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LocalThe little town that could

November 1, 2014

Leavenworth, "The Bavarian Village", is in Washington State.

Leavenworth, “The Bavarian Village”, is in Washington State.

Photographer: Irina Matveeva- Lazutina

The people of Leavenworth, Washington had a big idea to save their small town. They changed the buildings to look like a village in Bavaria, Germany. Now it is attracting thousands of tourists.

Leavenworth, Washington is located in a valley in the Cascade Mountains next to the Wenatchee River. It was a logging town in the 1890 and the headquarters for the Great Northern Railroad. The town was doing well.

But then in the 1920, the railroad moved to Wenatchee. Business slowed. The town started to die.

In 1962, some people formed Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement for Everyone). After many meetings, a fire, and a visit to a theme town in California, the first Bavarian style storefront was built. Other buildings followed, and today the entire town looks like an alpine village.

The big idea was a big risk and a lot of hard work. However, it is paying off. Now Leavenworth with a population of only 2,000 hosts about 2½ million tourists yearly.

Visitors ski, raft, hike, shop, and stroll around. Many will attend one of Leavenworth’s fifty festivals. Leavenworth is especially popular during the holidays. People come for the Thanksgiving “Fowl Play” or the Christmas Lighting Festival on full weekends from Dec. 5 to 21.

To visit the Leavenworth website, click here.

Published November 2014

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Comments (4)


  1. ziru.tan says:

    This is really good place, I went there last Saturday. this is a small town, very beautiful and these many apple farm around the town, you can buy fresh apple right there also. the famous food in this town is pig leg. that is very tasty. go and try.

  2. Irina says:

    I read this article the next day after I had visited Leavenworth. It is very interesting for me to know about the history of this nice and beautiful “Bavarian Village”.
    If you want to feel like you are in a fairytale I strongly recommend you to visit Leavenworth!

  3. Suman Dogra says:

    I completely agree with your words. Last winter, even I went Leavenworth with my family friends, it’s very beautiful place with lot of lighting and full of joy. In winter, we have lot of snow in this place and we can do lot of activity but I enjoyed horse riding the most.

  4. […] during December starting on December 11. ( See story, The little town that could, in last year’s issue of Northwest News. […]

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