Crowds Expected For Outdoor Winter Festivals In Leavenworth And Lake Chelan
Two major outdoor winter festivals are happening this weekend in Chelan County.
Winter Karneval Ice Carving in Leavenworth takes place Saturday and Sunday, while Winterfest in Lake Chelan starts its two weekend stretch on Friday.
Robin DeMario with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest says the crowds that are coming to the area will have an impact on the forest itself.
"Expect to see more people on the groomed ski routes, and the groomed snow mobile routes," said DeMario. "So just plan ahead. If you're parking at a Sno Park, get there earlier, or if you're traveling through these areas, just have a little patience to get through."
Travel in the area could be challenging with ongoing concerns about snow slides on U.S. 2 near Leavenworth, and rock slides on U.S. 97A south of Lake Chelan.
The La Nina winter in the Pacific Northwest is bringing greater amounts of wet snow, which is destabilizing snow and rocks on sloped areas.
Winter Karneval ice carving in Leavenworth takes place between noon to 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, where visitors can watch skilled ice carvers work on their creations.
The ice carvers start with a block of ice and turn it into whatever the carver can came up with.
Winterfest in the Lake Chelan area runs over the course of two weekends in Chelan (Jan. 13-Jan.15) and Manson (Jan. 20-Jan 22.).
It features a variety of events with music, ice carving, snowshoeing and fireworks.
DeMario says the crowds coming for the two festivals will spill over to the activities offered inside the National Forest.
"When those activities occur in those towns, a lot of people come in, so you can expect there to be more people on the roads and more people recreating on trails, groomed snowmobile trails and groomed ski trails that are near these towns," DeMario said.