For additional information on events in Washington state, check the "Events" section on the Washington State Tourism Office website at www.experiencewashington.com.
Northwest Flower & Garden Show (tel. 206/789-5333; www.gardenshow.com), Seattle. This massive 5-day show for avid gardeners has astonishing floral displays. Mid-February.
Red Wine and Chocolate (tel. 800/258-7270; www.wineyakimavalley.org), Yakima Valley. Sample Yakima Valley reds, accompanied by tastings of decadent chocolate desserts. Presidents' Day weekend.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (tel. 360/428-5959; www.tulipfestival.org), La Conner. An hour north of Seattle, acres and acres of tulips and daffodils cover the Skagit Valley with broad swaths of color each spring, creating an enchanting landscape. Lots of festivities. All month.
Spring Barrel Tasting (tel. 800/258-7270; www.wineyakimavalley.org), Yakima Valley. Straight-from-the-barrel wine tasting and spring-release wines at Yakima Valley wineries. Last full weekend in April.
Washington State Apple Blossom Festival (tel. 509/662-3616; www.appleblossom.org), Wenatchee. Many different events, including a parade and activities for families. End of April to early May.
Opening Day of Boating Season (tel. 206/325-1000; www.seattleyachtclub.org), Lake Union and Lake Washington. A parade of boats and much fanfare take place as Seattle boaters bring out everything from kayaks to yachts. First Saturday in May.
Irrigation Festival (tel. 360/683-6197; www.irrigationfestival.com), Sequim. More than 110 years old, this is the oldest continuously held festival in Washington, and it has a grand parade, dancing, and arts and crafts. Early May.
Seattle Maritime Festival (tel. 206/728-3163; www.portseattle.org). Tugboat races are the highlight of this annual Port of Seattle event. Festivities are centered on the Bell Street Pier (Pier 66) on the Seattle waterfront. Early May.
Viking Fest (tel. 360/779-FEST; www.vikingfest.org), Poulsbo. Norwegian heritage on display in picturesque Poulsbo, with a parade and entertainment. Mid-May.
Spokane Lilac Festival (tel. 509/535-4554; www.lilacfestival.org), Spokane. For 70 years, this event has celebrated the blooming of the lilacs. Don't miss the lilac gardens at Manito Park. Mid-May.
Seattle International Film Festival (tel. 206/324-9996; www.seattlefilm.com), at theaters around town. New foreign and independent films are screened over several weeks during this highly regarded film festival. Late May to mid-June.
Northwest Folklife Festival (tel. 206/684-7300; www.nwfolklife.org), Seattle Center. This is one of the largest folklife festivals in the country, with dozens of national and regional folk musicians performing on numerous stages. In addition, you'll find crafts vendors from all over the Northwest, lots of good food, and dancing. Memorial Day weekend.
Mural-in-a-Day (tel. 800/863-6375 or 509/865-3262), Toppenish. The small town of Toppenish has covered its blank walls with murals, and each June, one more is added in a day of intense painting. Early June.
Fourth of Jul-Ivar's (tel. 206/587-6500; www.ivars.net), Myrtle Edwards Park, north end of Seattle waterfront. Fireworks over Elliott Bay. July 4th.
Washington Mutual Family Fourth at Lake Union (tel. 206/281-7788; www.familyfourth.org). Seattle's other main Fourth of July fireworks display. July 4th.
Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival and Classic Speedboat Show (tel. 206/382-2628; www.cwb.org), Center for Wooden Boats. Featured are classic speedboats and wooden boats, both old and new, from all over the Northwest. Races, demonstrations, food, and entertainment. July 4th weekend.
Seafair (tel. 206/728-0123; www.seafair.com). This is the biggest Seattle event of the year, with daily festivities -- parades, hydroplane boat races, an air show with the Navy's Blue Angels, the Torchlight Parade, ethnic festivals, sporting events, and open house on naval ships. Events take place all over Seattle. Early July to early August.
Sequim Lavender Festival (tel. 877/681-3035 or 360/681-3035; www.lavenderfestival.com). The town of Sequim, on the north side of the Olympic Peninsula, is a 30-minute ferry ride and an hour's drive from Seattle. Each summer the purple haze of lavender farms adds splashes of color to the landscape. This festival features farm visits and vendors selling lavender-themed art, crafts, cosmetics, and foods. Third weekend in July.
