Events & Festivals
Get into the spirit of Christmas on the Columbia River! Join the Grinch and The Who’s for an evening parade of beautifully decorated boats from the Kalama waterfront! Lit boat parade, music & caroling, live entertainment, festive food & drink, Santa photos, family fun, McMenamins beer garden!
When: Saturday, December 9th 2017
Time: 5 pm to 8 pm
Location: Marine Park – Kalama
Hosted By: Kalama Chamber of Commerce and The Dolphin Yacht Club
Castle Rock Festival of Lights
Tree Lighting and Parade
December each year
Free pictures with Santa start at 3:30.
Hometown Parade will start at 5:30, with tree lighting ceremony to follow.
Santa will hang around for pictures until about 7:30pm!
Castle Rock Festival of lights is an amazing family friendly event each December.
Claim a spot of sidewalk along Cowlitz St. or Front Ave. for the hometown parade, starting at 5:30pm. A very well decked-out Castle Rock Fire Department, several local businesses. Following the parade, the official tree lighting ceremony will begin near the Post Office at 126 W Cowlitz St. Santa will lead the countdown and we’ll flip the switch, illuminating the charming downtown with thousands of glittering lights. Following the lighting ceremony, the Castle Rock High School band and the Castle Rock Men’s Ensemble will lead the crowd in classic Christmas Carols. Businesses will be decked out, each trying to win the coveted Best Decorated Storefront award. The committee also encourages attendees to come early and stay late to enjoy restaurant and shopping specials throughout town, on both exit 48 and 49. Festival goers can also enter to win fantastic raffle prizes being drawn the night of the celebration.
And of course, Santa will be making his annual stop for free pictures with all the good little boys and girls, inside the Visitors Center located at 147 Front Ave.
Whether this is your first year, or your 8th year, you are sure to have yourself a merry little Festival of Lights. There’s a lot to do in this little town! For complete details and a schedule of events, please visit the Castle Rock Festival of Lights Facebook page.
Kelso Highlander Festival
Saturday, September 8th & Sunday September 9th
Tam O’Shanter Park
Kelso, WA 98626
Experience a whole weekend of Scottish & Celtic culture, with the Avenue of Clans, Scottish craft & food vendors, Scottish music & dancing, as well as Highland Games.
Saturday, September 8th, 2018
At beautiful Tam O’Shanter Park on Saturday, September 8th, 2018 the festivities begin, starting at 7:00 am with a Fun Run/Walk 5K road race. The Sons of Norway Hall in Kelso is holding a Norwegian Waffle and Pancake Breakfast on Saturday only. Please join us there for breakfast before heading over to the park. At 9:00 am the Highland Dance Competition, Silent Auction and Highland Games begin. At 10:00 am please join us for the annual Highlander Festival Parade. Also beginning at 10:00 am join us for the Kelso Garden Club Flower Show . At 12:30 the Opening Ceremonies & Parade of Clans begins on the field. The Silent Auction ends at 4:00. The entertainment continues all day Saturday with music by: Men of Worth, Rogues End, and pipe bands from Ft. Vancouver and Clan Gordon. This is located under the covered area.
There will not be a baking contest this year. Thank you to all past judges and contestants for entering your baked goods and making it a success for so many years.
Sunday, September 9th, 2018
At 8:00 AM please join us for the Kirkin’ of the Tartan Worship Service at Tam O’Shanter Park and again at 10:00 AM at the Kelso Methodist Presbyterian Church in Kelso at 206 Cowlitz Way. There will be a special tea reception following the Kirkin’ at 11:00 in the Fellowship Hall. There will be bagpipers and a Highland Dancer performing.
The Highland Games will begin at the park at 9:00 AM with those hardy lads and lasses tossing the caber and throwing the stone. There will be entertainment in the afternoon at the park with the Wicked Tinkers, and Men of Worth.
