14 Shares

New Orleans has Mardi Gras, Chicago rocks Lollapalooza, New York has the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and even Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is home to the infamous week-long Burning Man festival. There are so many great festivals and events, yet so far away, seemingly out of reach of all the fun and games.

Morton Hospital

Fear not, dear partygoer! Just because these celebrations may be well known nationwide doesn’t mean that local places close to home aren’t hosting their own spectacular annual events and festivals. Lewis County is home to many yearly celebrations of its own, so get out your calendar and mark down these special days held each year here in the region!

events and festivals Lewis County
Winlock Egg Days began in 1921 and has remained a beloved tradition of the city of Winlock. Photo courtesy: Winlock Historical Museum

Winlock Egg Days

The city of Winlock enjoys a series of particular egg-celent days each June with their annual Winlock Egg Days celebration. The local tradition started over a century ago when a road between Winlock and Cowlitz Corner was completed on August 13, 1921. At the time, Winlock was becoming quite a famous poultry center, so when they decided to hold a big celebration commemorating the completion, they decided to call it “Winlock Poultry and Egg Day.”

About a thousand people were present for the first celebration that year, with Otis Roundtree serving as the event’s General Chairman. With such a successful turnout, it was decided that Winlock Egg Days would become an annual event.

These days, the event is held on the third Saturday in June, with the weekend full of festivities that draw in locals and visitors alike as it kicks off the start of the summer season. The festival features door prizes, free egg sandwiches, a parade of creatively decorated floats, and a fabulous Egg Day Coronation. Families can also enjoy the annual car show, free live entertainment, and explore local vendors.

Mid-July is the big cheese with Toledo’s Cheese Days. Photo courtesy: Toledo Cheese Days

Toledo Cheese Days

Over a hundred years later, the Toledo Cheese Days are still just as cheesy as ever. The story of this local annual festive began in 1919 when the Cowlitz Valley Cheese Association opened a new factory on North Second Street in the south Lewis County city of Toledo. Upon its collection, local dairy farmers began supplying the factory that then produced cheddar and pimento cheese. In celebration of the factory’s success that year, residents gathered for a celebration with coffee and cheese sandwiches. Over a century later, these are still served at the festival and are made of white bread, cheese, and mayonnaise. Thus, Cheese Days became a beloved and celebrated tradition.

Nowadays, the weekend celebration is proudly presented by the Toledo Lions Club as it draws in large crowds of residents and out-of-town visitors with a variety of attractions, foods and beverages, and exciting competitive events. Festivities for the celebration include a parade, classic car and motorcycle show, pancake breakfast, raffles, arts and crafts, sports tournaments, and culinary favorites like wine, beer, and cheese tastings.

events and festivals Lewis County
During Morton Loggers Jubilee, local loggers show off their skills in friendly logging competitions. Photo credit: Orin Blomberg

Morton Loggers Jubilee

Each year, the city of Morton celebrates “The Granddaddy of all Logging Shows” with its annual Morton Loggers Jubilee on the second weekend of August. The first-ever event was held either in 19387 or 1938 (no permanent record of those early shows exists) with the idea of a logging show growing out of friendly competition between men who made their livelihood in the often dangerous, quite demanding business of logging and lumbering. For these early shows, the Jubilee was advertised by a colorful “hillbilly” band that toured nearby towns, including Tacoma, Chehalis, and Centralia. A  literal Main Street feature of these historic shows was a mock “hillbilly” wedding that took place in town and included plywood axes sold as souvenirs.

From there, the Jubilee grew into a fun-filled four-day event for everyone as all are welcomed to come and have a good time as the celebration pays tribute to the rich logging heritage in east Lewis County. Attendees can expect to experience a wide range of logging-themed activities and entertainment, including an annual Queen Coronation, lawnmower races, a 10k run, Jubilee Championship Bed Races, and a themed grand parade. However, the highlight of the festivities is the Jubilee Logging Show, where skilled loggers showcase their talents in various disciplines, such as axe throwing, log rolling, and chainsaw carving.

events and festivals Lewis County
Each year Experience Chehalis is proud to present ChehalisFest to kick off the summer season. Photo courtesy: Experience Chehalis

ChehalisFest

Summer’s celebration in downtown Chehalis, ChehalisFest offers activities for kids and families, car fanatics, and folks of all ages throughout this one-day event held on the last Saturday of July each year. Experience Chehalis hosts the annual event, with the day kicking off with the yearly blueberry pancake breakfast at the Lewis County Historical Museum between 8 and 11 a.m.

