearly event! Hosted at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center, PaxWest has a massive exhibit hall where you can talk with developers about the latest big name games, as well as indie teams with up-and-coming games. The event also features the handheld lounge and PC area where you can get your game on with fellow friends. You’ll want to purchase tickets fast however, this event sells out quickly!
The Washington State Fair is a perfect way to end Summer. Hosted yearly in Puyallup, WA, this event has been great for families and friends alike. The fair is packed with roller coasters, a big wheel, haunted mansion, extreme scream, and more! There are also go-karts, paintball, and bungee rides. For the kiddos, there is also Sillyville, with rides for the younger groups. If you’re bored of the rides then you’ll need to check out the many art exhibits, fair farm, or rodeo. Finally, if you want to enjoy some awesome music, you won’t want to miss the Columbia Bank Concert Series, featuring 20 nights of music and comedy. This includes guests like Billy Idol, Weezer, Ciara, Brad Paisley, and many more.