Festivals & Events

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Hydroplane at Stan Sayres Park, circa 1958 Photo creative commons licensed via Seattle Municipal Archives

Hydroplane at Stan Sayres Park, circa 1958. Photo creative commons licensed via Seattle Municipal Archives

Come see the world famous Seattle Seafair Hydroplane races and Air show this weekend. The hydros, hurdling across the lake at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, cast “rooster tails” more than 100 feet vertically. Meanwhile, the squadron formally known as the Blue Angels take off in F-18 Hornets, and fly past in tight formations around Lake Washington at altitudes below 100 feet. Additionally, WWII aircraft will be present, including Spitfires, Mustangs, B-29 Flying Fortresses, and more. Training runs will take place on Thursday from 9:45 AM to noon, and from 1:15 to 2:40 PM. The main air shows are from Friday to Sunday at 12:15 PM to 2:40 PM.

For more information, visit the Seafair website.

Hydoplanes today Photo creative commons licensed via Robert Patten

Hydoplanes today. Photo creative commons licensed via Robert Patten


Blue angels flying over the boats out for Seafair. /Photo: Jason Anfinson

Blue angels flying over the boats out for Seafair. /Photo: Jason Anfinson


August and Labor day may mark the end of summer in the Northwest, but we like to go out with a bang. Below you can find your fill of activities to finish off summer the right way. This year, in particular, be sure to make your way to the water for a month of boats and music. In Seattle, do not miss the famous Seafair weekend (August 1-3). With a summer-full of events leading up to this culmination weekend, you can’t miss the hydroplane races, Boeing air shows (pictured above), and the entire city of Seattle on the lake. Victoria will also take part in water entertainment with the 20th Annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival (August 15-August 17). Victoria will also host Symphony Splash (August 3rd), an annual symphony performed from a floating stage in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. In Portland, feed your cravings at the Bite of Oregon and wash down the delicious food at the Portland International Beer Fest, both taking place on the weekend of August 8th through 10th.

Seattle Things to Do

Victoria Things to Do

Vancouver Things to Do

Portland Things to Do

This is a guest post from Pelindaba Lavender Farm.

Lavender Festival / Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Lavender Festival / Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

At Pelindaba Lavender Farm, located San Juan Island, WA, we host the annual San Juan Island Lavender Festival at our 25 acre organic lavender Farm.  For the past 13 years we have spent two days each summer when the lavender fields are at their “peak of purpleness” hosting a lavender party for thousands of our friends from all around the world. For the lavender connoisseur we have it all.  For those not quite there yet, they usually leave enthusiasts! Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle July 4th Fireworks

Seafair Summer 4th celebration in Seattle at Gasworks Park

While the Pacific Northwest may be known as rainy, we surely prove that wrong in July. This month, the summer sunshine and fun continues in full swing. In Seattle, the Seafair celebrations continue with the Seafair Triathlon (July 20) and the Torchlight Parade (July 26). Be sure to put the Bite of Seattle (July 18-20) at the Seattle Center on your calendar to try the many culinary creations they have to offer. Music lovers head to the Capitol Hill Block Party (July 25-27) to see highlights like Seattle native, Sol. Head North in July to Canada to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st.  Victoria Pickle Pub Crawl continues while the Victoria Ska Fest!, another music festival follows (July 1-5). Carry on the Canadian fun in Vancouver for their biggest event of the year, the Vancouver Honda Celebration of Light (July 26-Aug. 2). The celebration boasts the largest off-shore firework display in the world with over 400,000 spectators. Back in the US, make your way to Portland for weekly concerts and movies in the park as well as the Pemberton Music Festival (July 18-20).


Seattle Things to Do

Victoria Things to Do

Vancouver Things to Do

Portland Things to Do



Victoria Pickle Pub Crawl

One of our top picks for June is a Pickle Pub Crawl aboard a Victoria Harbour Ferry. Photo: Michele Hornell courtesy of Victoria Harbour Ferry

June brings the official start of summer with the summer solstice on the 21st. This month is full of beer festivals, naked bicyclists, film festivals and many summer favorites. In Victoria, the season for Pickle Pub Crawls has begun. Also look for the Victoria Comic Book Expo and Victoria International JazzFest. In Seattle, the Mariners, Sounders and Storm are all in season for sports fans, and the Fremont Fair starts in late June. In Vancouver, you still have some time to catch Cirque du Soleil, and Bard on the Beach is getting started. In Portland, the Rose Festival is wrapping up as well as Pride Festival and PDX Beer Week.

