All year long, there are a wide variety of events and activities going on around the Lake Chelan Valley centered around wine, outdoor activities, and seasonal holidays. The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, The Manson Chamber of Commerce and The Lake Chelan Wine Valley AVA (and lots of volunteers!) put in countless volunteer hours to ensure these events and activities keep coming back every year. Here’s some info for the year beginning in March:
Spring kicks off with a bang starting with the inaugural Spring Fling event on March 27th in downtown Manson. Enjoy wine barrel train rides, photos with the easter bunny and kite flying at Singleton Park. Navarre Coulee Vineyards is also having the grand opening of their tasting room in downtown Manson, and the road downtown will be closed off during the day to allow for increased pedestrian traffic and outdoor activities. There will also be live music at many venues during this event.
April starts off with spring barrel tasting at wineries all around the valley. Towards the end of April is the Annual Kokanee Fishing Derby on Lake Chelan. Anglers of all ages take to the lake hoping to catch one of Lake Chelan’s prized Kokanees with a chance to take home a prize.
The first weekend of May kicks off the annual Manson Apple blossom festival commemorating the hard work of our local agricultural community. The following weekend is a Rat Rod festival in downtown Manson. The third weekend in May is the Wine and Jazz festival showcasing internationally acclaimed jazz artists and celebrates the wonderful wineries, historic downtowns, and remarkable beauty of the Lake Chelan Wine Valley. This four-day event offers Festival Pass holders a musical tour through the Lake Chelan Wine Valley. Twenty-two jazz performances take place at nine wineries and venues around the lake. Lake Chelan AVA wines and a variety of food options will be available at each music venue during performances.
The summer season truly starts after Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day. The warm weather and sunshine bring people of all ages to enjoy the lake and the beautiful beaches that surround Lake Chelan. Fourth of July holiday boasts two separate fireworks shows: one at Don Morse Park in Chelan and in the BIG one on the four on Manson Bay. The following weekend is the Annual Poker Run. It starts off with a Cigarette Boat show down Manson’s Main Street, then boaters of all ages race their boats up and down the lake collecting cards at various stops trying to build the best poker hand for the best chance at taking home the grand prize.
After Labor Day, toward the end of September, comes the Manson Hydro fest. Hydroplanes from around the Pacific Northwest compete on a designated course of waterway in Manson Bay. Also in September is the Manson pickleball tournament at Harmony Meadows. Pickleball players from around the country enjoy pristine playing conditions during the cooler September weather.
This year, for the first time ever, plans are in the works for the whole month of October in downtown Manson to become a “Haunted Manson”. We will have more information on this as time progresses. Also, October kicks off with Crush weekend. A local tradition which starts by stomping grapes and starting the fermentation process. This ensures that the grapes are on their way from the vine to the bottles and, finally, processed into the delicious wine that wine lovers flock from around the country to enjoy. The month of October ends with Trunk or Treat at the North Shore bible church behind The Lodge. Locals decorate their vehicles in Halloween spirit and pass out candy in a safe and organized manner to trick or treaters of all ages. There’s a local helicopter pilot that drops candy from the sky, too!
From November through Winterfest in January is the Village of lights in downtown Manson. Businesses and volunteers transform the downtown area into a picturesque winter wonderland and will have you feeling like you drove straight into a hallmark movie. You’ll find fire pits and lots of weekend activities.
Every weekend after thanksgiving leading up until Christmas is celebrated as “Small Town Holidays”. Lake Chelan’s boutique retail shops and wineries bustle with Christmas shoppers eager to pick out the perfect gift for their special somebody while enjoying the crisp cool autumn weather and hand-crafted artisan wines that Lake Chelan is famous for.
The New Year is always rung in with the bang of fireworks shot off over the Lake in both Chelan and Manson celebrating the prosperity of the previous year and the year to come. Winterfest is typically held during the second and third weekend of January. Live Ice carvings are crafted around the Valley for onlookers to marvel at. What glorious works of art they are! With horse drawn carriage rides, live music, wine tasting, ale tasting, activities for kids of all ages, a polar bear plunge into the chilly winter waters of Lake Chelan, massive beach bonfire, a huge flaming ice tower, spectacular fireworks show and so much more. Winterfest is the perfect escape for locals and tourists alike.
February is celebrated as the Month of Love, and what better way to celebrate love than with the decadence of red wine and chocolate. Wineries around the Lake Chelan Valley offer unique parings of local reds and handmade chocolates that will have you feeling the love tonight.
No matter what the season is, there is always a great reason to visit the Lake Chelan Valley. There are several amazing resources available to travelers looking for information regarding activities in valley. Contact the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, The Manson Chamber of Commerce or The Lake Chelan Wine Valley AVA for information regarding the events mentioned in this article. Or you can always call the Mountain View Lodge front desk and our amazing customer service representatives will point you in the right direction.