The Kilted Classic Golf Tournament starts with registration at 8:00 AM at the Longview Country Club. Contact Mike Fowler 360-749-4925
The Kelso Rotary will be holding their Annual Duck Race in the afternoon raising money for charities and scholarships.
Get your Highlander Festival Buttons, on sale July 5th, for only $1.00 each and you could win many prizes which have been donated from various merchants in Kelso.
The Longview Squirrel Fest is the first of its kind on the West Coast and in the Mount St. Helens region! We’re nuts over this one-day festival in honor or our furry friends. Launching the first Longview Squirrel Fest was a dream of a local group, The idea came from the Sandbaggers who helped build and maintains the Nutty Narrows Bridge on the Civic Circle in Longview, they wanted a fun event that would be nutty enough for everyone from age 2 to 102.
The Civic Circle is transformed into an all day venue of fun, games, and music for the whole family to enjoy.
Kids 5 k Run
Go Nutty Squirrel Fest Parade
Kids Games & Activities
Beer & Wine Garden
Main Stage – Musical Entertainment
The Unique Tin car show and Cruise has become one of the premier car shows in the northwest. We are the second or third largest event in Cowlitz County and bring 500 or more classic and performance cars to the area every August. We provide a fun and profitable show for the local economy, give support to local charities and businesses, and manage to enjoy doing it. We hope to continue for years to come.
When: Last Saturday in August
Location: Cowlitz County Event Center
1900 7th Avenue
Longview, WA 98632
Contact: Everett – 360.636.1969
Woodland, WA 98674
The Woodland Tulip Festival occurs each year in April at Holland America Flower Gardens in Woodland, WA. Our U-Pick fields are open and there are several vendors and activities going on throughout the duration of the festival. Our gift shop is always open year round but is full of special items just for tulip season! Call for more information or follow our Facebook page to get other updates.
July 25, 26, 27 & 28
The History of the Cowlitz County Fair~
On September 3rd and 4th 1937 the Cowlitz Valley Fair was held for the first time in Catlin Park, beginning a tradition that has lasted seventy-five years and continues on to this day as the Cowlitz County Fair. With the exception of the four years during World War II, the annual fair has provided such stimulating and amusing entertainment as a milking contest between civic leaders from Longview and Kelso held the very first day of that very first fair. Contestants included Kelso Mayor W.E. Chinn, Kelso Kiwanis President Thomas H. Van Noy, President E.G. Ditlersen and Secretary Eugene Crumb of the Kelso Chamber of Commerce VS Longview Mayor John P. Bell, Longview Kiwanis President Verne DeVilbiss, President J.L. Norris and Secretary L.K. Martini of the Longview Chamber of Commerce. The winner was Dr. J.L. Norris of Longview.
Other events of the day included the livestock judging contest and the Home Economics judging event. There were fair exhibits on clean easy milkers, grange feeds, grange flour, international trucks, batteries, tires, and J.I. Case Farm Machinery. The first day centered on farms and gardens. The Rose Valley Grange won first in the Grange exhibit division with a variety of farm produce. Pleasant Hill was 2nd and Kalama 3rd. The Judges were Mr.& Mrs. Heye Meyers of Vancouver.
COWLITZ COUNTY FAIR FOR THE 1st TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 1937 – 1962
Our fair began as The Cowlitz Valley Fair held at Catlin Park. But it didn’t stay put. The location moved to 15th Avenue and Ocean Beach Hwy in 1941, next to 7th Avenue and the old LP&N railway in 1942, then to Saddle Club Park in Longview at 14th and Baltimore in 1946, back to 7th Avenue in 1947, and finally to the present location in 1950. During this time the fair underwent two additional name changes: The Cowlitz County Fair in 1946 and The Columbia Empire Fair in 1949. There were no fairs nationwide from 1941 -1945 by government order due to WWII.
