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7 Can't-Miss Summer Arts Events in the PNW

Summer looks great in the Northwest— splashes of paint and live music await you in stunning settings.

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When the days are warm and the light is right, the artists come out to play in Seattle NorthCountry. After a long rainy season pent up in studios, the streets become galleries and every cool breeze carries the sound of live music. Plan your next NorthCountry trip around one of the many art and music events of Summer 2019 and you’re guaranteed to have a beautiful day... even if it rains.

Stanwood Summer Art Jam

July 12th-14th - Stanwood

For a family-friendly art experience that’s a little off the beaten path, head to Stanwood’s Summer Art Jam. This festival will have you admiring, buying, and even making art of your own. The community-focused art party has creative activities for the kids, a sip & paint beer garden experience for the adventurous, and music to keep you moving all weekend.


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Kla Ha Ya Days

July 17th-21st - Snohomish

Named after the Chinook word for “welcome”, Kla Ha Ya Days in Snohomish certainly makes you feel as much. This festival has been going on for over 100 years and kicks up over the weekend, boasting helicopter rides, outdoor movies, line dancing and, honestly, more than we can list here. The Vuelta La Luna Circus will also be on full display, an animal-free performing arts service that will wow the kids (and adults) with aerialists, acrobats and daredevilry.

Learn more here.

Darrington Bluegrass Festival

July 19th-21st - Darrington

At the foot of Whitehorse Mountain in the North Cascades, you’ll find the PNW’s oldest running bluegrass festival still going strong, every summer. Camping is an option, but the amenities in this stunning location are limited, so come ready to rough it. Kids under 12 can rock out for free.

Learn more here.

Summer Meltdown Festival

Aug 1st-4th - Darrington

The Summer Meltdown Festival is four days, four stages, and over 50 bands. It’s the “largest locally-produced, independent camping and music festival in the Pacific Northwest.” They take environmental stewardship seriously at this festival, so read the rules before you pack the truck.

Learn more here.

The Festival of the River

Aug 10th-11th - Arlington

Festival of the River is a popular celebration of music and Native American culture. The centerpiece of this festival is the Pow Wow put on by the Stillaguamish Tribe. It’s free and open to the general public, with plenty of educational opportunities to round out a weekend of fun with the family. The kids will love the storytelling tent and Critter Corner, but everyone will walk away a little wiser for the lessons offered.

Fresh Paint

Aug 17th-18th - Everett

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Everett Marina, Fresh Paint brings art and music together in an event not to be missed. The entire length of the marina promenade transforms into an outdoor studio with artists demonstrating their craft, a hot shop with blown-glass artists at work, and live music at two stages. Get to the Jetty Island Ferry early on the 17th (stay in town the night before!) and participate in the great glass hunt, collecting beautiful, hand-blown glass floats hidden along the beach.

For those more into getting down than getting artsy, Seattle NorthCountry has music for days - much of it free. Missed Fisherman’s Village Music Festival? Time to make up for lost music.

Music at the Marina

Thursdays, June 20th-Aug 29th - Everett

There’s one dance party that goes all summer, and is a breeze to walk to, or even enjoy, from the comfort of your waterfront hotel. Everett’s Music at the Marina is a free concert series that runs Thursday evenings throughout summer. Make it a point to start your weekend NorthCountry vacation a little early and spend Thursday dancing barefoot in the grass with a spectacular waterfront sunset. Instagram awaits.

Learn more here.

Krista Quinby
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