Leavenworth, Washington is a Bavarian styled village located in the central part of the state, 22 miles west of Wenatchee. It lies in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains, with nearby peaks towering nearly 7,000 feet above the village. The town of 2,500 adopted a Bavarian theme in the early 1960s to attract tourists after decades of decline in the timber and railroad industries.
In 2010, the town is celebrating Oktoberfest on the first three weekends of October, the 1-2, 8-9, and 15-16. The town’s Oktoberfest celebration is one of the largest in the world outside of Germany. The Keg Tapping Ceremony, performed by Leavenworth’s mayor, is at 1:00 each Saturday of the event. The town’s Musikapelle Leavenworth will be performing along with other musical groups from the U.S. and Germany. There will be a total of four venues with live entertainment.
Arrive early, as parking is limited. There will be free shuttles providing transportation in Leavenworth. Shuttles can also take visitors into Leavenworth from outside of town for a fee.
Beyond the fantastic German food, beer, and music of Oktoberfest, the month of October is a busy time in Leavenworth. There is also an art show, a book sale, a harp concert, a slapstick musical review, and the Leavenworth marathon and half marathon occurring during the month. Fall is also harvest season making it a great time to get fresh apples and pears from nearby orchards. Nearby wineries also welcome visitors.
Nature is in all its glory in Leavenworth in October. The maple vine, birch, and aspen in the area turn a dazzling array of colors and typically the high peaks nearby receive their first snowfall of the season. It is a great time for a hike or bicycle ride. There is also great kayaking and rafting on the Wenatchee River, which flows through the town.
Leavenworth is located 2.5 hours east of Seattle on Highway 2 or via the Cascade Loop on Interstate 90. Come to the Leavenworth Oktoberfest celebration. It is the next best thing to being in Munich!