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Festival Fun: Start Your Year Seattle Style

JPL Designs / Shutterstock
JPL Designs / Shutterstock
Written by Dave Odegard

Without a doubt, there’s something cool and unique about Seattle. The Pacific Northwest metropolis has been a powerhouse to the world of music, performing arts, coffee, and a whole lot more. It’s laid back attitude and artsy culture have made it one of the fastest growing cities in America and a major tourism destination.

Part of the Emerald City’s appeal to visitors and residents is its famous fondness for festivals. From celebrations of beer to cinematic exhibitions, the Seattle area offers plenty of cool and quirky festivities worth checking out year round.

Here are 7 festivals taking place in January:

1.) 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theater Festival, January 8 – 16

cosma / Shutterstock

cosma / Shutterstock

The name says it all. The 14/48: TWQTF is the signature event of Seattle’s regional non-profit theatre organization ACT and features 14 plays all written, cast, directed, rehearsed, scored, designed, and premiered in 48 hours!

2.) Groundfrog Day, January 30

Orange Dog Studio / Shutterstock

Orange Dog Studio / Shutterstock

You know how Groundhog Day is a celebration in a small town in Pennsylvania in which a groundhog predicts how many more days of winter we’ll have to endure until spring? Snohomish, a city about 50 miles north of Seattle, has Groundfrog Day, which is just like that—but with a frog!

3.) Rustycon 33, January 15-17

For over 30 years, Seattle area fans of science-fiction and fantasy have gathered annually at Rustycon to celebrate their shared interests. This year’s edition takes place at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center and features programming ranging from gaming, cosplaying, creative writing workshops, reading, and a whole lot more.

4.) Ellensburg Winterhop Brewfest, January 16

Study a list of Seattle area festivals long enough and you’ll notice a shared characteristic among many of them. Beer!

And the first one this year is the Ellensburg Winterhop Brewfest, which takes place roughly an hour and half drive east of the city. There, around 1,600 beer fans can imbibe offerings from over 30 regional breweries while listening to live music across more than a dozen venues.

5.) Strange Brewfest 12, January 29-30

Yet another Seattle area beer festival, the annual Strange Brewfest of Port Townsend, a city across the water on the Northwestern shore of the Puget Sound, is probably the most unusual. It features live music and creative beers concocted by regional breweries, usually specifically for the event.

6.) Children’s Film Festival Seattle, January 21-31

Aleksei Potov / Shutterstock

Aleksei Potov / Shutterstock

Film festivals are nothing new to Seattle, but the Children’s Film Festival Seattle especially celebrates movies created for kids. For over a decade, the festival has annually featured over 150 films from 40 different countries for more than 10,000 people. In recent years, it’s become a starting point, as the festival now travels throughout the country.

7.) Pike Chocofest, January 31

Olena Kaminetska / Shutterstock

Olena Kaminetska / Shutterstock

This fun twist on the template for a Seattle area beer festival has been nicknamed the foreplay before the big day for Valentine’s Day in Seattle. The Pike Chocofest deliciously gathers the offering from over five dozen breweries, wineries, distilleries, restaurants, cheese makers, bakers, and chocolatiers from throughout the region for participants to pair in sips and bites. And it all takes place in one cool location—Seattle’s very own Pike Brewing Company.

Feeling festive? Let us know which festivals you’re looking forward to visiting this year in the comments section below.


About the author

Dave Odegard

Dave Odegard is Senior Content Writer for OneTravel. An ex-army brat, he spends his time exploring the wilds of Brooklyn, New Jersey, and Sweden. His work has been published on Maxim Online,, Buzzfeed, and more.

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