Held each year on the 3rd Saturday of January, sample microbrews from a variety of breweries in the Northwest. Sampling occurs at a variety of venues throughout the historic downtown corridor.
Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering
Every Presidents Day Weekend, relive the sights and sounds of the old west. Singers and poets are heard at free downtown venues, main stage concerts, or at open mic sessions. This festival offers a wide range of events that reflect a bygone era – Dutch oven cooking and a chuck wagon cook-off, competitions in ranch roping and rough stock riding, gear and art shows, western and square dances, a fiddle contest, rodeo cowboy reunion, all fused into one great event.
Held on Mother’s Day Weekend every year, numerous local businesses open their doors to over 30 of the Northwest’s finest wineries. Come enjoy the day downtown and sample exceptional wine and atmosphere. The festival was named “One of the top 10 things to do in the Northwest wine country” in Wine Press Northwest magazine!
The Gala offers fabulous food, and wines. The auction features over 50 top artists of the Western genre, from traditional to contemporary artists. Bringing the best of the best to the Northwest and creating a fun weekend with art and wine.
Annual Ellensburg National Art Show & Auction
Nearly every form of fine art is available at this show – it is the second longest-running Western art show in the country – including painting, sculpture, wood carving, photography, stained glass, jewelry, pottery and etchings.
This annual event started out small and quickly grew in popularity. Hundreds of folks from across the Northwest come to Ellensburg to proudly show off their beloved Dachshunds.
Music lovers come from across the Northwest, the United States and from Europe to check out the groovy tunes of 20-plus musicians. An eclectic list of performers are on hand, including musicians specializing in multiple forms of jazz, blues, gospel and salsa. There are plenty of activities for the kids and some areas are adults only.
Whisky Dick Triathlon
Get ready, get set, swim, bike and run! In the Whisky Dick, you’ll swim a mile in the Columbia River, pedal for 26.4 miles and run for 8.8 miles. This race has a competitive side, but many participate just for the fun of it.
The Kittitas County Fair, first organized in 1885, is held every Labor Day weekend, and coincides with the Ellensburg Rodeo. It’s a traditional fair, with lots of emphasis on agriculture, livestock, homemade goods, entertainment and rides.
Founded in 1923, the Ellensburg Rodeo, aired on ESPN, brings in more than 25,000 fans over a four-day period. Rodeo professionals from across the country make sure they don’t miss our rodeo. A recent addition to the rodeo, Xtreme Bulls, has become a sell-out event loved by even the most unfamiliar of rodeo fans. Filled with tough bull riders, surly bulls and pyrotechnics, Xtreme Bulls attracts some top-of-the line competitors. It’s an event you should not miss, and most locals say you haven’t really seen Ellensburg until you’ve been to the rodeo.
The three-day festival is noted for its outstanding selection of critically acclaimed films, numerous screenings and venues, diverse cultural and artistic offerings, and a fun and relaxed atmosphere open to all.
FallFest – Buskers in the Burg
Savor a taste of Ellensburg with local Farmer’s Market and Harvest Halls featuring food pairings with area wine, beer, and spirits! Entertain the kids with inflatable bounce rides, face painting, balloon animals, and children’s crafts. Stroll the local shops and galleries while enjoying the entertainment of numerous busker acts at street locations throughout the downtown. Vote for your favorite act and listen to the winners perform on stage before kicking up your heels at an evening street dance.
A bit of small-town Americana still lives in the heart of Central Washington. For the past 30 years, the Friday following Thanksgiving has drawn hundreds of people into downtown Ellensburg to mark the start of the holiday season – literally – with a flip of a switch. When darkness falls, many of Ellensburg’s historic downtown buildings come alive with more than 10,000 Christmas lights outlining their facades. The lighting ceremony marks the highlight in a weekend full of family-friendly events designed to usher in the holiday spirit.
Information obtained from Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce and Visit Ellensburg