Tucked away in the lush Columbia River Valley, Goldendale is the ideal location for planning your next Washington adventure. The town's proximity to Columbia River Gorge and Columbia Hills State Park grants visitors access to just about any outdoor activity imaginable. For a unique experience, make your way to the Goldendale Observatory which offers multiple large telescopes, science seminars, and viewings of the cosmos.
The Maryhill Windwalk is America’s only gravity sport and music festival, and it will take place September 1-3 at various locations around Goldendale. Attendees will encounter a gravity sports spectacular with athletes competing in downhill skateboarding, street luging, inline racing, gravity bikes, and more. The competitions will take place on a two-mile track that meanders through the local wilderness with multiple viewing locations with refreshments and snacks. Patrons can also view the races via Jumbotron or Livestream, plus public announcers will call all the action, so you don't miss a minute. After the races end, the concerts begin, and this year's event will feature headliners EMZY and WAVES. Other music acts include a variety of local bands and performers such as Bob Fossil, Quackson, and more. We got the chance to interview Chris McBride, a representative of the event, to learn more about this thrilling competition and event.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
CM: Maryhill Windwalk combines downhill gravity sports with a nightly music festival. While this is the first year of Maryhill Windwalk, gravity sports races have taken place here almost every year since 2001. The race regularly pulls in a few thousand spectators to watch 250 athletes from around the world.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
CM: Whether you're a racing fan or music lover, Maryhill Windwalk is certain to provide an unforgettable outdoor event experience. The majority of the athletes are in the 18-24-year-old range, but the spectators come from all age brackets.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
CM: Downhill races are rare with only about two dozen around the world. The event is America's only event that combines gravity sports and a music concert. The music festival is a mix of live rock bands and electronic DJs. We will also include a large LED display screen along with live announcers, allowing spectators to watch all the exciting action from the finish area.
Racing at Maryhill is an intimate viewing experience as viewers can see the eyes of racers focusing in on the finish line. Racers from all over the world will be competing to see who's the fastest.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event, what can I expect as an attendee?
CM: A spectator can come and watch the exciting action live in one of the most active corners of the track, or from the finish area. During the down times, as the racers go back up the hill, spectators can wander through the vendor village or grab a bite to eat at of the food vendors. In the evening they can migrate into town to listen to live rock music or the electronic DJs. Food trucks will be set up at both destinations. Goldendale is a small town, but it offers some great dining options, from the eclectic Glass Onion to hole in the wall pubs like Top Hat.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
CM: Windwalk’s music festivities will bring tunes from around the Pacific Northwest and as far as Ukraine. Featuring European house DJ, EMZY, Windwalk will showcase live dance music of the world to the Columbia River.
RAL: Our travelers seek out unique and boutique accommodations, where can they find these in your area?
CM: Pine Springs Resort is only a few miles away from the event, and they rent small cabins in the woods. In The Dalles, about 20 minutes downriver, Celilo Inn overlooks the Columbia River, which comes with a Wine Passport. Visitors can also stay at the Cousins Inn which is a western themed hotel coupled with a restaurant with home-style cooking.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
CM: Maryhill Windwalk is a unique event that combines world class gravity sports with live music. Gravity sports are a worldwide phenomenon that has found a home here in Goldendale. Since the roads here were first repaved two decades ago, thousands of downhill skateboarders, street luge pilots, and others flocked to the area. Our course is the most famous gravity sports track in the world due to its 22 turns, near flawless pavement, and years of photo finishes.
Building off of years of racing history, Windwalk will be the first of many annual Maryhill experiences designed to bring gravity sports racing close to the fans. It will be the largest gravity sports event in the United States since the X Games hosted these sports over a decade ago. Maryhill Windwalk is America’s ONLY music and gravity sports festival, and it’s coming to the Pacific Northwest. Don’t miss out!
For more information about the Maryhill Windwalk, please visit the event website.