The Wenatchee River Salmon Festival is an annual event that takes place at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery in central Washington. The idea behind the festival is to showcase the beautiful rivers of the northwest and celebrate the salmon returning to them. The venue is close to the gorgeous Icicle Canyon and many other natural attractions.
There are various activities planned that aim to educate people about the connections between the salmon, the rivers, and the human impact. These magnificent rivers are not just home to the salmon; they also sustain a variety of other flora and fauna. Additionally, they provide irrigation and electricity, and many livelihoods are tied to them. The area is positively teeming with life and the various species of birds, bugs, frogs, trees, and flowers that are found here.
The festival takes place over three days, which are split between School Days and a Free Family Day. While School Days are set for students with local Washington schools, everyone can experience the event and learn about wildlife in the region during other times. Family day is open to all ages and is free for all. A high emphasis is placed on the importance of salmon to the area and the observation of animals and birds in their natural habitat.
Entry to the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival on Family Day is free. You can help out the organizers by volunteering your time or by donating funds. There are several sponsorship opportunities available if you'd like to contribute to the running of the event. You can find more information on the various activities and exhibits on the festival website.
Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, which is the venue for the event, is located in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The closest town is Leavenworth, and you'll need to pass through it to get to the location. Once you're in the town, look for Icicle Road. When you're about two miles down the road, you'll find signs directing you to the festival venue. Remember to check travel updates for Chelan County or Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest when planning your adventure to central Washington.
There is free parking available at the Fish Hatchery parking lot. This can be found along East Leavenworth road. It can get pretty crowded on the days of the festival, so it's a good idea to get there early to nab a spot. Otherwise, you may end up having to park a long distance away from the venue.
Since the venue is located outside the town limits, there aren't many public transport options to get there directly. Most visitors opt to drive or coordinate with other guests to carpool to the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival. On designated school days, chartered buses are used to get students and teachers to the festival.
Onsite RV camping options are not available at Wenatchee River Salmon Festival. You'll need to book a spot at a park or campsite nearby.
Travelers will find a number of RV parks in nearby Leavenworth, which are nestled in the Cascade Mountains. Thanks to the alpine setting, you can enjoy some of the best views that nature has to offer. Although these are located in the midst of nature, you can still enjoy facilities like full hookups, satellite TV, and laundry facilities.
Scooters, skateboards, bicycles, carts, ATVs, wagons, and other personal motorized vehicles will not be allowed into the venue. Most parts of the grounds are accessible, and special arrangements will be made to accommodate patrons with disabilities. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the accessibility of the site, you may want to contact the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival organizers directly.
It's a good idea to dress for warm, outdoor weather for the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival. You can't go wrong with shorts, a t-shirt and a comfortable pair of shoes. Keep in mind that you'll need to walk quite a bit to get to the different activities and exhibits. Event officials suggest light, breathable clothing.
Carry a small bag or backpack with a few essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a lightweight blanket, and a portable charger. It is helpful to carry a small backpack, with a water bottle and a pencil. Water bottles can be refilled at one of the free filtered water stations scattered throughout the venue.
Some activities take place near water; be sure to keep a special eye out for small children. Drink plenty of water and catch any shade when you can. Every year a number of items end up in the lost and found bins. So be mindful of your belongings. Organizers suggest labeling items with your name and contact information so misplaced items can be returned.
Cooking on the festival grounds is not permitted. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring packed snacks and lunches, which can be eaten at the picnic tables. Coolers are permitted, but organizers suggest labeling them with your name and information. If you’d like to cook at your campsite, you may want to stock your RV shelves before arriving. The nearby area of Leavenworth does have some grocery options; though they may be somewhat limited in variety, the uniqueness of some stores may appeal to travelers.
You can find many food options in the nearby community of Leavenworth. This Bavarian-styled town is known for its delicious schnitzel, beers, and brats. Whether you're in the mood for fast food or fine dining, you'll find it here. Guests may also find authentic Italian and South American fare on offer.
Food vendors will be selling delicious, local food and drinks at the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival. They will be located close to the picnic area. Top local chefs and caterers will be represented at the event. For guests with dietary restrictions and preferences, the event usually offers vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options as well.
Every attempt will be made to keep the venue safe and secure for guests. Security personnel and festival staff will be monitoring the proceedings. Keep in mind that the festival attracts hundreds of attendees every year. Children must be accompanied by a parent, teacher, or guardian at all times and must never be left unsupervised.
In past years, the weather has been warm with minimal rain. Many of the activities take place outdoors, so it's a good idea to pack a rain poncho. If the weather changes unexpectedly, no exchanges or refunds will be given. In the rare event of extreme weather, guests may be instructed to evacuate the site.
A first aid center will be located near the entrance staffed with trained medical professionals. In the case of an emergency, they will be able to jump in and provide assistance. Port-a-potties, including accessible facilities, will be scattered throughout the grounds. Organizers suggest that guests be mindful of any special dietary requirements, medical needs, or allergies.