Download the Story Here
Leavenworth wasn’t always Bavaria. It was instead known as some of the most plentiful land anyone had laid eyes on by the Native Americans with towering mountain peaks and bountiful land. The ykama, Chinook and Wenatchi tribes all hunted the same land for deer & elk, and also shed Icicle Creek for salmon. In the early 1960’s, town leaders had a bright idea: change Leavenworth’s appearance to draw visitors. If the gorgeous alpine hills had no equal except in German Bavaria, the city planned on completing the experience. So in addition to completely renovating the downtown area, community leaders created a series of festivals, drawing revelers into town. From there, the Autumn Leaf Festival, Maifest, and the immensely popular Christmas Lighting Festivals were born and continue to this day.