Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
2013 Moxee Hop Festival Aug. 2-3
Food, music, children’s activities, a Parade and a 5K walk/run on slated for the 65th annual Moxee Hop Festival. This festival has become a great local tradition to celebrate the Harvesting of the Hops in the Yakima Valley. The festival will take place Friday August 2, 2013 5 p.m. to midnight and Saturday August 3, 2013 7 a.m. to midnight.
A little hop history…In 1872 a young man from New York immigrated to the Yakima Valley and homesteaded near the Moxee area bringing with him a root cut of hops from his father’s farm. The climate and soil in this region proved perfect for growing the flower that gives beer its bitter taste and within a few decades Charles Carpenter’s crop had given Moxee the title it’s still known for, Moxee City – The Hops Capital of the World.
Today the Yakima Valley contains approximately 75 percent of the total United States (U.S.) hop acreage. Thirty percent of these hop vines are located in the Moxee area. Local hops production totaled nearly $160 million last year and production and processing firms typically employ several hundred full-time positions. To celebrate this proud heritage and raise funds for city parks and recreation programs, Moxee community leaders held their first Moxee Hop Festival in 1948 and today the event draws thousands from around the Pacific Northwest for a two-day, fun-filled extravaganza. Always held the first full weekend in August, some of the festivities include a pancake breakfast, a parade with a royalty court, a snowmobile race on grass, a 5K run/walk, and a street dance to name a few.
To learn more about the upcoming Moxee Hop Festival, click here. Another hugely popular local hop festival is the Fresh Hop Ale Festival in downtown Yakima. In its 11th year this festival has garnered Northwest acclaim as one of the premier music and dance celebrations. typically the first Saturday night in October. This event benefits Allied Arts of the Yakima Valley and to learn more, click here. Both these festivals remind us how bountiful the Yakima Valley is and provides us venues to celebrate, of course, the beer isn’t bad either!