The festival season kicks into high gear with the Cinco de Mayo Mexican festivities in Pasco . The Columbia Valley Wineries Barrel Tasting in early June is a favorite introduction to local wineries.
Richland’s  Sunfest is a summer-long series of weekend activities that feature international food, music, and dancing. Sunfest events include the Tri-Cities Children’s Festival in mid-June, Ye Merrie Greenwood Renaissance Faire in late June, and the Sidewalk Art Show in late July—southeast Washington’s largest arts and crafts show.
The Tri-Cities ’ biggest event is the annual Unlimited hydroplane races on the Columbia River, the highlight of the late-July Columbia Cup (509/547-2203). Originally called the “Atomic Cup,” the races have been going on for more than three decades. The action centers on Columbia Park in Kennewick , but you can also watch from the Pasco  side if you don’t mind the sun in your face; get to the park early on Friday or Saturday to take a pit tour before the races. A talent show, parade, and military aerial demonstrations round out the Tri-Cities Water Follies week.
Kennewick  hosts the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo (1500 S. Oak St., 509/586-9211, www.bffairrodeo.com ) every August, with top entertainers performing at the fairgrounds. More music, arts, food, and dancing is at the Fiery Foods Festival on the weekend after Labor Day. November brings the Tri-Cities Wine Festival to Kennewick, featuring 60 different wineries. December’s big event is the Christmas Lights Boat Parade, when decorated boats cruise up and down the Columbia.