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30+ Essential Annual Events in the Vancouver, Washington Area

  |  Neighborhood Insight, Southwest Washington

Before we know it, the year has come and gone, and we’re raising a glass as the clock strikes midnight. Make sure you maximize every season this year by participating in some of the area’s most anticipated events, from flower festivals to Independence Day parades and trick-or-treating events to holiday tree lighting ceremonies.

Winter, spring, summer or fall — Southwest Washington knows how to celebrate it all. Mark your calendars for these annual events in Vancouver and surrounding communities!

SKIP AHEAD TO: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

 

JANUARY

January Events in Vancouver, WA

The Clark College Jazz Festival

Clark College, Vancouver

Since 1963, Clark College has been host to one of the largest jazz festivals in the region. Each year on the last weekend of January, more than 60 middle and high school instrumental jazz ensembles compete in Gaiser Hall for the coveted Sweepstakes Trophy.

 

Fort Vancouver Lantern Tours (Cont.)

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver

Fort Vancouver hosts annual lantern tours, allowing visitors to view this iconic fort in a new light — or lack thereof. Each adult will carry their own candle lantern and follow a park ranger through the reconstructed fort’s Counting House, Fur Store, Chief Factor’s House, Kitchen and Bake House. In each building, encounter historical vignettes with costumed living history interpreters, and top off the tour with a cup of hot cider to complete the magical experience! Lantern Tours are offered on various dates between November and March.

 

FEBRUARY

February Events in Vancouver, WA

Valentine’s Ball

Pearson Air Museum, Vancouver

Treat your little princess to a wonderful evening of music and dancing at the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum. The Valentine’s Ball features a Father Daughter Dance and a Family Sweethearts Dance (open to all family members!), both of which feature a local DJ, desserts and refreshments, a temporary tattoo station, and professional photos.

 

Little Art Camas

Fuel Medical Building, Camas

Little Art Camas is a two-day community exhibition of original small-scale artworks created by local artists in the heart of Camas. Artists of all ages and skill levels will create art on three little panels showcased at the exhibit, which will also feature music, drinks, goodies, art demos and a silent auction.

 

Fort Vancouver Lantern Tours (Cont.)

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver

Fort Vancouver hosts annual lantern tours, allowing visitors to view this iconic fort in a new light — or lack thereof. Each adult will carry their own candle lantern and follow a park ranger through the reconstructed fort’s Counting House, Fur Store, Chief Factor’s House, Kitchen and Bake House. In each building, encounter historical vignettes with costumed living history interpreters, and top off the tour with a cup of hot cider to complete the magical experience! Lantern Tours are offered on various dates between November and March.

 

MARCH

March Events in Vancouver, WA

Vancouver Farmers’ Market

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

Fort Vancouver Lantern Tours (Cont.)

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver

Fort Vancouver hosts annual lantern tours, allowing visitors to view this iconic fort in a new light — or lack thereof. Each adult will carry their own candle lantern and follow a park ranger through the reconstructed fort’s Counting House, Fur Store, Chief Factor’s House, Kitchen and Bake House. In each building, encounter historical vignettes with costumed living history interpreters, and top off the tour with a cup of hot cider to complete the magical experience! Lantern Tours are offered on various dates between November and March.

 

APRIL

April Events in Vancouver, WA

Lilac Days

Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, Woodland

The Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland celebrates the beginning of spring and the beauty of lilacs in bloom at Lilac Days. On the 23 days leading up to and including Mother’s Day, visitors come from around the world to stroll through lilac gardens, visit Hulda’s Victorian-era home, and shop for lilac-inspired items.

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

MAY

May Events in Vancouver, WA

Ridgefield Farmers’ Market

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

Taking place at Overlook Park in Ridgefield on Saturdays from May through October, the Ridgefield Farmers’ Market is a revival of the heritage of farmers’ markets from long ago. Shop from the freshest local produce and homemade products, including soaps, jewelry, home decor, clothing and more.

 

Camas Mother’s Day Plant & Garden Fair

Downtown Camas

On the day before Mother’s Day each year, the Downtown Camas Association hosts the Mother’s Day Plant & Garden Fair. Thousands of people attend the fair to explore the amazing selection of plants, trees, garden art and supplies, and more. Plus, enjoy kids’ activities, raffle prizes, live music, fresh food and more.

