New art festival links Snoqualmie, North Bend and the railroad

The Art off the Rails Festival will be held Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Art off the Rails, a first-of-its kind festival celebrating local art, music and the Valley’s connection to the railroad, is coming to North Bend and Snoqualmie on Sept. 23.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the festival will run simultaneously at Snoqualmie Community Park in Snoqualmie and William Henry Taylor Park in North Bend. Up to 20 artists will show and sell their work alongside live music, food trucks, and a community art project created by festival-goers.

Deb Landers, president of North Bend Art & Industry, says the event — the first official art festival in either Snoqualmie or North Bend to her knowledge — is about trying to immerse residents with all of the region’s talented artists.

“This is really part of our mission to bring more art to the Snoqualmie Valley,” she said of the festival. “Since [A&I’s] inception we’ve believed in collaboration and promoting both artists and art organizations. This is just one example.”

Landers began coordinating the event with Michelle Tjosvold, of the Snoqualmie Arts Commission, after the two met at an Artist Sunday event. “Almost immediately” they recruited the Northwest Railway Museum into the event as a third partner, Landers said, noting how it connects the two cities.

The festival will be held near the train depots in Snoqualmie and North Bend, meaning those riding a NWRM train that weekend can visit both spots and the historic railway campus. In North Bend, Art off the Rails will fall on the same day as the downtown North Bend Jazz Walk.

Landers said they are already planning for next year’s festival.

“I’m looking forward to it becoming an annual event,” she said.