Pilchuck Glass School Open House (tel. 206/621-8422; www.pilchuck.com), Stanwood. If you're a fan of glass artist Dale Chihuly, you won't want to miss an opportunity to visit the school that helped him make a name for himself. The open house is immensely popular, so buy tickets early. Mid-July.
Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival (tel. 509/525-1031; www.sweetonions.org), Walla Walla. Onion-themed entertainment and food booths feature the delicious local onion. Late July.
Bellevue Arts Museum ArtsFair (tel. 415/519-0770; www.bellevuearts.org), Bellevue Square, Bellevue. This is the largest arts-and-fine-crafts fair in the Northwest. Last weekend in July.
Chief Seattle Days (tel. 360/598-3311), at Suquamish tribal headquarters. A celebration of Northwest Native American culture across Puget Sound from Seattle. Third weekend in August.
Washington State International Kite Festival (tel. 800/451-2542; www.kitefestival.com), Long Beach. World-class kite-flying competition. Third week in August.
Makah Days (tel. 360/645-2201; www.makah.com), Neah Bay. Canoe races, Native American arts, and salmon bake presented by the Makah tribe in the northwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula. End of August.
Bumbershoot, the Seattle Music & Arts Festival (tel. 206/281-7788; www.bumbershoot.org). Seattle's second-most-popular festival derives its peculiar name from a British term for an umbrella -- an obvious reference to the rainy weather. Rock music and other events pack Seattle's youthful set into Seattle Center and other venues. You'll find plenty of arts and crafts on display, too. Labor Day weekend.
Ellensburg Rodeo (tel. 800/637-2444 or 509/962-7831; www.ellensburgrodeo.com), Ellensburg. The state's biggest rodeo, with a carnival and both country music and rock bands. Labor Day weekend.
Wooden Boat Festival (tel. 360/385-3628; www.woodenboat.org), Port Townsend. Historic and modern wooden boats on display, with demonstrations. Early September.
Issaquah Salmon Days Festival (tel. 425/392-0661; www.salmondays.org). This festival in Issaquah, 15 miles east of Seattle, celebrates the annual return of salmon that spawn within the city limits. First full weekend in October.
Kinetic Sculpture Race (tel. 888/365-6978; www.ptkineticrace.org), Port Townsend. The two rules of this race are (1) the vehicle must be people-powered, and (2) the wackier the contraption, the better. First Sunday in October.
Oktoberfest (tel. 509/548-7021; www.leavenworthoktoberfest.com), Leavenworth. A traditional Oktoberfest in this Bavarian town comes complete with kegs of beer shipped in from Munich and traditional German dancing. First, second, and third weekend in October.
Cranberrian Fair (tel. 800/451-2542 or 360/642-3446; www.funbeach.com), Ilwaco, Long Beach Peninsula. Cranberry bog tours, cranberry products, arts and crafts. Mid-October.
Thanksgiving in the Wine Country (tel. 800/258-7270; www.wineyakimavalley.org), Yakima Valley. Foods and the wines that complement them are offered for tasting by Yakima area wineries. Thanksgiving weekend.
Zoolights (tel. 253/591-5337; www.pdza.org), Tacoma. The Point Defiance Zoo is decorated with more than half a million sparkling lights, creating colorful fantasy scenes. Day after Thanksgiving to January 1.
Christmas Lighting (tel. 509/548-5807; www.leavenworth.org), Leavenworth. This Bavarian village was practically made for Christmas, and looks most photogenic when surrounded by snow and decorated with twinkling lights. Sleigh rides, roasted chestnuts, and all the traditional Bavarian trimmings. Day after Thanksgiving through the first three weekends of December.
Argosy Cruises Christmas Ships Festival (tel. 800/642-7816 or 206/623-1445; www.argosycruises.com), various locations. Boats decked out with imaginative Christmas lights parade past various waterfront locations. Argosy Cruises offers tours. Throughout December.
New Year's at the Needle (tel. 800/937-9582 or 206/905-2100; www.spaceneedle.com), Seattle. The Space Needle ushers in the new year with a big fireworks show when midnight strikes. December 31.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.