The fatbikes are coming! The fatbikes are coming!

And we couldn’t be more excited!

The fifth annual Northwest Fatbike Beach Meetup visits Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula on Sept. 19 for a 9 a.m. beach ride across the coast.

Fatbikes have been around for more than 100 years, but their spike in popularity has been confined to the past decade. The modern
fatbike emerged in 2005 when the alternative-bike brand Surly released its Pugsley model, according to Bicycling.com. The bike’s wide tires were designed to easily traverse snowy trails, but it wasn’t long before they started showing up on sandy beaches.

Plans for the fatbike ride are still evolving, so interested riders should keep an eye on the event’s Facebook page. Last year’s Northwest Fatbike Beach Meetup featured 30 riders. This year’s event already has attracted more than three dozen participants. And stay tuned for details about a new timed virtual course on the Long Beach Peninsula this fall!

Late-summer fun visits two Pacific County hamlets when the Chinook Arts Festival returns to the county’s southern shores Sept. 5-7 and the county’s upper reaches host Come Play on Labor Day in South Bend from Sept. 4-7.

The tiny village of Chinook hosts a big late-summer event – the annual Chinook Arts Festival highlights the community’s creative roots. Visitors are treated to stunning displays of blown glass, stained glass, photography, handmade jewelry, oil paintings, watercolors, pottery, wood sculptures and much, much more.

While in Chinook, visitors can stop by Fort Columbia Historical State Park, which offers five miles of hiking trails, bird watching, wildlife viewing and many interpretive opportunities. The park’s interpretive center is only open in July and August, but a self-guided historic hike is dotted with interpretive panels.

On the other end of the county, South Bend’s Come Play on Labor Day offers four days of late-summer fun. This year’s event, dubbed “Oysters Rocker Feller”, features daily activities including an oyster van, vendor and food booths, a softball tournament, kids activities and karaoke. A Texas Hold ‘Em tournament is planned Sept. 4, oyster opening and eating contests are Sept. 5, the fireworks show and annual parade are Sept. 6 and the Poker Paddle on the Willapa is Sept. 7.

This year marks the 53rd annual year that Come Play on Labor Day has been held in Pacific County. Call (360) 934-9373 or visit the Willapa Harbor Chamber of Commerce website for more information.

Visiting Pacific County’s north side can sometimes feel like a trip back in time. The Pacific County Historical Society in South Bend is dedicated to the preservation of local history and operates a museum featuring more than 10,000 photographs and 500 lineal feet of archival records. The Northwest Carriage Museum in nearby Raymond boasts one of the nation’s finest collections of 19th-Century carriages, buggies, wagons and historical artifacts.

Anyone hoping to catch both Come Play on Labor Day and the Chinook Arts Festival will be treated one of the county’s most stunning drives – Highway 101 between the Long Beach Peninsula and South Bend takes motorists on a breath-taking tour of southwest Washington. See the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, glimpse Long Island and cruise past Willapa Bay’s famous oyster grounds.

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