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Fairs and Festivals: Food, farms and fun in northwest counties

Jul 16th, 2011 | Category: Events, Farms, Features

by Grow Northwest

A number of local fairs and festivals will be held in July and August, with a mixed focus on local food, agriculture, community, arts and heritage. Following are some of the events taking place in our northwest corner.

Like many county fairs, the Skagit County Fair features a variety of local foods and agriculture. This year, Skagit organizers are seeking interested growers to participate in a Local Growers Forum. PHOTO BY SOBRA PHOTOGRAPHY

Northwest Raspberry Festival
This annual Lynden-based festival takes place Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 in Lynden. Known for its Curt Maberry Memorial Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, you’ll find massive amounts of raspberries, raspberry dessert contest, music and more. Additional information is available at

Red Rooster Route Days Road Rally
Head down to Arlington the weekend of July 16-17 for the Red Rooster Route Days Road Rally held at various farms from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.   The weekend celebration of local food and agriculture is now in its second year and features Garden Treasures Nursery & Organic Farm, Foster’s Produce & Corn Maze, Biringer Farm and Bryant Blueberry Farm & Nursery.  Garden Treasures Nursery & Organic Farm will be lit up with perennial and summer flowers. Foster’s Produce & Corn Maze will have a spread of local berries and other produce, and animal farm and hay maze for the kids. Biringer Farm at Arlington brings out its jolly trolley ride to the raspberry fields for families to enjoy U-pick or raspberry shortcake with whipped cream.  At Bryant Blueberry Farm & Nursery kids will love picking the plump, juicy berries, romping on the playground and feeding the farm’s goats and ducks. Pick up a balloon character from their balloon artist and jump on for a wagon ride. Bring a picnic lunch to have at their picnic area.
For more information,

Loganberry Festival
Approximately 40 vendors with farm related themes, hand produced local arts and crafts, food, kids activities, and more will be at the Loganberry Festival at Whidbey Island’s Greenbank Farm on Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24. The event also features pie eating contests, live entertainment, and demonstrations and activities that relate to farming. The Farm boasts three art galleries, a cafe, a gourmet cheese shop and a wine shop. Greenbank Farm is certified organic and serves as a training center for organic farming. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, contact Virginia Bloom at (360) 678-7710.

Bite of Skagit
Want a taste of the Skagit Valley? The annual Bite of Skagit takes place Saturday, July 30, from noon to 4 p.m. in downtown Mount Vernon. This year’s event will be held in conjunction with the Mount Vernon Downtown Merchant Association’s Annual Sidewalk Sale and the Farmers Market. Featuring food from local restaurants, a beer and wine garden, live music, and a presentation by Graham Kerr, the event benefits Skagit Food Share Alliance, which pays local farmers to grow produce for the Food Distribution Center. The Center is managed by the Skagit County Community Action Agency, for the benefit of the 13 food banks and five hot meal programs in Skagit County.

Admission is free to the Bite of Skagit, however tickets for food and beverage sales are $1 per ticket, and the average “bite” is between 2-5 tickets each. Participants can vote for their favorite “bite” in the Best Bite of 2011 Contest and be eligible to win a prize.

Donations of non-perishable food at the event are appreciated. For more information, check out

Antique Tractor Show & Threshing Bee 2011
The Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Association (PSAT&MA), located in Lynden, has held an annual threshing bee and tractor show at Berthusen Park for 40 years. The 2011 show, slated for August 3-6, will feature Ford tractors and other farm equipment. Events include threshing, sawmill demonstrations, gas engines, tractor pulling, antique vehicles, bookstore, corn grinding, steam engines, and blacksmithing. Kids’ events include pedal tractor pull, candy scramble, watermelon eating, and youth driver safety class. Admission is $3 to $7 per person. For more information, call (360) 380-2317.

Island Eco-Fest and Solar Science Fair
Orcas Island’s The Funhouse is launching a new event this summer featuring information about local farming and living to energy awareness and renewable technologies. A place for children and families, The Funhouse will hold this event on Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Indoor table space for kids and amateur adults is free with pre-registration. Professionals and businesses can reserve tables and outdoor booth space for a $50 entry fee. There will be prizes for science fair presentations, displays, and hands-on demonstrations, with separate categories for kids, adults and commercial entries. The subjects of building, recycling, “Homebrew” solar science experiments, DIY technology, water use and locally produced and value-added products will also be featured.
For more information, or to reserve a table, contact the Funhouse at (360) 376-7177 or

Skagit County Fair
The Skagit County Fair will be held Wednesday, August 10 through Saturday, August 13, featuring entertainment, carnival, farm animals, local food, displays, kids events and more. Fair organizers are seeking local growers to participate in a Local Growers Forum, as well as organizations or individuals who might be interested in presenting an educational component at the Fair (seminar or workshop) that would compliment the local foods area.

Wednesday admission is only $3 until 3 p.m. Entrance cost is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. A parade through downtown Mount Vernon is also slated. The Skagit County Fairgrounds are located at 1410 Virginia Street, Mount Vernon.  For more information, call (360) 336-9414 or visit

Legacy Herefords’ summer picnic

Legacy Herefords is holding a summer picnic at their Bellingham farm on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 3-8 p.m. Meet some Legacy cows and calves, and enjoy the Northwest bounty with local farmers. Any local fruit/veggie growers, bakers, or cheese makers interested in participating should contact Allison at or (360) 510-7180. To attend, contact for more info and directions.

San Juan County Fair
The San Juan County Fair takes place Wednesday, August 17 through Saturday, August 20. Gates open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fun, food and community at the San Juan County Fairgrounds. Admission varies. For more information, visit

Island County Fair
Fun, food, agriculture and more are the focus of the Island County Fair on Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21. Ticket prices vary. Visit

Northwest Herbal Faire
Returning after a five-year hiatus, the Northwest Herbal Faire will take place Friday, August 19 through Sunday, August 21 at Fire Mountain Scout Camp, near Mount Vernon. Over 100 workshops are scheduled, including 70 herbalists, healers, wildcrafters and health practitioners, as well as an Herbal Marketplace with over 50 vendors, entertainment, musicians, camping and more. Admission varies, children 12 and under free. For more information, visit

Bite of Bellingham
The 6th annual Bite of Bellingham will be held on Saturday, August 20 from noon to 4 p.m.  on the 1300 block of Cornwall Avenue (corner of Cornwall and Holly) in Bellingham. The event features a number of Bellingham-area restaurants in an all ages format with free admission. Musical entertainment will be provided by Kit Nelson, Emily Leopold and other local talent. Bite tickets can be purchased on site for $1 a piece. Bites range in prices from 1-3 tickets and entrees are 4-7. Attendees can vote for their favorite bites. An onsite Beer Garden will be available for the 21+ crowd, serving Boundary Bay brews.

Klesick Family Farm Festival
The Klesick Family Farm Festival takes place Saturday, August 20, starting at 10 a.m. at 24101 Miller Road in Stanwood. Face painting, wagon rides, produce, old-fashioned games, farm tours and more will be available.

Slow Food Roots Music Festival
In its first year, the Slow Roots Festival will take place at the Stanwood Camano Community Fairgrounds the weekend of August 27-28. Featuring local, organic and wholesome food vendors, as well as a farmer’s market, chef demonstrations and Slow Food related authors, the festival will also showcase a variety of musical performers and art. Admission varies. Tickets on sale at Snow goose Bookstore, Blackbird Bakery Cafe Bistro & Wine Bar, and Brown Paper Tickets. For more information, visit

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