Best of the Fests! 12 Can’t-Miss Spring Festivals

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While summertime gets a lot of attention here in the Pacific Northwest, you can’t really beat spring. Sure, the weather can be unpredictable, but when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, can there be a more beautiful place? To help you get out and enjoy everything spring has to offer, we’ve put together a list of our area’s best spring festivals. From crafts and music to flowers and farm animals, scroll down and get ready to clear your calendars!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

You know spring has sprung in the good ol' Pacific Northwest when the tulips burst open, and there is no better place to view them than at the month-long Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Drive through field upon field of vibrant color throughout Skagit Valley or make a stop at RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town to visit the gardens, see beautiful displays and snap some photos of the fam in the brightly colored fields.

There are all kinds of special events in honor of the festival this year including the 34th Annual Tulip Run held on April 6 which offers both a 10k run and a 2k run/walk. Take in the PACCAR Technical Center Annual Open House on April 13 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The truck testing facility only opens to the public once a year and allows you to get up close with the big rigs (kids can even sit in them!), but be sure to leave early so you don't miss the annual Not So Impromptu Kiwanis Tulip Parade (presented by Washington Federal) which begins at 2 p.m. at the Port of Skagit complex in LaConner. April 19-21, (Fri.-Sun.) is the annual Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair (on S. First St.) with hundreds of juried arts and crafts, unique gifts, live music, gourmet food and children’s activities. Learn more about all of the events happening with our complete guide to this year's festival.

Good to know: As you can imagine, tulips do not grow according to the schedule festival organizers put in place. However, you can check out the "bloom status" any time before you make a trip up there or call 360-428-5959 or email

Dates: Apr. 1–30, 2019
Cost: Free to drive around Skagit Valley; various admission fees to enter gardens.


Daffodil Festival Parade

Who doesn't love the fanfare of a great parade? The 86th Annual Daffodil Grand Floral Parade, one of the region’s longest running festivals, celebrates the community, history and traditions of Pierce County. The parade consists of over 180 entries, including high school bands, marching units and floats decorated with thousands of fresh-cut daffodils commemorating the daffodil fields that once covered Puyallup Valley. The parade travels through four cities throughout the day, beginning in Tacoma and ending in Orting, so you have multiple chances to catch it.

Date: Apr. 6, 2019
Times: 10:15 a.m. in Tacoma; 12:45 p.m. in Puyallup; 2:30 p.m. in Sumner; 5 p.m. in Orting
Cost: Free


In addition, the 58th Junior Daffodil Parade, with the theme of "A Heart for Service," will be presented at Tacoma’s North End Proctor District (N. Proctor St. & N. 28th St.) the week after.

Date: April 13, 2019
Time: 10 a.m.


Seattle International Children’s Friendship Festival

Celebrate the rich traditions of cultures from around the globe at the Seattle International Children’s Friendship Festival. This annual festival is for kids, by kids, featuring cultural exhibits and stage performances including music, ballet and folk dance highlighting local kids’ ethnic heritages. Sponsored by the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington (TACAWA), this festival unites kids through the universal language of art, fostering cultural exchange and friendship in a creative, festive environment.

Date: Apr. 6-7, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Seattle Center - Fisher Pavilion
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109

photo: Kristina Moy

Washington State Spring Fair

Welcome the warmer weather and sunshine with a visit to the Washington State Events Center for the annual Washington State Spring Fair. Take in favorite fair attractions, including baby animal exhibits, carnival rides, music, entertainment and, of course, amazing eats...can you say hot Fisher scones?

This year's fair is packed with fun events and shows like the new Ninja Experience Stunt Show, Brad's World Reptile Show and who can tire of watching the All Alaskan Racing Pigs or the Dockdogs leap into the water? For kids of all ages who like big trucks, check out Motorsport Mayhem who will be rockin' all weekend with tricked out monster trucks, an action-packed Slamfest Demolition Derby, Pit Parties and even Monster Truck Rides!