 

Lilac Days (Cont.)

Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, Woodland

The Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland celebrates the beginning of spring and the beauty of lilacs in bloom at Lilac Days. On the 23 days leading up to and including Mother’s Day, visitors come from around the world to stroll through lilac gardens, visit Hulda’s Victorian-era home, and shop for lilac-inspired items.

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

JUNE

June Events in Vancouver, WA

Camas Farmers’ Market

Downtown Camas

Between June and September, the Camas Farmers’ Market takes place in the heart of downtown Camas on Wednesday evenings. Explore the selection of freshly harvested seasonal produce, flowers, natural products, and a variety of prepared and hot foods, alongside kids’ activities, live music, chef demos and more.

 

Ridgefield Big Paddle

Ridgefield Waterfront

The Ridgefield Big Paddle is a family-friendly, fun-filled day celebrating National Trails Day at the Ridgefield Waterfront. Embark on a canoe, kayak or paddleboard adventure in the morning, followed by other festivities in the afternoon, including vendors, live music, a beer garden and an obstacle course.

 

Craft Beer & Wine Fest

Esther Short Park, Vancouver

The weekend-long Craft Beer & Wine Fest originally began to raise awareness of Clark County wineries and has evolved into a massive event with more than 100 craft wines from the region, 60 craft brewers and five distilleries. Alongside the beer, wine and spirits, the festival features wine-centric arts/craftspeople, merchants and exhibitors, and great local food and live music.

 

Recycled Arts Festival

Esther Short Park, Vancouver

The free Recycled Arts Festival is the hippest, most eco-conscious festival in all of Clark County. See how local artists are giving new life to old items that would otherwise be lost in a landfill. Plus, enjoy live music, join your kids in creating “eco-art,” and get helpful information about how to improve the environment.

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

Ridgefield Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

Taking place at Overlook Park in Ridgefield on Saturdays from May through October, the Ridgefield Farmers’ Market is a revival of the heritage of farmers’ markets from long ago. Shop from the freshest local produce and homemade products, including soaps, jewelry, home decor, clothing and more.

 

JULY

July Events in Vancouver, WA

Vancouver’s Fireworks Spectacular

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver

End your Independence Day with a bang at Vancouver’s Fireworks Spectacular at Fort Vancouver. Pack a blanket and relax on the grass, and get ready for the biggest fireworks show in the region! There will be a variety of food vendors on site between 11 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

 

Ridgefield Fourth of July Celebration

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

For more than 100 years, the small community of Ridgefield has come together to celebrate our nation’s independence in a big way. Approximately 5,000 people gather at Overlook Park for outdoor entertainment, a Fun Run, contests and games, food and beverages, arts and crafts, and a fabulous parade.

 

Camas Days

Downtown Camas

Downtown Camas comes to life with Camas Days in late July, featuring a parade, music, street vendors, a wine and microbrew street, and kids’ activities. This free, two-day festival is organized by the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce.

 

4 Days of Aloha

Various Locations

The city of Vancouver experiences an extra dose of Aloha in late July with 4 Days of Aloha. At several locations in town, including Clark College, Esther Short Park and others, participate in activities celebrating Hawaiian culture, including hula and craft workshops, a Hapa Haole Hula Competition, a Hawaiian festival, a 5K fun run, and much more.

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

Ridgefield Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

Taking place at Overlook Park in Ridgefield on Saturdays from May through October, the Ridgefield Farmers’ Market is a revival of the heritage of farmers’ markets from long ago. Shop from the freshest local produce and homemade products, including soaps, jewelry, home decor, clothing and more.

 

Camas Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Camas

Between June and September, the Camas Farmers’ Market takes place in the heart of downtown Camas on Wednesday evenings. Explore the selection of freshly harvested seasonal produce, flowers, natural products, and a variety of prepared and hot foods, alongside kids’ activities, live music, chef demos and more.

 

AUGUST

August Events in Vancouver, WA

Clark County Fair

Clark County Fairgrounds, Ridgefield

Established in 1868, the Clark County Fair was first held in Esther Short Park. Today, the annual event has evolved into a 10-day festival at the Clark County Fairgrounds with endless fun for all ages, including concerts, fair food, grandstand events, contests, carnival rides, livestock shows and much more.

