Wenatchee, Washington

Wenatchee, Washington

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Wenatchee, Washington
settlement_type = City
nickname = Apple Capital of the World and theBuckle of the Powerbelt of the Great Northwest
website = [http://www.cityofwenatchee.com www.cityofwenatchee.com]

imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in the state of Washington

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Washington
subdivision_name2 = Chelan
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = January 7, 1893
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Dennis Johnson
area_magnitude =
area_total_sq_mi = 7.3
area_land_sq_mi = 6.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.4
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_total_km2 = 19.0
area_land_km2 = 17.8
area_water_km2 = 1.2
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 35437(Metro = 99219)
population_density_km2 = 1563.3
timezone = PST
utc_offset = -8
timezone_DST = PDT
utc_offset_DST = -7
latd = 47 |latm = 25 |lats = 24 |latNS = N
longd = 120 |longm = 19 |longs = 31 |longEW = W
elevation_ft = 780
elevation_m = 237
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 98801, 98807
area_code = 509
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 53-77105GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1527897GR|3
footnotes =

Wenatchee (pronEng|wɨˈnætʃi) is located at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers near the Eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountain range in the U.S. State of Washington. Wenatchee is the most populous city, and the county seat of Chelan County, Washington. Wenatchee is located on the west coast of the Columbia River. On the opposite shore rests the town of East Wenatchee (or Eastmont). The Columbia River forms the boundary between Chelan and Douglas County. Wenatchee is the principal city of the 'Wenatchee, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area', which encompasses all of Chelan and Douglas counties. However, the 'Wenatchee Area' generally refers to the land between Rocky Reach and Rock Island Dam on both banks of the Columbia, which includes East Wenatchee, Rock Island, and Malaga.

Wenatchee is known as the "Apple Capital of the World" for the valley's many orchards, which produce apples enjoyed around the world. The city was named for the nearby Wenatchi Indian tribe. The name is a Salish word that means "river which comes [or whose source is] from canyons" or "robe of the rainbow." Awenatchela means "people at the source [of a river] ." The City of Wenatchee shares its name with the Wenatchee River, Lake Wenatchee and the Wenatchee National Forest.

Wenatchee is commonly referred to as the "buckle of the power belt" of WA state.


Archeological digs in nearby East Wenatchee have uncovered Clovis stone and bone tools dating back more than 11,000 years, indicating that people migrating during the last Ice Age spent time in the Wenatchee area. The Columbia River and nearby mountains and sagebrush steppes provided an ample supply of food. Clovis points are on display at the [http://wvmcc.org] Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center and research findings are available through the Wenatchee World [http://wenatcheeworld.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=CLOVIS] .

As early as 1811, fur traders from the Northwest Fur Company entered the Wenatchee valley to trap and trade with the Indians. In 1863, Father Respari, a Catholic priest, began his missionary work with the Indians. He was followed some 20 years later by Father De Grassi, who built a log cabin on the Wenatchee River near the present town of Cashmere. Throughout the 1800s other white settlers came to homestead the land. Wenatchee was platted in September 1888 and officially incorporated as a city on January 7, 1893. The 1900 U.S. Census counted 451 residents.

Great Northern Railway completed its railroad line between St. Paul, Minn. and Seattle in 1893. Its route through the Wenatchee Valley was quite significant to the development of this region. The railroad not only facilitated passenger travel to and from Wenatchee, but provided the opportunity for freight shipments of wheat, apples and other products to national markets.

By the early 1900s the Wenatchee Commercial Club was advertising the region as the "Home of the World's Best Apples." The tree fruit industry provided the economic backbone for the region for a century and still is an important source of revenue along with tourism and other industries.

On October 5, 1931, Clyde Pangborn and co-pilot Hugh Herndon landed their plane, the Miss Veedol, in the hills of East Wenatchee and became the first to fly non-stop across the Pacific Ocean. The 41 hour flight from Sabishiro Beach, Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Japan won them the Harmon Trophy symbolizing the greatest achievement in flight for the year 1931.

In 1936, with the completion of Rock Island Dam, Wenatchee was protected from the summer flooding of the Columbia River and the first of 14 hydroelectric projects on the Columbia began generating power. The reservoirs behind the dams made it possible to irrigate thousands of additional acres in the Columbia Basin.

The so-called Wenatchee sex ring, an example of day care sexual abuse hysteria, occurred in 1994 and 1995. [ [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/powertoharm/ The Power to Harm ] ] [ [http://www.opinionjournal.com/search/exec/htsearch.cgi?words=Wenatchee&method=and The Wall Street Journal Online - OpinionJournal Search ] ]

Every year from the last week of April through the end of the first week of May, Wenatchee hosts the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival, which probably brings in the largest number of people Wenatchee sees annually, with the exception of all the migrant workers coming in to pick the crop. It features 2 relatively large parades, the Apple Blossom Youth Parade on the last Saturday in April and the Apple Blossom Grand Parade on the first Saturday in May, a food fair representing cuisine from around the world, and a travelling carnival.