Be sure to visit the many fun exhibits like the interactive learning area, The Farm at Sillyville where fruits and vegetables are larger than life, amazing displays and activities that will even impress mom and dad and end the mini trip with a free healthy snack on the way out! (We aren't kidding, this is one of the best Free attractions at the fair!) Also take time to visit the Fun on the Farm petting zoo and interactive zone where future farmers can try their hand at milking a faux cow. Other great things to see include the hands-on KidZone, the Oldfield Western Heritage Center and Tractor Tracks. And of course, there are lots of rides, music and food to consider too!

Psst...if you're not too worn out, stick around on Friday and Saturday evening to enjoy the fireworks that will be set off from the Grandstand and visible from various locations throughout the grounds. Show begins at approximately 9 p.m., after the Motorsport Mayhem show.

Good to know: Save $2 on admission if tickets are purchased online before April 11. Other great deals include free entry for all kids 18 years and under on Thurs., Apr 11 with a non-perishable food donation; Military Appreciation Day, presented by KVI 570 AM and KOMO News Radio 1000 AM/97.7 FM, will be on Fri., April 12 with free gate admission to active, reserve, retired military and their dependents with valid military ID and be one of the first 500 guests through the gates on Fri., April 12 to receive a free mini blossom kit!

Dates: Apr. 11-14, 2019
Time: Thurs., 2 p.m.–10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: $12/Adults; $10/Students (6-18); 5 & under Free. Parking is free on Thurs.; $10 on Fri.-Sun. 

Washington State Fair Events Center
110 9th Ave. S.W.
Puyallup, WA 98371

photo: Jennifer Shoen

The Spring Eggstravaganza

Redmond Town Center is presenting an "eggstravanganza" of spring activities and treats on Sat., Apr. 20, including an Easter scavenger hunt (for the first 2,000 kids under the age of 12). Find "eggstra" special objects at various merchants and return the completed form to receive your prize bag. Other fun events and activities for the whole family will include a bouncy house, a bouncy obstacle course, themed games like basketball, baseball and soccer, Springfree Trampolines, arts and crafts, face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon twisters, Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park visitors and various activity booths presented by local merchants.

Date: Apr. 20, 2019
Time: Noon-4 p.m.
Cost: Free 

Redmond Town Center
7525 166th Ave. N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052


Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

Seattle’s beautiful cherry blossoms are a-bloomin’, so that means it’s time to celebrate the Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival. Founded over 40 years ago in appreciation of 1,000 cherry trees gifted to Seattle by the Japanese government, this award-winning festival aims to increase the understanding and friendship between the people of Japan and the Pacific Northwest.

This year’s events focus on American and Japanese milestones in history. Experience the rich heritage and contemporary influences of Japanese culture through visual arts and technology, hands-on activities, food and games, including Taiko drumming and a theatrical stage production.

Date: Apr. 26-28, 2019
Time: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Seattle Center Armory & Fisher Pavilion
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109

photo: Mercer Island Preschool Association

Mercer Island Preschool Association (MIPA) Circus

Long ago in 1966, a Dr. Seuss-inspired carnival called Circus McGurkus rolled into town for the children of Mercer Island. Now celebrating its 53rd year, the Mercer Island Preschool Association's annual circus events brings in families from all over Seattle, the Eastside and beyond and this year will be no different. Little guys and gals ages 2-8 will be busy with all of the non-stop fun of the carnival games, live entertainment, face painting, pony rides, bouncy houses, a dunk tank and so much more. Psst! Be sure to come hungry and take advantage of the delicious food trucks that will be on site.

Date: April 27, 2019
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $15/Kids (includes all access wrist band); Adults are Free. $10 for pony rides. Food is extra.

Islander Middle School
7447 84th Ave. S.E.
Mercer Island, WA 98040

photo: Kelsey Creek Farm

Kelsey Creek Sheep Shearing

Take your crew to Kesley Creek Farm in Bellevue to watch the sheep lose their winter coats. In addition to sheep shearing demos, enjoy spinning demonstrations, kid's crafts, tractor and wagon rides, pony rides, food, animal encounters and more!

