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Uncover Community Culture Along Highway 2

| 06/28/2016 | Blog, camping, Electric Cars, Family Road Trip, Farms & Barns, Group Tours, Hiking, Outdoor Adventure, Snohomish River Valley, Stevens Pass Greenway, Summer, Views and Overlooks

As you head down the west slope of the Cascade Mountains on Highway 2, imagine early settlers moving in the area. Towns in the Skykomish and Snohomish River valleys honor and celebrate their heritage each year with local festivals. July is the perfect month to take weekend trips to experience what made Snohomish County attractive to the pioneers. 

Sultan Shindig, July 8-10 

Sultan has a rich history as a logging community. We arrived in town in time to take in the grand parade, where the talented drummers from Sultan High School made my young son stop in his tracks. Following the parade, we made our way through town looking at local arts and crafts, and drooling over vintage cars. The highlight of our day, however, was the logging contest. After grabbing some local barbecue, we sat down eager to see what transpired. Nothing prepared us for the agility and talent the loggers displayed as they sprinted straight up logs, maneuvered through an obstacle course, threw axes, and completed jaw-dropping feats with their saws. It was truly impressive, and made us realize how much knowledge and skill was required to make a living in timber. This alone was worth our trip. Our kids talked about the logging more than the spectacular evening fireworks. It was a lot to absorb in one day, and our recommendation is to take two days to enjoy the event more fully, including the carnival, live music, local brews at the beer garden, children activities and more. 

Kla Ha Ya Days in Snohomish, July 9-17 

My family lives in Snohomish, which celebrates Kla Ha Ya Days, meaning we welcome you. This theme hearkens back to its welcoming spirit as the original county seat. While this is an eight-day festival, plan a weekend get-away and arrive Friday evening to experience the Frogtastic Kids Fair at Snohomish Station on the north end of town (including touching fire engines and talking to firemen) and enjoy the carnival at Harvey Field. Saturday downtown events include a children's parade and grand parade, live music, ice cream eating contests, pie-eating contests and more. Be sure to swing by Hill Park for the amazing salmon barbecue, which locals talk about year-round. There is so much to do and see throughout town and the people are indeed welcoming, so plan to stay for a while! 

Gold Dust Days in Gold Bar, July 24-26 

Gold Bar began as a prospectors camp in 1889 after a miner found traces of gold on a river gravel bar. At this festival, we experienced real gold panning, which did not pan out (excuse the pun). We brought the family bikes so our kids could decorate their bikes and show off their talents in the subsequent bike parade. Gold Bar bills this event as old-fashioned fun, and that's truly what we experienced. Gunny sack races, lasso lessons, face painting, and pony rides made our electronics-addicted kids enjoy themselves outdoors! My husband and I had our own entertainment, including great live music and seeing history played out through Civil War reenactments. It was a charming event, and one to add to your bucket list!  

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