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Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Dave!Twelve miles down the road from my home in Cashmere is the German-inspired theme town of Leavenworth. It's billed as "The Bavarian Village," but is referred to as "The Barbarian Village" by locals because of the massive influx of tourists that descend like a plague anytime some German-inspired event comes to town. Most of the festivals (like Maifest and Oktoberfest) are predictable. But to ensure a constant stream of tourism dollars, Leavenworth invents things like "Christmas Lighting Festival," "Winterfest," "Icefest," "Artfest," "Winefest," "Accordionfest," "Kinderfest," "Autum Leaf Festival," and "Christkindlmarkt." They'll probably add a dozen new events this year, and I am anxiously anticipating "Wienerschnitzelfest" and "Sauerkrautfest."

But anyway... it's a charming little town that's worth a visit if you happen to be wandering around Central Washington. In many ways, I consider myself lucky to have it nearby, because it's an easy way to kill time with visiting friends and there's a wide assortment of good restaurants and interesting shops available.

Tonight I took a quick fifteen minute drive into Leavenworth for dinner, and see that the town is still all lit up from the Christmas Lighting Festival, but the tourists are eerily absent...


Hmmm... my little pocket camera doesn't do so well at night. Next time I'll have to take my "real" camera with me (because that's the only way to truly capture a bratwurst in all its glory).

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. kazza says:

    ooo looks lovely :):):)
    Mum and I were very glad you recommended the place to us – we would have missed it otherwise 🙂

  2. karla says:

    Looks beautiful actually.

    My parents live near Houston Missouri, home of the (you’ll love this) Emmett Kelly Clown Festival! Yes the sad and scariest of all clowns was from their town. Every year they have a clown festival…eeek! I buy t- shirts and figurines and “gift” my friends. The locals think I’m being supportive. I am actually being ironic. I wear my “clowns are scary” t shirt to the festival.

  3. Michelle says:

    It looks lovely and reminds me of where I grew up. Where did you eat, Katzenjammers? (I’m so old school.) Last time I was there was sometime in the spring.

  4. Dave2 says:

    Leavenworth is kind of a special place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there… the tourist insanity is just too much to take.

    I think Red Skelton and Emmett Kelly are equally horrifying. Why do parents scare little kids like that?

    I haven’t eaten at the Katz for ages. Usually I’m at the Post Office Tavern, but for good eatin’ I always head to Gustavs!! Amazing home-cut fries and onion rings there (and the Veggie Burger ain’t so bad either).

  5. michelle says:

    Do they have vegetarian bratwurst or did you make a funny?

  6. Dave2 says:

    I said I was going to photograph it… not eat it! But, surprisingly, there are veggie sausages and brats out there (though I’ve never seen them in Leavenworth).

  7. James says:

    an awesome place. I usually skip the town except for Gustav’s, for the beer on tap(wunderbar!). The only shop I hit is Der Sportsman. I spend my days up Icicle creek and hikeing to either lake stevens or colchuk.

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