Festivals & Events

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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.

Victoria things to do:

Seattle things to do:

Vancouver things to do:

Portland things to do:

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.

Seattle Things to Do:


Portland Things to Do:

Victoria Things to Do:

Vancouver Things to Do:


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

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker Photo: Andrea Sterling

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker Photo: Andrea Sterling

Following Black Friday shopping last week, the holiday season is officially in full swing. The holidays are my favorite time of year with lots of fun events in December to celebrate both the holidays and the arrival of a New Year. Everyone has their own traditions from caroling to looking at holiday lights to seeing the Nutcracker. December is also a great time to try a new event or visit a place you’ve never been before. The mild weather in the Pacific Northwest makes it a perfect destination for a holiday getaway and if you are from or traveling to Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria or Portland this December, here’s a round up of events in each city:

Seattle December Events:
Festival of Trees Celebration at the Fairmont Olympic (through December 4)
Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel (through January 1)
Argosy Christmas Ship Festival (Through December 23)
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the ACT Theatre (through December 29)
Pacific Northwest Ballet presents Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker (through December 29)

Vancouver December Events:
Winter Farmers Market (Saturdays)
Vancouver Christmas Market (through December 24)
Free ice skating in Robson Square (through February)
Capilano Canyon Lights (through January 4)
Bright Nights at Stanley Park (through January 5)

Victoria December Events:
Festival of Trees at The Fairmont Empress Hotel (through January 7)
5th Annual Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase (through January 5)
Centennial Square Ferris Wheel (through December 22)
The Butchart Gardens Holiday Lights Tour (through January 5)
Christmas Starlight Cinema free outdoor movies (December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18)
Sips and Sweets Night at Craigdarroch Castle (December 7)
24th Annual Lighted Ship Parade (December 7)

Portland December Events:
OMSI presents The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes (through January 12)
Locally Crafted Christmas at the Pittock Mansion (through January 2)
Winter Wonderland at PIR (through December 16)
Oregon Zoo Zoolights (through January 5)
Christmas Festival of Lights at the Grotto (through December 30)
Holiday Ale Festival (December 4-8)
Christmas Ship Parade (December 6-21)
Oregon Ballet Theatre presents The Nutcracker (December 14-24)
Oregon Symphony and Northwest Community Gospel Choir present Gospel Christmas (December 13-15)
Portland Baroque Orchestra presents Handel’s Messiah (December 13-16)
Portland Cello Project presents Winter Sweater Spectacular (December 20)

Photo by Deddeda Stemler courtesy of Tourism Victoria

Photo by Deddeda Stemler courtesy of Tourism Victoria

With the last leftover Halloween treat consumed, my attention turns to planning what activities we can take in for November through to December.

I am lucky enough to have a bi-national household. I was born in Canada and my husband in the United States, so we get to observe all the holidays!  With the US Thanksgiving fast approaching I have to also keep in mind all the other fun stuff that is happening around us here in Victoria. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo: Lake Union Boats Afloat

Photo: Lake Union Boats Afloat

Seattle boaters take note! The 35th Annual Boats Afloat Show is September 11th to the 15th, the largest floating boat show on the West Coast. Hundreds of boats will be docked and open to tour in South Lake Union, as well as gear, kids’ events, and over a dozen rare and notable boats. Admission is $18 for the opening night VIP experience, $12 a day from the 12th to 15th or $18 for a four day pass. Read the rest of this entry »


Photo: Connor Turner
Creative Commons Licensed via flickr

Once again, Bumbershoot snuck up on me. With summer in full swing, it’s too hard to plan ahead for Labor Day Weekend and the beginning of fall. When the lineup for Seattle Center’s annual music and arts festival was released way back in May I was excited, promising myself I’d get tickets early. Now, only a few days left until the biggest end-of-summer shindig and I’ve only just decided which day to go. All three headliners are incredible but I’m most excited for Saturday to see Grynch, Kendrick Lamar, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, and Crystal Castles.

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