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Trisha Koga Seattle Mariners Game

My favorite spring/summer activity– Mariners baseball! Photo: Trisha Koga

May marks the beginning of the season where fun events start happening every weekend in the Pacific Northwest. With so many few weekends of sunshine we need to make the most of the few we get! The Portland Rose Festival begins May 23 with fireworks; in Seattle the NW Folklife Festival is back at Seattle Center for Memorial Day weekend; Vancouver Craft Beer Week kicks off May 30; and the Victoria Highland Games are back for their 150th festival. In museums, Seattle is hosting Museum Week Northwest May 16-23 with great deals on local museums; the Portland Art Museum’s latest exhibit Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music is around for another week; and in Victoria the Royal BC Museum opens their new exhibit on Vikings May 16.

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You know spring has finally come to the Pacific Northwest as soon as the cherry blossoms come out! This April, celebrate the season with Vancouver’s Cherry Blossom Festival, race with Victoria’s Times Colonist 10k or the Vancouver Sun Run; visit Miro: The Experience of Seeing at the Seattle Art Museum or Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music at the Portland Art Museum; go wine tasting at STEM: Science Uncorked in Seattle, Portland’s Spring Beer & Wine Fest or Victoria’s Uncork Your Palate. Plus, there are many other events throughout the Pacific Northwest happening in April. Click through for all the best events and a picture of cherry blossoms in each city.

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Crystal Ladies Photo: Cirque du Soleil

Crystal Ladies Photo: Cirque du Soleil

Prepare to escape into a fantastical world showing the journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly in Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM. The show promises a variety of impressive performances including devil sticks, a trapeze duo, hand balancing, unicycles and many more. In addition to impressive acrobatics, Cirque du Soleil always features amazing costumes. TOTEM costumes are designed by Kym Barrett, famous for costuming the Matrix movies. Barrett researched animals, plants and birds as well as cultural and tribal designs while making the costumes and sourcing materials.

Dates and Tickets for TOTEM

Portland: March 27-May 4, buy tickets here

Vancouver: May 15-June 29 buy tickets here

About Cirque du Soleil

Guy Laliberte, a street performer and fire-eater, created Cirque du Soleil in 1984 in Quebec City for the province’s 450th anniversary celebrations. The event traveled all over Quebec to bring the festivities to everyone in the tradition of traveling circuses. Since its original show, the organization has grown internationally and is now in five continents. To see what you can expect from a Cirque du Soleil show, watch Worlds Away.

To plan a trip from Seattle or Victoria to visit Vancouver or Portland for the show, visit clippervacations.com.

Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Rick Phillips

Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Rick Phillips

March is the time of year when most people are ready for the snow to melt and the sun to come out. Hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to receive some early spring sunshine in the Pacific Northwest and there are plenty of fun activities this month (indoor and outdoor) in Victoria, Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. Whether you’re looking for live music, art, food and wine events, theater or comic book conventions, March has a little bit of everything!

Victoria: There’s still a little time to catch Dine Around Victoria where participating restaurants offer 3 course meals for $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person. Also, Pacific Baroque Festival is celebrating the music of J.S. Bach with several notable performers who specialize in the Baroque period.

Seattle: If you’re interested in seeing a musical, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or dressing up for Comicon– Seattle has a little bit of everything in March. Food and wine enthusiasts will enjoy Taste Washington showcasing Washington food and wine and if you’re interested in art you’ll enjoy SAM’s Miro exhibit.

SBS 9Visit Seattle to go to the West Coast’s largest boat show! The Seattle Boat Show features more than 1,000 recreational watercraft displayed in the CenturyLink Field Events Center and on Lake Union with a shuttle to take you between locations. Also, don’t miss seminars, accessories and more. Events cover the Great Bear Rainforest, how to buy a boat for first time buyers, and presentations on varnish, weather, electronics. Topics also include saltwater fishing, self steering, salmon fishing and planning a cruise to Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands.

Visit http://www.seattleboatshow.com/home.html for a complete list of events and vendors.

Information on the Seattle Boat Show:


CenturyLink Field
Monday-Thursday 11-8
Friday 11-10
Saturday 10-8
Sunday 10-6

Chandler’s Cove, South Lake Union
Weekdays 11-5
Saturday and Sunday 10-15

Clipper Vacations Seattle Boat Show Packages include transportation to Seattle, admission to the Seattle Boat Show and accommodations in a downtown Seattle hotel.

Two night packages from Victoria start at $205 pp/do
One night packages from Vancouver start at $150 pp/do
One night packages from Portland start at $136 pp/do

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