Right from the beginning the fair was a family friendly event. Admission increases reflected this, starting from only .25 to .50 cents for adults and from .10 to .25 cents for children under the age of 15. By 1962 admission was .75 cents for adults and the .25 cents for kids stayed the same and the age requirement was dropped to under 12 years of age and covered all of the events. The attendance grew from approximately 3,000 in 1946 to 23,302 in 1962.
From the beginning, the fair has had a western flare throughout, with many Country Western singers, comedians, and various other western themed performers. Events and entertainment included horse shows, juvenile rodeos, Sheriff’s Posse horse shows, many dog & chimp acrobatic performers, and jalopy races. Also in attendance were governors, noted political leaders, and T.V. & movie personality guest appearances. One of the exciting attractions was seeing who would win the crown for “Queen of the Fair.” Many of the young ladies who won the title of Queen had also first won a Rodeo title, demonstrating how hard working these youths were in the early days of the fair.
New building additions to the fair began with the construction of the automobile building in 1947 and went on to include the floral building, modern restrooms, model milk parlor and office building in 1948. Also added was a new horse show arena in 1952, a dormitory for youngsters who stay overnight for livestock exhibits in 1953, a caretaker’s house in 1954, and lastly in this time period, a 40’X120’ livestock building.
Women’s event highlighting the power of local female philanthropy and it’s positive community impacts.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s!
Join us for the 3rd Annual women’s event that benefits United Way partner agencies! Event features a purse raffle, high energy fashion show featuring local business women and retailers, special women’s vendor services to make you feel like a princess, wine pull, Woman of Excellence Award, hors d’ oeuvres and more! There will also be an opportunity to win a Tiffany bracelet. Don’t miss this fun and philanthropic women’s night out!
When: October 19th, 2017 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: Cowlitz County Event Center,
1900 7th Avenue
Longview, WA 98632
Hosted by: United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties
Longview, WA 98632
July 26, 27 & 28 at 7:00 pm
The History of the Rodeo
The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo originated as a PRCA rodeo in 1975 under the direction of rodeo committee members Ron McCoy, Mel Boultinghouse, Cal Christensen, Vern Eaton, Wayne Gossett, Bill Merz, George Moore, Les Nelson, and Jan Searing. The rodeo was originally called The Cowlitz County Fair & Rodeo, but after Mount Saint Helens spewed its fire and thunder upon this area in 1980, committeeman George Moore suggested in 1981 that the rodeo’s name be changed to The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo.
Since 1981, the rodeo has been known by this memorable name, which though was derived from a volcanic eruption, it also aptly denotes the thundering hooves and energy, which this rodeo brings to town.
When the rodeo began in 1975 we used a borrowed, portable arena that was erected just before the Cowlitz County Fair opened, and had to dismantle it after the fair ended. In 1979, we established a permanent arena. Although this arena was a vast improvement over a portable arena, we now have a state of the art arena, which we are proud to state was entirely constructed by committee members. Cowlitz County Fair Grounds 1970’s Our present committee is comprised of 12 committee members, whereas we had 8 committee members when the rodeo originated.
Christensen Brothers was our original stock contractor. Gold Buckle Rodeo Company is our present stock contractor. We began with $300.00 per added event, and now we add $3,000.00 per event, including barrel racing. Since this rodeo’s origination we have consistently drawn top cowboy and cowgirl contestants to the competition. The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo committee believes that the keys to success in having a great rodeo consist of having excellent stock, quality contestants, talented bullfighters, funny clowns, and exciting half-time entertainment. Each year we strive to make the rodeo the most successful rodeo competition we can bring to the Lower Columbia region. We hope that you have the opportunity to experience the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo!
For the last 20 years the Untouchables Car Club has hosted their car show in historic downtown Kalama on the third Sunday in August. Good weather usually prevails and the show averages well over 300 cars per year. The Kalama Chamber of Commerce helps to put the event on. It’s a great day of fun in downtown Kalama.
Proceeds sponsor scholarships to Lower Columbia College for our local High School Graduates and the needy in our local community.
When: Third Sunday in August each year
Location: Kalama WA