7 Festivals and Events to Start the New Year

Yakima Taco Fest

7 Festivals and Events to Start the New Year

January 25, 2023

Check out our favorite spring flings!

Who’s ready to kick off the first of the Yakima Valley’s 2023 festivals and events? Just before the spring season, Red Wine & Chocolate leads the way into months of unique Yakima Valley experiences. From wine tasting events, everyone’s favorite wine run and a fantastic carnival for snow lovers to vibrant music and cultural festivals, you’ll find a perfect way to enjoy the flavors, sights and sounds of the Valley.

Red Wine & Chocolate is the first of four signature Yakima Valley Wine Country events each year. Soon the vines will wake from dormancy attention turns to growing the premium wine grapes the Valley is renowned for. Before then, every Presidents Day weekend, wineries welcome guests to experience red wines and flights perfectly paired with delectable chocolates. Plan your trip February 17 to 20 to sip and savor your way through Yakima Valley wine regions and enjoy special activities and seasonal savings.

White Pass Winter Carnival on March 4 and 5 is the perfect, family friendly event for snow lovers. Tube on the giant snow castle and have fun with the kids’ obstacle course race, face-painting and all-around fun! Celebrate snow as we enter the second half of ski season! This year’s event theme, Time Travelers Weekend, makes for the ultimate party. Instead of limiting costumes to a single decade, you and your “time traveling” guests can take inspiration from a person or style from any year, past or present. Think dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, famous historical figures and pop icons — the possibilities are endless! Don’t leave before the torchlight parade and fireworks at 7 pm on Saturday when the castle lights up.

Spring Barrel Wine Tasting  is the second annual wine country event celebrated by Yakima Valley wineries as they welcome spring! Spring Barrel delivers a unique wine tasting experience. Many of the makers pull tastes straight from the barrel, giving you a sneak peek at how these young vintages may mature. You be the judge of the wines! Will it be an award-winner? In addition to barrel tastings, some of the wineries offer other unique tasting experiences. Enjoy sipping new release wines and take advantage of special savings.

Yakima Taco Fest is Yakima’s newest favorite food festival celebrating the Valley’s vibrant Latino culture and agricultural heritage. After phenomenal success at the first three events, this year’s festival promises to be even better. After all, what’s better than tacos and craft beverages?  The event brings people together to taste fusion and traditional tacos, sip on local craft beverages and dance to the sweet rhythm of Latin music. Enjoy the flavors from locals’ favorite taco vendors and craft beverage makers, offering craft beer, wine and cider. This event is picnic style. Bring your blankets or folding chairs! Check out last year’s event video and mark your calendar for May 6.

Sunnyside Cinco de Mayo Festival, May 5 to 7, celebrates the Valley’s vibrant Latino heritage with the largest cultural festival around. Savor authentic Mexican cuisine, listen to the sounds of traditional Latin rhythms with live music all weekend and enjoy dance performances, dancing horses, a carnival, an eating contest, parade and more!

Rattlesnake Hills Wine Run, May 20, could be one of the best races around. Run a 5k, 10k, 15k or half marathon through the beautiful rolling hills and vineyards of Rattlesnake Hills Wine Country. Enjoy sipping stops along the way. Celebrate your finish at the after party complete with more wine, food, vendors and even post-race massages!

Chinook Fest, June 8 to 11, is where great music meets the great outdoors. Celebrating their 10th anniversary, Chinook Fest 2023 will feature everything you love about Chinook Fest and a few new things too. This perennial favorite festival fills the entire weekend with a fantastic lineup of premium performers. This year, you can also enjoy the art of sound healing with a meadow sound bath or wake for morning yoga in the meadow. Find friends and fun in the festival activity zone for games and more. Get ready for the campsite decorating contest. Of course, bring your hiking shoes to explore the surrounding trails.  Make your reservations for the greatest mountain music festival, as tickets and RV and camping spots can go quickly.

Check out all the spring fun, festivals, events and activities in the Yakima Valley.

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