 

Vancouver Brewfest

Esther Short Park, Vancouver

The Vancouver Brewfest is a celebration of craft beer held each August at Esther Short Park. Sample over 100 beers, ciders and meads, and enjoy delicious food, listen to great music and support local businesses all the while. Plus, the festival raises funds for various charities!

 

Wine & Jazz Festival

Waterfront Park + Esther Short Park, Vancouver

Experience the best of both the wine and jazz worlds (with a little fine art, delicious food and other exhibitors thrown in!) at the Wine & Jazz Festival. For more than 20 years, the festival has been one of the largest jazz and arts events on the West Coast. Head to Waterfront Park and Esther Short Park for an abundance of wine sipping and jazz tunes to finish the summer strong.

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

Ridgefield Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

Taking place at Overlook Park in Ridgefield on Saturdays from May through October, the Ridgefield Farmers’ Market is a revival of the heritage of farmers’ markets from long ago. Shop from the freshest local produce and homemade products, including soaps, jewelry, home decor, clothing and more.

 

Camas Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Camas

Between June and September, the Camas Farmers’ Market takes place in the heart of downtown Camas on Wednesday evenings. Explore the selection of freshly harvested seasonal produce, flowers, natural products, and a variety of prepared and hot foods, alongside kids’ activities, live music, chef demos and more.

 

SEPTEMBER

September Events in Vancouver, WA

Apple Tree Marathon

The Grant House, Vancouver

The PeaceHealth Apple Tree Boston-Qualifying Marathon, Half Marathon and Sunset 5K is a fairly new annual racing event. Run through history along the flat and scenic course passing through Fort Vancouver, Officer’s Row, the Army Barracks, Pearson Airport, the Historical Old Apple Tree, and along the Columbia River. This race is regarded as one of the prettiest and most unique courses in the region!

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

Ridgefield Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

Taking place at Overlook Park in Ridgefield on Saturdays from May through October, the Ridgefield Farmers’ Market is a revival of the heritage of farmers’ markets from long ago. Shop from the freshest local produce and homemade products, including soaps, jewelry, home decor, clothing and more.

 

Camas Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Camas

Between June and September, the Camas Farmers’ Market takes place in the heart of downtown Camas on Wednesday evenings. Explore the selection of freshly harvested seasonal produce, flowers, natural products, and a variety of prepared and hot foods, alongside kids’ activities, live music, chef demos and more.

 

OCTOBER

October Events in Vancouver, WA

Dine the Couve

Various Restaurants in Vancouver

During the entire month of October, a number of participating restaurants in Vancouver offer special three-course menus for a fixed price. Some offer a traditional three-course menu while others mix in craft drink pairings, a variety of small plates and other options.

 

Boo Bash Trick or Treat

Downtown Camas

Bring the whole family to downtown Camas for trick-or-treating at Boo Bash, where local businesses hand out prizes to all kids dressed in costume. This popular community event takes place along 4th Avenue between Northeast Adams and Northeast Franklin Streets, which will be closed to traffic for everyone’s safety.

 

Cedar Creek Grist Mill Apple Cider Pressing

Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Woodland

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill hosts an annual Apple Pressing Day, which takes place on the last Saturday of October each year. Lend a helping hand as dozens of volunteers help press 8,000 pounds of apples into cider. Everyone is encouraged to get involved with this fun, hands-on celebration of apples — including kids!

 

Pumpkin Harvest Festival

Reflection Plaza, Washougal

Families in Washougal gather at Reflection Plaza for a free harvest festival just before Halloween. Activities include carnival games, balloon animals, apples, popcorn, a selfie station and more. Kids (and adults) wearing costumes will receive a free pumpkin!

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

Ridgefield Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

Taking place at Overlook Park in Ridgefield on Saturdays from May through October, the Ridgefield Farmers’ Market is a revival of the heritage of farmers’ markets from long ago. Shop from the freshest local produce and homemade products, including soaps, jewelry, home decor, clothing and more.

 

NOVEMBER

November Events in Vancouver, WA

Fort Vancouver Lantern Tours

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver

Fort Vancouver hosts annual lantern tours, allowing visitors to view this iconic fort in a new light — or lack thereof. Each adult will carry their own candle lantern and follow a park ranger through the reconstructed fort’s Counting House, Fur Store, Chief Factor’s House, Kitchen and Bake House. In each building, encounter historical vignettes with costumed living history interpreters, and top off the tour with a cup of hot cider to complete the magical experience! Lantern Tours are offered on various dates between November and March.

