It may be the unofficial end of summer, but it is not the end of fun in the Yakima Valley! The harvest season is upon us, so make a plan to visit the Yakima Valley for these signature fall events, when the days are warm, the nights are cool and the apples are crisp!
Tieton Flip Flop – September - This is your last chance of the year to enjoy Class 3 whitewater rafting on the Tieton River! When water is released from Rimrock Dam to supply irrigation to our farmers, the Tieton River becomes a turbulent, exhilarating ride of rushing water! Osprey Rafting provides all your rafting trip needs, so reserve your spot now before they fill up for the year!
Central Washington State Fair - September 23–October 2 - This is not your grandma’s fair anymore! Come Get Your Fair On with free concerts, featuring iconic R& B artists Boyz to Men, country legend Clint Black, rock legends Grand Funk Railroad and Foghat, traditional Mexican band Los Rieleros del Norte and many more. Get your corn dogs, deep fried Twinkies or Oreos, lamb burgers, elephant ears and all the other delicious fair food! Check out the demolition derby before you take a walk on the wild side at the Pepsi Plaza and see the Extreme Reptiles at Pioneer Hall. There is so much to see and do and eat this year , you will have to go to the fair more than once to do it all!
The Great Prosser Balloon Rally – September 23-25 - Get up early to watch the sunrise as dozens of hot air balloons take to the sky! The balloons launch all three days, wind and weather permitting. There’s also the famed Balloon Night Glow on Saturday night, when all the balloons light up in sync to music, as well as the Harvest Festival, Farmers Market, and the Caren Mercer-Andreason Street Painting Festival! And don’t forget to add a dash of wine tasting while you are in Prosser, since there are so many wineries to choose from!
Fresh Hop Ale Fest - October 1 - This annual celebration of hops and beer has been voted one of the top ten beer festivals in the nation! Converging in Downtown Yakima are over 40 breweries from around the country, all of whom will be bringing unique, freshly crafted beers that can’t be found anywhere else. Along with local wine and cider, there is also a cigar tent, lots of live music, and special beers being served on the Beer Bike. And all of this is in the heart of hop country, where 75% of the hops in the nation are grown.
Catch the Crush- October 7-9 - Wineries up and down the Yakima Valley offer special winery experiences during this amazing time of year! Stomp grapes at Airfield Estates or be a winemaker for a day at Two Mountain Winery. Along the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trial, each winery offers its own celebratory events, including grape stomps, harvest activities, tours, hors d'oeuvres, live music, and of course, lots of wine tasting. A Premier Pass is available for purchase through Wine Yakima Valley , good for activities at select wineries throughout the Yakima Valley.
Before heading out of town, stop at one of the many Farmers Markets to get your farm fresh fruit and produce fix. Zillah’s Not Just Another Farmers Market is on September 10, featuring fruit produce, arts, crafts and lots of entertainment located by the historic Tea-Pot Dome. Farmers Markets in Prosser are held on Saturdays all through September, and Downtown Yakima’s is held on Sundays through October 30. Bill’s Berry Farm holds their annual Apple & Pumpkin Festival on most weekends through September and October, so check their calendar and make plans to go get some tasty donuts! And on weekends throughout October, bring the kids to Washington Fruit Place and Gift Shop at Barrett Orchards for their hay maze, pumpkin patch, hay rides, and fresh apple cider squeeze!
These are just a few of the fall fun events happening in the Yakima Valley! For a complete listing of events click here and choose the dates you are planning to visit, or sign up for the weekly event newsletter to stay in the know about everything happening in the Yakima Valley!