Winterfest – Lake Chelan, WA

Lake Chelan’s Winterfest

There’s nothing quite like a winter festival to start the New Year! The fine folks of Lake Chelan have been celebrating Winterfest for about 30 years now. They have winter fun down pat. Winterfest takes place over two weekends from January 13 to 22, 2017.

Come and Play at Lake Chelan’s Winterfest

This is a true family fun event; and it’s also great for couples and friends. Small town charm flows through this world class event. It’s just one of the many winter events throughout the Interior Cascades and Route 97 this winter.

Ales and Bloody Marys

Alefest runs both weekends. It’s all all-day event where you get to sample over 40 craft beers and hard ciders, made in the Lake Chelan area. The Ice Lounge also serves up ciders and craft beers on tap on Friday and Saturday. All this, surrounded by some great live music.

Not into beer? Not to worry, there’s the Battle of the Bloody Mary. Sip your way through some of the best Bloody Mary’s in the valley. While you’re at it, why nibble on some fire grill bratwurst for a complete flavour experience.

Wines and Bubbly

Wine lovers rejoice! The Winterfest Wine Walk is back. It’s a bit different this year as it will now take place in two large tents located on main street in downtown Chelan. For a VIP experience, winemakers and wines will be at 10 downtown merchants. You need a VIP wine walk ticket to participate. Another draw for this fun festival is the Bubble Bar. It’s unlimited sparkling wine tasting combined with a delicious brunch.

Family Fun

For those who don’t want to imbibe, head into town and “Find Tsilly,” the Lake Chelan monster. If you spot him, (it might be a her, we just don’t know) you could win some great prizes. There’s other activities for the kids too. They’ll have fun face painting, super hero cape making and tons of crafts. Oh, and there’s an ice slide! The second weekend (January 20 – 21) there are Apple Bin Train Rides. There’s also a live performance by the Recess Monkey’s on January 21.

Flaming Ice Tower!

Ice carving is a big draw here. Watch as the carvers turn 20,500 kg (45,000 lbs.) of ice in to beautiful pieces of art. You can watch them at work during these times.

  • Friday, January 13th from 6 to 8 p.m. in Historic Downtown Chelan
  • Saturday, January 14th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. in Historic Downtown Chelan
  • Saturday, January 21st from noon to 6 p.m. in Downtown Manson

There’s a team of ice carvers that create an Ice Tower down at Mason Bay. Once they are done they light it on fire!

Stay Warm Out There

Concerts, Snowga (winter yoga), wish lanterns, horse drawn sleigh rides, Soupfest and the Snowdog Snowshoe Run/Walk will keep you nice and warm no matter what the weather is doing. For a chilling experience, why not jump in the lake for the Polar Bear Splash. You can warm up by the beach bonfire afterwards and watch the fireworks.

Which brings us to the weather. Lake Chelan is in the Interior Cascades and it is winter. Temperatures are usually below freezing, around -1 to -6C (20 to 30F). It’s best to wear layers and that way you don’t have to interrupt your fun to go back to your accommodation and change.

Stay a Weekend or Two Weeks!

Although the festival is touted as two weekends, there are activities during the week in between. Live music at The Vogue, snowshoeing and cross country skiing, and wine tasting should keep you busy should you decide to make this a 10 or 14-day vacation.

There’s so much to do, it’s best you check out their schedule to see which events you want to enjoy. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to have a blast at Lake Chelan’s Winterfest.