From the authentically alpine village to the Bavarian charm and outdoor adventure, could one possibly need more reasons to visit Leavenworth this spring? Highly doubtful, but should you, here’s what to expect at this spring’s month-long Maifest celebration.
Leavenworth loves their Bavarian traditions and, since its inception in 1971, the weekend long Maifest Celebration is packed full of them. Maifest is a centuries-old tradition that celebrates the arrival of spring, dating back to the 16th century when German villages would gather together to celebrate by planting flowers, playing music and games, and raising the maipole in the local square. The “maipole” — the focus of the celebration — was decorated with everything from sausages and flowers to treats and colorful ribbons. Villagers and visitors danced around the maipole holding long ribbons attached to the top, an act said to bring good luck and wealth through the year. The Leavenworth Maifest is no exception to these traditions, and many elements and age-old customs are included throughout the weekend event.
What to Expect at Leavenworth Maifest 2023
The grand celebration of spring is open to residents and visitors alike. With something for everyone, all ages are welcome to attend and participate! The pear and apple blossoms will flower in abundance, and wildflowers will color the fields just in time for the fest. Maifest is a month-long celebration throughout the month of May kicking off with the traditional Maifest Celebration, followed by live chainsaw carving the the second weekend of May, and the highly anticipated Alphorn Celebration over Memorial Day Weekend. Check out the details below:
Maifest Celebration—May 13-14
- Maifest Celebration activities
- On Friday, enjoy music and entertainment in the Gazebo from X until X p.m.
- Saturday is jam packed full of fun activities. Get ready for Bavarian music, Maipole dancing, and much more. The Festzug (Grand March) begins at noon, so dress to impress in your Bavarian attire and join the parade. Saturday ends with a classic evening Alphorn serenade.
- Come back on Sunday for live music, more Maipole dancing, beer, brats, and Bavarian charm all day long! There will also be incredible artwork and hand-crafted goods on display every day of the festival.
Chainsaw Carving Exhibition—May 20-21
- Five professional chainsaw carvers will create large-scale, German-inspired carvings. The renowned carvers, local to the Pacific Northwest, will use a variety of chainsaws and other special tools to create masterpieces. In between live carving exhibitions, these artists will be available to speak with attendees, and show off their creations which will be for sale.
Alphorn Celebration—May 26-28
- Enjoy the warmth of Leavenworth this Memorial Day Weekend at the annual Alphorn Celebration at Front Street Park, where you will be joined by alphorn players from throughout North America for a weekend of alphorn concerts and special performances in the gazebo. Celebrate and learn how to play the Alphorn at this weekend event! Take classes, enjoy exhibitions, concerts, and more to celebrate the unique traditional Bavarian instrument.
However you decide to spend your time at Maifest in Leavenworth, it is sure to become one of the highlights of the year and an annual tradition of your own. But be sure to reserve accommodations soon so you can embrace the Bavarian-filled fun found in Leavenworth this May!