Industry Tours Communities

Last week, organizers from Yakima Valley communities hosted a special familiarization tour. The goal of the trip was to expose staff from visitor centers and tourist businesses to the events and attractions of the valley.

Through a one-day, whirlwind bus ride participants visited  Wapato, Zillah, Granger, Grandview, Sunnyside, Prosser, and Benton City. At each community, a local leader would hop on the bus and speak to the group about their town.

The event was organized by the Spring Fling Festival Organization, whose mission is to promote and expand tourism from Wapato to Benton City, encouraging visitors to explore the amenities and participate in the special events of Valley communities, particularly during the Pre-Barrel/Spring Barrel Tasting that occurs each spring.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Viewing vast agricultural fields and an informative talk about the diverse ethnic history represented in the City of Wapato.
  • The Yakama Nation Cultural Center, Gift Shop and Museum.
  • The Toppenish Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, newest mural, hop industry related murals, and tour of the American Hop Museum (pictured above), which included a hop industry presentation by a local hop grower.
  • The Granger area Dinosaur Park and family activities
  • Jones Farm, a second generation family farm which features fruits, vegetables, beans, a hay maze, pumpkin patch, duck pond and photo backdrops.
  • Grandview’s new outdoor concert amphitheater, upgrading of the rodeo grounds and the groundbreaking for a new playground.
  • Benton City’s growth of RV spots for vacationers along the Yakima River, an Alpaca farm and upgrades to the downtown area with paved pathways and proposed horse trails and housing developments.
  • An overview of Sunnyside.
  • Lunch, ice cream and gift bags from Sunnyside’s Darigold Dairy plant, which produces 170 million pounds of cheese (5% of the total US production).

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