Monday, August 30, 2021

Snoqualmie Railroad Days returns!

Snoqualmie's original fire truck 
On August 28 and 29, 2021, Snoqualmie Railroad Days made a triumphant return to the live event scene.  Despite the lingering effects of a global pandemic, the annual town festival that has been hosted in downtown for more than 80 years was able to return with a Grand Parade, an impressive car show, and of course the trains.

924 attracted attention
Of course there were many precautions.  Even with local vaccination rates of more than 85%, masks were mandatory inside buildings and on the train.  There were no outside food vendors this year.  Many participants practiced social distancing, and some activities including the wine bar and jazz stage took this year off.  

924 began the parade
The steam locomotive NPR 924 operated on Saturday as a demonstration.  It paced the honor guard leading the Grand Parade.  Then it shuttled between Newton Street and Fir Street all day long, with a brief pause in the north siding at Northern Street to allow the regular train to pass.

Traditionally, Saturday morning of Snoqualmie Railroad Days weekend sees a Grand Parade, and 2021 did not disappoint.  Fancy cars, the Mt Si marching band "Band Is Back!" local politicians and more provided a 45 minute experience.  The parade also included dancers, drill teams, service clubs, local merchants, unicycle demonstrations, and the Grand Marshal.  The 2021 Grand Marshal was the Snoqualmie Valley Healthcare Worker, and was represented in the parade by a diverse group of healthcare workers, and backed up by the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital.

Every four years Snoqualmie elects a mayor, and Snoqualmie Railroad Days often sees competing candidates in the parade and in booths along Railroad Ave.  This year Katherine Ross is facing off against Peggy Shepard.  Both candidates made an impressive showing.

Vendors are always an important part of Railroad Days, too.  Local honey, Gideon Bibles, African art and hand made instruments were just a few of the unique offerings in booths along Railroad Ave.  Other vendors included hand made clothing, book dealers, and a candle maker.

The highlight of this year's event was the Sunday car show.  Hosted by the Roadsters Northwest Club, almost 100 automobiles graced the streets of Snoqualmie on Sunday.  Muscle cars, antique cars, collector cars, sports cars, hot rods and even a few antique pick up trucks were on display.

The Northtwest Railway Museum is delighted that Snoqualmie Railroad Days 2021 was able to proceed despite the lingering effect of a global pandemic.  Thanks and credit to the success go to the Railroad Days Committee and the City of Snoqualmie, but especially to first-time Coordinator Emily B., and to Cole VG. who masterfully pulled off a memorable Grand Parade as the first-time field marshal!

Stay tuned for announcements regarding Snoqualmie Railroad Days 2022!  Meanwhile, join us again for steam this fall; check for dates and times.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Day Out With Thomas with a destination!

Thomas the Tank Engine returned to the Snoqualmie Valley in July, but it wasn't just any visit.  During last year's pandemic closure, the Northwest Railway Museum made many site improvements to the Railway History Center.  This prepared the new campus for its first-ever visit with Thomas the Tank Engine!

Prior Day Out With Thomas events were held in historic downtown Snoqualmie.  The grounds around the Snoqualmie Depot were fenced off, tents were erected, and a variety of event-related infrastructure was set up to support the event.  This resulted in successful events, but the site was smaller than the Museum preferred, and it was costly to provide all the temporary infrastructure.

The "new" Day Out With Thomas was a very different experience: Thomas the Tank Engine took all his guests to a museum.  

Passengers boarded the train downtown at the historic Snoqualmie Depot for a short excursion to the Railway History Center.  They arrived and were greeted with a Thomas-themed museum experience that included a visit with Sir Topham Hatt, live music by Eric Ode on the BIG Cedar Tree Stage, bubble tables, a hay bale labyrinth, outdoor games, model trains and more.  

Guests got to tour the exhibit hall and see steam locomotive 924, the chapel car, and even tour a caboose.  Then they boarded a train with Thomas the Tank Engine for a SECOND excursion that took them to Snoqualmie Falls, and then safely returned them to the Snoqualmie Depot.

The "new" Day Out With Thomas was so successful that a second event is now planned for September 11 & 12, 2021.  Why not let Thomas take you on a trip?  Please visit for more details or to purchase tickets.