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Enjoy the riverfront view! Photo credit: Margaux Photography

Enjoy the live concert! Photo credit: Margaux Photography

Stevenson’s signature event returns for its 25th year and you are invited to help celebrate the silver anniversary. Mark your calendars now for Friday and Saturday, June 22-23 when Gorge Blues & Brews Festival hits the Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson, Washington. The festival will celebrate 25 years of musical genius, award-winning craft brews and fabulous food in the spectacular setting of the Columbia River Gorge.

Photo credit: Margaux Photography

Start your weekend off right on Friday night when all things local are featured from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Walking Man Brewery, Backwoods Brewing and Thunder Island Brewing will be pouring their tasty brews and there will be a nice selection of local wine. Tasty barbecue will be available, hot off the grill, from Stevenson Eagles Lodge and Stevenson High School Senior Parents. Bring your boogie shoes because some of the best home grown musicians will have you on your feet all evening. Big River Blues Band and The Grateful Growlerz will be on the stage. Admission is free! Camping is available onsite so plan to come early and stay late. Campsites can be reserved in advance by calling 509-427-3980.

On Saturday, the festival is packed with excitement from 2:00 pm until 10:00 pm. It is a well known fact that the best brews in the Northwest can be sampled at this festival so choose carefully – you will run out of room long before you run out of choices. 16 craft breweries will be representing the Columbia River Gorge and southwestern Washington. The beer line-up includes Walking Man, Backwoods, Thunder Island, Everybody’s, pFreim, Doomsday, Mill City, Dwinell Country Ales, Sedition, Double Mountain, Full Sail, Freebridge, 54 40 and Fortside. If it is wine that you prefer, five of the best regional wineries will be pouring – Garnier, Cor Cellars, Hawkins Cellars, Flume and Airfield Estates. Two cider houses will serve up their product including Stevenson’s own Jester & Judge Cider and locally made whiskey may be sampled from Skunk Brothers Spirits. Several new seasonal releases will be featured at this year’s festival so come prepared to taste a delicious beverage you have never experienced before.

Along with traditional summertime entrees, a multitude of phenomenal flavors will be available to mix and match with your beverages including Greek gyros and baklava, Peruvian hobo food, exotic sausages, gelato and, of course, barbecue.

“Blues” is the second word in the event name and you will be able revel in continuous live blues music filling the air with bands on two stages. This year’s line-up is beyond impressive. The music will flow between Riverview Community Bank’s main stage and the Big River Grill stage featuring LaRhonda Steele & King Louie, Timothy James, Norman Sylvester, Sister Mercy, Ty Curtis, a guitar slinger super jam with Robbie Laws, Ben Rice, Anni Piper, Dave Melyan and Randy Oxford, and finishing off the night with a bang, Hillstomp! Make sure to stay until the end of our 25th edition as we will light up the skies with fireworks at 10:00 pm.

Admission is open to those 21 years and over only on both Friday and Saturday, no minors will be allowed on the festival grounds. The cost for admission on Saturday is $25 per person and includes five tasting tokens. The first 1,000 folks through the gates will receive a special 25th anniversary commemorative beer mug or wine glass. Tokens for four-ounce tastings are $2.00 each or three for $5.00. A full glass of cider or beer will cost three tokens. Wine and whiskey choices will be available for three tokens also. Cash only will be accepted at the gate with two ATMS onsite. Purchase your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line and save $5, just $20 per person! Go to www.gorgebluesandbrews.com and click on Tickets. No coolers or dogs on the event site please.

Make your festival experience all the more memorable by staying at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson. Packages are available and details can be found here or by calling 855-367-7179 and using promo code: BLUES25.

Gorge Blues & Brews Festival is organized by the Stevenson Business Association. Sponsors include Riverview Community Bank, Big River Grill, Columbia River Disposal, Wind Mountain RV Park and Lodge, Columbia River Affordable Portables, McCoy-Holliston Insurance, Timberlake Campground & RV Park, Skamania County and the City of Stevenson. Volunteers are still needed so call 509-427-8911 or e-mail info@skamania.org to schedule a two-hour shift now. Volunteer positions include pouring beer or wine or cashiering and gain you free admission, a free drink and undying gratitude from the organizing committee.

Call the Skamania County Chamber of Commerce at 800-989-9178 with more questions. For camping information, call Skamania County General Services at 509-427-3980. We look forward to seeing you in the most scenic venue in the Gorge, the Skamania County Fairgrounds, 650 SW Rock Creek Drive in Stevenson, Washington on June 22 and 23!

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