 

Holiday Sip & Shop

Downtown Camas

Head to downtown Camas for a festive evening of holiday shopping and merriment. Your ticket price includes a double-decker bus ride, 10 tasting tickets, a ticket to enter the basket raffle, and a holiday passport with downtown specials. For every five stamps you receive in your passport, you are entered to win an “Enjoy Downtown Camas” package filled with incredible freebies!

 

Community Tree Lighting

Esther Short Park, Vancouver

Witness the awe-inspiring display as thousands of lights come to life on the community tree in Esther Short Park. Plus, enjoy holiday music, a visit from Santa and his elves, special appearances by Anna and Elsa from Frozen, horse-drawn wagon rides around the park, special performances, and more. Stop by Divine Consign to view 12 beautifully decorated trees in lieu of the former three-day Festival of Trees.

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market (Cont.)

Downtown Vancouver

This bustling market hosts over 250 vendors selling a variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and plants, homemade clothing and accessories, and more, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Farmers’ Market has grown over the years and is now considered the second largest in the state of Washington! The market runs from late March through early November.

 

DECEMBER

December Events in Vancouver, WA

Lighted Parade & Tree Lighting

Reflection Plaza, Washougal

Kick off the holiday season at the community parade in Washougal with vehicles adorned in holiday lights. Plus, enjoy hot cocoa, music and a special visit from Santa!

 

Hometown Holidays

Downtown Camas

Don’t miss the ultimate holiday celebration in Camas. Hosted and organized by the City of Camas, Hometown Holidays includes a downtown tree lighting, photo opportunities with Santa, crafts, hay rides, entertainment, hot cocoa, holiday shopping, art shows and more. Plus, snow and fireworks make this evening that much more special!

 

Hometown Celebration

Overlook Park, Ridgefield

The City of Ridgefield hosts an all-day celebration to kick off the holidays. The fun begins with the Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K/10K and continues with a food and gift festival at Overlook Park, featuring vendors, snacks, live music and more. Other activities around town include cookie decorating and holiday crafts, pictures and holiday trailer rides with Santa, a nativity scene, a family game and activity center, and more. Don’t miss the tree lighting ceremony, complete with a holiday performance, hot chocolate and cider, sweet treats, and a community sing-along.

 

Washougal Festival of Trees

Hathaway Elementary School, Washougal

Hathaway Elementary School in Washougal hosts the Washougal Festival of Trees. Participants bid on decorated trees, bid on gift baskets in a silent auction, participate in a raffle for prizes, and enjoy live holiday music and refreshments.

 

Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl

Uptown Vancouver

Slip on your ugliest holiday sweater and join the madness in Uptown Vancouver at the Ugly Holiday Sweater Pub Crawl. The event is free for anyone 21 and over; simply stop by one of the participating businesses, choose your route and win prizes along the way.

 

Christmas at the Fort

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver

Christmas at the Fort is a beloved tradition for Vancouver area residents. Experience the sights and sounds of the 1840s holiday season as you enjoy wreath making, holiday beverages, caroling and much more.

 

Christmas Ships Parade

Washougal Waterfront Park, Washougal

For 15 nights in December, take in the wonder of the Christmas Ships Parade along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. On several evenings, the combined fleet (featuring both river fleets) of decorated ships assembles in front of the Port of Camas/Washougal and parades in the area for about an hour before returning to the dock and making their way to Portland.

 

Fort Vancouver Lantern Tours (Cont.)

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver

Fort Vancouver hosts annual lantern tours, allowing visitors to view this iconic fort in a new light — or lack thereof. Each adult will carry their own candle lantern and follow a park ranger through the reconstructed fort’s Counting House, Fur Store, Chief Factor’s House, Kitchen and Bake House. In each building, encounter historical vignettes with costumed living history interpreters, and top off the tour with a cup of hot cider to complete the magical experience! Lantern Tours are offered on various dates between November and March.

 

It’s Time to Celebrate!

Whatever you’re celebrating, there’s an event in Southwest Washington for you! What annual events are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author

Melissa Peterson, Director of Agent Services and Technology

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