Good to know: There will be a free shuttle service available from Wilburton Park and Ride (720 114 Ave. S.E.) and Bannerwood Sports Park (1630 132nd Ave. S.E.). Costs vary for food and activities. No ATM on site and credit cards will not be accepted, so plan to bring good ol' cash. Dogs not allowed in barnyard area.

Date: April 27, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free (food and some activities extra)

Kelsey Creek Farm
410 130th Pl. S.E.
Bellevue, WA 98005

photo: Allie Jordan/Elevated Marketing

Washington State Apple Blossom Festival

Washington state’s oldest festival is celebrating its 100th birthday this year in the heart of Wenatchee, honoring the city’s long-standing agriculture industry. The whole town will be buzzing from April 25 to May 5 with activities and events in the scenic valley to showcase what makes Wenatchee a hardworking and close-knit community. During the 11-day fest, take in the Tour de' Bloom, a three-day cycling event held May 3-5 in the Wenatchee Valley, the 28th annual Apple Blossom run, an arts and crafts fair, a youth parade, live entertainment and much more. The Memorial Park Food Fair and carnival rides run every day of the festival.

Good to know: The festival will conclude with the Stemilt Growers 100th Washington State Apple Blossom Festival Grand Parade on Sat., May 4. Grab a curbside seat and see the daredevil maneuvers of the Seattle Motorcycle Police Drill Team, marching bands from throughout the Northwest, colorful floats, proud-stepping equestrian units and dignitaries from many different Northwest festivals, as well as local and state legislators, community leaders and local businesses. 

Dates: Apr. 25-May 5, 2019
Times: Various. View the festival calendar online
Cost: Free


A Festival for May

Knights and fair maidens gather together to usher in the magical month of May at Camlann Medieval Village. May Day was a popular holiday in the Middle Ages when villagers would enjoy dancing, games, feasting and contests. The 21st Annual Festival for May brings the fun and festivities of springtime to the beautiful Seattle countryside. Catch a glimpse of what May Day might have looked like hundreds of years ago as you experience entertainment and craft shops, including garland weaving, wool dyeing and blacksmithing. Psst! Get in the spirit by donning medieval garb (optional, but super authentic). Craft shops and booths open at noon, May Games and entertainment at 1 p.m., and the festival culminates with a colorful Maypole ceremony and selection of the Queen of May at 4:30 p.m.

Good to know: The optional traditional dinner, which is truly a feast, is offered both nights at 5 p.m. by reservation. It is $45/person and includes admission to the festival.

Dates: May 4-5, 2019
Time: noon–5 p.m.
Cost: $10/Adults (13+); $7/Seniors & Kids (12 & under); 5 & under Free

Camlann Medieval Village
10320 Kelly Rd. N.E.
Carnation, WA 98014

Kodomo no Hi Children's Day Festival

The Japanese Community Center of Washington welcomes all families to their Kodomo no Hi or Children's Day Festival where this year they will be celebrating the upcoming 2020 Toyko Olympics with gold medal making, music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, hands-on activities, games, water yoyo fishing, story times, a scavenger hunt, models of famous Tokyo landmarks and more.

Date: May 5, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free

1414 S. Weller St.
Seattle, WA 98144


Northwest Folklife Festival

Since 1971, Memorial Day Weekend in Seattle has been synonymous with the Northwest Folklife Festival. The 48th annual four-day celebration of the evolving folk and ethnic traditions of the Pacific Northwest is commemorated through the arts and music. Kids can party and jam in a special area designated for families or hang out in the Discovery Zone that will be overflowing with age-appropriate adventures, hands-on activities, performances and workshops.

Good to know: The festival schedule will be posted on May 1, 2019, so be sure to check the website.

Date: May 24-27, 2019
Time: Fri.–Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Mon., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Kids’ Discovery Zone open daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Food vendor hours vary.
Cost: Free (suggested donation of $10/person or $20/family)

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109

—Jeffrey Totey, Kristina Moy & Abbey McGee


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