Thats a Wrap!

As the 2023 year comes to a close, we can’t help but reminisce on all of the memorable events we were able to attend! From the Ellensburg Rodeo that celebrated a century of tradition to our Winterhop BrewFest to the Ellensburg Music Festival and First Friday Art Walks. Not to mention all of the unique shopping experiences such as the Ellensburg Farmers Market, the various night markets, and as well as holiday shopping like Plaid Friday. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite events in 2023!

1. Ellensburg Rodeo & Kittitas County Fair 100th Anniversary

If there’s one event that truly defines Ellensburg and its cowboy heritage, it’s the Ellensburg Rodeo. This iconic rodeo is one of the oldest in the state, dating back to 1923, and it’s been a beloved tradition for nearly a century. Every Labor Day weekend, the rodeo grounds come alive with the thunder of hooves, the spectacle of barrel racing, and the daring feats of bull riders.

The rodeo isn’t just a sporting event; it’s a cultural experience. It showcases the deep-rooted cowboy traditions of Ellensburg and provides a glimpse into the rich history of ranching in the region. In addition to the rodeo, the Kittitas County Fair offers a variety of attractions, including carnival rides, live music known as Behind the Chutes, and agricultural exhibits. It’s a time when the community comes together to celebrate their shared heritage, and visitors are warmly welcomed to their century-long traditions. Click here to learn more about the Ellensburg Rodeo!

2. Ellensburg Music Festival

Ellensburg Music Festival, formerly Jazz in the Valley, is a nonprofit music festival in downtown Ellensburg, Washington. This year we celebrated 25 years of music. This year, the lineup was full of varied music genres such as funk, blues, latin, jazz, soul, swing, and more! 9 downtown music venues ranging from wine bars to restaurants to art galleries and more participated in hosting musicians from all over the Pacific Northwest. Click here to view upcoming events.

3. Buskers in the Burg

One of Ellensburg’s most unique and enchanting events, Buskers in the Burg, showcases street performers and local artists who take to the streets to entertain and captivate the audience. Imagine wandering through the town’s historic streets and coming across musicians, jugglers, fire dancers, and artists creating live art on the sidewalks. Click here to view more memorable fall events.

This celebration of the performing arts brings a whimsical atmosphere to Ellensburg, transforming it into an open-air theater. Buskers in the Burg is not only a chance to enjoy spontaneous entertainment but also to support local artists and experience the town’s artistic community up close.

4. WinterHop Brewfest

Beer aficionados and those simply looking for a good time will find WinterHop Brewfest to be a delight. Hosted in the heart of downtown Ellensburg during the winter months, this event brings together local and regional breweries for a celebration of craft beer, live music, and food.


Visitors can sample a wide variety of unique and delicious craft beers, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and inventive small-batch creations. The atmosphere is lively, and the event offers the perfect opportunity to discover the latest craft beer trends while enjoying the town’s charming winter ambiance. Click here for a guide to local breweries!


5. First Friday Art Walk

Art lovers, foodies, and anyone who appreciates the fusion of art and cuisine will find First Friday Art Walk to be a must-do monthly event. Held the first Friday of the Month, local businesses come together to showcase local art, and host various vendors and musicians.

Local artists and businesses collaborate to create an exceptional Ellensburg experience, where you can experience the artistic appreciation of the community in historic downtown. Many tasting rooms, galleries, and restaurants participate making a perfect pairing between the artistic and culinary scenes of Ellensburg. Click here to learn about the art galleries and museums in Ellensburg!

6. Dachshunds on Parade

For a lighter and more whimsical celebration, Ellensburg hosts the adorable Dachshunds on Parade. This annual event invites dachshund owners to dress up their furry friends and take part in an entertaining parade that winds its way through downtown.

The sight of dozens of dachshunds, all dressed up in creative costumes, parading through the streets is simply delightful. It’s a lighthearted celebration of community, pets, and the joy that comes from coming together for a good cause. The event also serves as a fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting local animal shelters.

7. Ellensburg Farmers Market

While not a single event, the Ellensburg Farmers Market is an ongoing celebration of local culture, community, and agriculture. Held from May to October, this farmers market is a fantastic way to experience the essence of Ellensburg throughout the growing season.


The market is a hub of activity, featuring fresh produce, artisanal goods, handcrafted items, live music, and a vibrant atmosphere that brings the community together. It’s a place to meet local farmers, artisans, and residents while indulging in the farm-fresh flavors of Kittitas County. Click here to learn more about the Ellensburg Farmers Market!

8. Moments to Remember

Moments to Remember is an all-day event and long time local tradition, always taking place on the Friday after Thanksgiving and is a day full of family friendly activities, to kick off the Christmas Season. From shopping in Plaid attire for Plaid Friday, to a cookie scavenger hunt, to ending the day with Santa and Mrs. Clause in a holiday light display at the Rotary Pavilion. This event sparked the magic of the Christmas spirit in downtown Ellensburg.

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Ellensburg’s annual events are a reflection of the town’s rich history, diverse culture, and strong sense of community. They are not just gatherings; they are celebrations of the spirit of community in Ellensburg. Whether you’re drawn to the rodeo, the music, the art, the beer, or simply the joy of coming together with others, these events offer a taste of the unique and welcoming atmosphere that defines our charming town. Each event carries its own special unique memories and purpose, contributing to the town’s lively and interconnected, artistic community. As you plan your year ahead, consider making a resolution to experience the magic of Ellensburg through its vibrant annual events. Click here to view our 2024 New Years Resolutions!

Don’t miss out on your next Ellensburg Experience! Click here to book your next Ellensburg getaway!