According to CNN's Money Magazine, Wenatchee had the second fastest forecast real estate value growth for June 2006–June 2007 in the country.


Public K-12

Public K-12 education in Wenatchee is provided by the Wenatchee School District #246, which also serves the communities of Malaga, Olds Station, South Wenatchee, Sunnyslope, and Wenatchee Heights. The city is served by seven elementary schools which provide education from kindergarten through Grade 5. Columbia, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Mission View, Newbery and Washington Elementary schools provide instruction within, or near, the city limits of Wenatchee, whilst Sunnyslope Elementary provides instruction in the orchard and suburban hills of Sunnyslope, north of Wenatchee. Students then progress to one of the city's three middle schools, Foothills, Orchard, or Pioneer Middle Schools, which provide Grade 6 through Grade 8 instruction within the City Limits. All Wenatchee middle schools transfer their graduating student body up to Wenatchee High School, which operates Grade 9 through Grade 12, with the option for students to enroll in Running Start and attend Wenatchee Valley College for grades 11 and 12, or attend North Central Skills Center in Olds Station. The School District does maintain Westside High School, an alternative high school, and the Valley Academy of Learning, which is an alternative education program where parents play the active role in education of their children.

Wenatchee Internet Academy

In 2006, the Wenatchee School District #246 began offering students of Wenatchee High School and Westside High School the ability to take selected classes online at the [http://wia.wsd.wednet.edu/ Wenatchee Internet Academy] . These classes employ use of Moodle and Blackboard software packages for managing the distance learning program. All classes are designed by educators at Wenatchee High School and operated by local instructors within the Wenatchee School District.

Private K-12 Instruction

The city is also supported by numerous private schools, most of which are religious, including Children's Gate Montessori School (Pre-K - K, Non-Sectarian), Cascade Christian Academy (K-12 Seventh Day Adventist), [http://www.theriveracademy.org/ The River Academy] (K-12 Non-Denominational/Christian), St. Joseph School (K-5 Catholic), St. Paul's Lutheran School (K-5 Lutheran Church). [http://washington.schooltree.org/Chelan-County-Schools.html]

Higher Learning and ESD

Wenatchee is also home to the North Central Educational Service District, serving all of North Central Washington, and Wenatchee Valley College, a 2-year Community College with its main campus in Wenatchee and a satellite campus in Omak, WA. The main campus has an average student population of 3500 of all ages. Wenatchee Valley College has one of the largest community college service areas in the state of Washington, covering more than convert|10000|sqmi|km2|-4. [http://wvc.edu/about/default.asp]

Washington State University is represented in Wenatchee by the world class [http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center] , the [http://learningcenters.wsu.edu/ncw/ North Central Washington Learning Center] , and [http://www.ncw.wsu.edu/ Chelan Co. Cooperative Extension] .


The Wenatchee Fire is a member of the semi-professional Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) and plays at the Wenatchee Valley Sportsplex in Cashmere. The Fire won the Northwest Conference championship in 2005/06.

The Ridge to River relay race, a fund raiser for local non-profit organizations, kicks off the Apple Blossom Festival each spring. Modeled after Bellingham, Washington's Ski to Sea, athletes participate in one or all of following legs; cross country skiing, downhill skiing/snowboarding, running, bicycling, and kayak/canoeing and portage. The Junior Ridge to River is held the week before the adult competition and is a way that the youth of the area can compete in a similar competition.

Auto racing is quite popular. The Wenatchee Valley Super Oval in East Wenatchee is a quarter-mile mile high banked asphalt oval used for local racing. Plans for a much larger permanent NASCAR racing track are currently underway.

In the fall of 2008, the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center will be completed. Once complete, it will be home to the
Wenatchee Figure Skating Club the North American Hockey League (NAHL)'s Wenatchee Wild, as well as the Fire's PASL-Pro Division team and possibly a future expansion team in the American Indoor Football Association.


The Wenatchee Valley and the surrounding areas provide an abundance of sports and recreational activities for any season. There are several facilities including the [WRAC] tennis club, an Olympic size swimming pool, an ice arena, several 18-hole and 9-hole golf courses, a 9-hole disc golf course, and countless baseball diamonds and soccer fields. There are lots of places to hike, fish and hunt, both birds and larger game. Boating and water recreation are also quite common. Many kayak, windsurf and water-ski on the Columbia. Whitewater rafting and inner-tubing is frequent on the Wenatchee River. In the winter, the mountains near Wenatchee provide great snowmobiling, sledding at Squilchuck State Park, as well as skiing and snowboarding at Mission Ridge (30 minutes drive) and Stevens Pass (1 hour and a half drive). Nordic skiing is available at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center, Leavenworth (25 minute drive), and the Methow Valley (1 hour and 45 minute drive).

