arts-summer-pMethow Valley visitors enjoying this Fourth of July week, take note: there are many good reasons to plan on coming back this summer.

Valley residents already have the summer’s major events on their calendars. Here’s a quick overview of what’s on the near horizon.


26th Annual Winthrop R&B Festival

The state’s largest, longest-running rhythm and blues festival takes place July 19-21 at the Blues Ranch just west of Winthrop on Highway 20.

In addition to the full lineup of all-star musicians, there is on-site camping, food and craft vendors, portable showers, and a beer garden.

The event is put on by the nonprofit Winthrop Music Association.

Entertainers this year include Johnny Winter, Lady A & Her Baby Blues Funk Band, the Matt Hill Band, Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Doug MacLeod, the Chris O’Leary Band, Nikki Hill, the Otis Taylor Band, Bonerama, Peter Karp & Sue Foley, Marquise Knox, Rosie Ledet, Janiva Magness and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk.

Advance tickets are $80 for the three days; tickets will be $90 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free with an adult. Only 2,500 tickets are available. They are sold at Central Reservations/Tickets NW, 1-800-422-3048; or

For complete information visit or call 997-3837.


Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival

The venerable festival takes place on six nights over two weekends – July 25, 27, 28 and 30, Aug. 1 and Aug. 3 – with a stellar lineup of musicians, many of whom are returning for encore performances.

The concerts take place at Signal Hill Ranch, reached off of Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop, which offers a breathtaking setting for the evening concerts.

Rehearsals earlier in the day of each concert are open to the public. Grounds open at 6 p.m., with food available, and concerts begin at 7:30. On July 28 there will be a free community concert at the Twisp park.

Concerts are $25 for each night; a five-concert season pass is $112.50.

Dave Beck of radio station KUOW in Seattle will host concerts during the first weekend. Verne Windham of KPBX in Spokane will host the second weekend.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit


Celestial Cinema

Movies under the stars, returning from last year’s successful debut, will be shown Aug. 8-9 and Aug. 15-16 at Spring Creek Ranch near Winthrop. For more information, call 996-2495.


Mazama Festival of Books

The second Mazama Festival of Books, featuring Pacific Northwest authors discussing their work with returning hosts Katherine Lanpher and Lauren Cerand, will be Sept. 7-8 at the Mazama Community Center.

Confirmed authors include Ana Maria Spagna, Dia Calhoun, Nikki McClure, Alan Heathcock, Peter Nathaniel Malae, Peter Mountford, Shannon Huffman Polson, Alexis Smith, Vanessa Veselka, Shawn Vestal, and Leni Zumas.

Books will be available for purchase and signing throughout the festival.

Tickets are $15 for the two days. Students under 18 will be admitted free. Lunch and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Find tickets at, Twisp Daily Business, Riverside Printing in Winthrop, and the Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop. For more information, call the Methow Arts Alliance, 997-4004, or email


Other events include the Heart of the Methow Native American Powwow on Aug. 16-18 in Twisp, the Methow Valley Rodeo near Winthrop on Aug. 31-Sept. 1, and the Methow Valley Home Tour on Aug. 10, plus live music every weekend at several venues.