One of the things that I preach about to visitors and acquaintances not familiar with our region, is the close proximity to so many wonderful places in the Pacific Northwest. Here in the Yakima Valley, we almost take for granted our 300+ days of sunshine each year. We've enjoyed fairly mild winters and plentiful water runoff which is idyllic. When we want to venture out to find other fun places to explore and things to do - we don't have to travel very far.

Seattle is just a short 2-hour drive from home. Portland, recently resembling beautiful downtown Beirut of the 1980s, is only a 3-hour trek. The ocean is a few hours away, the mountains near and plentiful outdoor recreation is at our disposal in all directions.

I've been in Yakima since 1995, with the exception of a few wet and experimental years in Seattle, but I always enjoy traveling back to my old stomping grounds of the Greater Wenatchee Area. I was born and raised in Wenatchee and found myself ensconced in the North Central Washington way of life which included frequent trips and stays in Lake Chelan, Leavenworth, and many of the other areas within a 30-minute drive.

Leavenworth, the so-called 'Bavarian Village' is a wonderful place to be at any time of the year. Christmas Lighting season is enormously popular with tourists and locals alike. Of course, this past December, we were robbed of the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season because of COVID. Oktoberfest had been nixed in 2020 as well but with the way things have been opening up and vaccinations getting into arms, I was sure Oktoberfest would make a triumphant comeback. I was wrong. Word came today from the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Officials that it has been canceled for 2021.

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According to a press release at leavenworthoktoberfest.com

It is with much regret that we announce the cancelation of the 2021 Leavenworth Oktoberfest.  After a lot of deliberation, the Oktoberfest Team felt that anything less than the Authentic Oktoberfest Celebration normally thrown would be a disservice to all our loyal attendees.

The message continues...

Due to COVID-19 we are still facing so many State guidelines that affect our entertainment, food service, dance floors, singing, social distancing and the list goes on.   By canceling this yearly event now, we can protect our patrons from losing their deposits for accommodations and travel expenses.

Although extremely disappointing for all concerned, it seems this may be the prudent thing to have done. Anything less than true Oktoberfest revelry is unthinkable. Now I just have to find another opportunity to don my lederhosen in October. I guess I could dress up as a deranged yodeler for Halloween. Come to think of it, that's not much of a stretch.

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