The city also offers a large system of parks and paved trails known as the Apple Capital Recreational Loop Trail. The convert|10|mi|km|-1|sing=on loop which runs both banks of the Columbia River is used by cyclists, walkers, joggers, and skaters. In the winter cross country skiers and snowshoers also use the trail. The trail connects in the south at the Old Wenatchee-East Wenatchee Bridge, better known as the walking bridge, and in the north at the Richard Odabashian Olds Station Bridge. The foothills trail system along the western edge Wenatchee provides numerous short trails of varying difficulty for walking, hiking and mountain biking.

The Wenatchee Youth Circus, ("The Biggest Little Circus in the World") founded by Paul K. Pugh in 1952, continues to provide circus fans with opportunities to watch a real, live circus (minus the wild animals) with performers ranging in age from 6-18. The circus travels and performs in the summer months, practices indoors in the winter, and sets up its rigging for outdoor practices during the fair weather of springtime.


Wenatchee is the home of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony. [http://www.wenatcheesymphony.com] Wenatchee is the home of the Mariachi Huenachi [http://www.whsmariachi.com] Wenatchee is the home of the Wenatchee School District Mariachi Program [http://www.northwestmariachi.com]

ister Cities

Wenatchee has four sister cities:
*flagicon|Japan Kuroishi, Japan
*flagicon|Japan Misawa, Japan
*flagicon|Russia Tynda, Russia
*flagicon|Germany Herrenberg, Germany


Wenatchee is located at coor dms|47|25|24|N|120|19|31|W|city (47.423316, -120.325279)GR|1 at the confluence of the Wenatchee River and the Columbia River in the Columbia Basin just east of the foothills of the Cascade Range. Unlike the climate of Western Washington, Wenatchee's climate is arid. Nested in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, there are blue skies 300 days of the year. Technically a desert, irrigation from the Columbia River and her tributaries allows for the large amount of agriculture in Wenatchee and the surrounding areas.

The city of Wenatchee is bordered by the Wenatchee River on the north, the Columbia River to the east, and the Wenatchee Mountains to the south and west. These high, rugged peaks form a wall around the western and southern sides of the city.

Although there are numerous jeep trails and forest roads out of Wenatchee to the south and west, most are too rugged to be passable by most vehicles. Because of this, the city of Wenatchee proper has only two entrances and exits which can be used by passenger cars; the North Wenatchee Avenue Bridge (North End Bridge) to the north, and the Senator George Sellar Bridge (South End Bridge) to the south. Once across these bridges, motorists can continue on to other points in the state.

While Colockum Pass is listed as a route out of Wenatchee (via the south end of the city on most maps produced by the Washington State DOT), and is a potential exit from the Wenatchee area, the route is clearly labeled as not being suitable for passenger autos.

Another potential exit road leads north from the Mission Ridge ski area to an intersection with an unimproved road that extends west to US 97 (via the ghost town of Liberty) or north into Cashmere; again, this route is (when shown at all) marked as not suitable for passenger autos.

Because of the dangers involved in having only two points of ingress and egress into the city during an evacuation, not to mention traffic congestion, officials have mentioned the possibility of additional bridges potentially being designed in the future over the Columbia or Wenatchee Rivers, as reported periodically by the Wenatchee World.

Link to local weather information from the NWS Spokane Office (National Weather Service) – http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/otx/

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (19.0 km²), of which, 6.9 square miles (17.8 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (6.14%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 27,856 people, 10,741 households, and 6,884 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,049.6 people per square mile (1,563.3/km²). There were 11,486 housing units at an average density of 1,669.8/sq mi (644.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.93% White, 0.39% African American, 1.13% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 13.99% from other races, and 2.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.52% of the population.

There were 10,741 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,897, and the median income for a family was $45,982. Males had a median income of $35,245 versus $26,062 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,498. About 10.6% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.



The city is served by Pangborn Memorial Airport with flights to/from Seattle on Horizon Air.


Wenatchee is in the major railroad line of the Great Northern Railway (now BNSF Railway) to Seattle. It was once the eastern terminus of the Great Northern's electric operations (1928/1929-1956) on its New Cascade Tunnel route via the Chumstick Valley, which went all the way to Skykomish. Here, steam or diesel locomotives were changed or coupled to electric locomotives for this route. Today, Amtrak's "Empire Builder" serves the city.

Also see

*Columbia Station (Wenatchee)


External links

* [http://www.cityofwenatchee.com/ The City of Wenatchee, Washington] , city government website.
* [http://www.ccpd.com/ Port of Chelan County] , county port district.
* [http://www.wenatcheevalley.org/ Wenatchee Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau] , area convention and visitors center.
* [http://www.wenatchee.org/ Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce] , area chamber of commerce.
* [http://www.wendowntown.org/ Wenatchee Downtown Association] , downtown association.

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