Local downtown businesses also join in on the festivities with sidewalk sales and in-store events, as well as a vendor fair that showcases local small businesses, artisans, and entrepreneurs with their handcrafted goods, artwork, gourmet treats, clothing, home décor and more for sale. Selfie stations line Boistfort Street as it offers the perfect backdrop for capturing fun and Instagram-worthy moments and a beer garden with live music where you can quench your thirst and listen to local bands.

Roaring engines and gleaming chrome will also take center stage during the ChehalisFest Car Show, with the show kicking off at 9  a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. with the award announcements for participants. A dedicated Kid Zone offers fun for the young free of charge. Children in attendance can expect to enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, games, and fun with balloon animals. Nearby food trucks help parents keep tummies full and face full of smiles. To keep the fun going, enjoy a family scavenger hunt where a visit to each designated location throughout Chehalis earns participants an entry into a drawing for a grand prize. This premier festival in historic downtown Chehalis truly is the can’t-miss event of the season.

Historic Downtown Centralia Events

Join the Centralia Downtown Festivals Association on June 1 for a unique journey through Centralia’s Wild West history. Embark on a guided walking tour to learn about the murals adorning the historic downtown. Be entertained by tales of Centralia’s old theaters, and conclude the tour with a day pass to four museums to explore at your own pace.

Don’t miss Antique Fest on August 2 to 4 in historic downtown Centralia. Find vendors and shops with all your decor needs, including antiques, primitive, vintage, farmhouse chic and upcycled items. Then, stop by the beer garden and enjoy live music!

On August 24, downtown will be the place to be with the Hub City Car Show. Check out all the cool cars, enjoy the historic downtown and have a wonderful time with friends and family at this annual event.

events and festivals Lewis County
Cowlitz Falls Lavender Company began an annual Lavender Celebration in 2016 that features rows of lavender for U-cut baskets. Photo courtesy: Cowlitz Falls Lavender Company

Lavender Celebration

A newer tradition for Randle, the Lavender Celebration at Cowlitz Falls Lavender Company has been held every July since 2016. The three-day event is free to attend and features a large handcraft vendor market for festive goers to shop at, opportunities to try unique foods and treats, live demonstrations people are welcome to take part in, and a lavender field to roam for the perfect U-cut bunch to take home. In 2024, experience the Lavender Celebration on July 12 to 14.

Vader May Day Festival

Held on the first Saturday in May in Vader, the Vader May Day Festival is a themed celebration started in 1952 by Lena DeAger. Since she was a Girl Scout Leader in the city at the time, the first parades mainly were Boy and Girl Scouts from town who decorated bicycles and wagons, and in some cases even their pets, as they held a short parade around town. Over the years, Lena continued to make the parade more extensive and better each passing year until it grew into the Vader May Day Festival we all know and love. The May Day Queen, May Pole Dance, and Cake Walk are all early May Day traditions started by Lena that still carry on today.

3-on-3 Streetball Festival

The Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce was thrilled to introduce the first annual 3-on-3 Streetball Festival in 2023. The region is joining the ranks of a select few across Washington who have been pioneering the exciting world of 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, including Everett 3on3 and Spokane Hoopfest. Just within walking distance from downtown restaurants, bars, and shopping, the two-day tournament welcomes anyone to sign up and participate. It features male and female divisions in three divided age groups that include adults aged 18 or older, silver aged 55 and over, and youth grades 9 through 12.

With so many fantastic annual events held each year here in Lewis County, there’s ample opportunity for festival fun for everyone!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
14 Shares