Live in the Yakima Valley - New Resident: Kellen Holgate

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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.

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New Resident: Kellen Holgate

New Resident: Kellen Holgate

December 09, 2014

People move to new places for all different types of reasons, a new career, school, family, or even a new way of life.  In this new series, we will be interviewing someone who just re-located to the Valley to find out what it’s like to be a new resident in our community.  Please help me in welcoming, Kellen Holgate.

  • Name & Age:  Kellen Holgate, Age 31
  • Profession/Job Title:  Attorney, Associate Attorney at Halverson Northwest Law Group
  • How long have you been in Yakima:  Since November, 2013.
  • Where did you move from?

 Eugene, Oregon, but I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah and southern California before that.

  • Why did you move here?

My wife and I grew up in Southern California, but we both always wanted to live in the Northwest.  When the work opportunity presented itself, we jumped on it.

  • Picking peaches with familyWho did you move here with?

My wife, Magen, and our two daughters, Leah and Lily.  (We just had a third daughter, Lilah, in October – so she’s a Yakima County native).

  • What’s been the most surprising thing about Yakima so far?

For a smaller city, Yakima has a bigger city feel to its downtown.  When leaving an event at the Capitol Theatre or attending the summer farmer’s market, I will sometimes look around and forget that I’m not in a bigger city.  I’ve always been a big city person, so Yakima’s downtown makes me feel right at home. 

  • How do you like to spend your free time? 

I try to be outdoors as much as possible, whether hiking with my dog, fly fishing, or watching my daughters’ sporting activities.  I also spend too much time watching college football in the fall (Go Oregon!).

  • What’s something you couldn’t wait to try when you moved here?  Did it live up to the hype?

After living in Eugene, Oregon for three years to go to law school, I was looking forward to some authentic Mexican food (Eugene is a Mexican food wasteland).  And yes, it lived up to the hype – from Antojitos to Taco Baracho to my favorite taco truck, Los Primos Dos, the Mexican food here is fantastic.

  • Can you share your favorite restaurant, shop, bar, or coffee house (why)?

I love Northtown, both the train depot location and in Selah.  It’s like a comforting slice of a bigger city that I can access anytime.

  • Anything you’re looking forward to trying that you haven’t done yet?

I’ve been meaning to float the Yakima River in a drift boat – the fly fishing is supposed to be fantastic.

  • What’s been the best part of living in Yakima so far? 

I’ve enjoyed getting to know people in my work and local community – everyone is very open and welcoming to me and my family.

  • If someone was on the fence about moving to Yakima, what would you tell them?

I have lived in many places, and Yakima takes a lot of good things from all of them while keeping its own feel.  Yakima is a fantastic place for a young professional looking to build a career while raising a family.  As a city, Yakima seems right on the verge of maturing into a vibrant, culture-rich spot.  My family and I love it here so far.

Meet our other new residents:

New Resident:  Kiva | New Resident:  Shelly

Helpful Links:

Living in the Valley | Things to See & Do | Relocation Packet 


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"It's a great place to raise a family." - Clara Jimenez, Yakima School District