Over a hundred years ago, the City of Pullman was known as Three Forks. It was named after the three small rivers that converge at the location, which are the Missouri Flat Creek, Dry Fork, and the South Fork of the Palouse River.
A lot has happened to Pullman since then, with the establishment of Washington State University bringing in people from all across the world to this corner of the Palouse region. Today, WSU has about 30,000 students in its total enrollment, and, as of 2023, a new tradition has started with the Three Forks River and Arts Festival.
The Three Forks River and Arts Festival is designed to bring artists, artisans, and environmentalists together in order to celebrate the arts and environmental experiences of the region.
The Three Forks River and Arts Festival takes place in downtown Pullman during a two-week period. During that time, businesses throughout downtown Pullman will have art on display from local artists.
Then, on the big weekend, the artists will be present at the business in order to meet with attendees. It is a great way for the people of Pullman to get to know local artists and learn new people within the community of Pullman.
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The Annual Duck Race
The festival also features a Duck Race, where festival-goers will release a rubber duck to float down the stream.
The Duck Race allows attendees to purchase a small rubber duck and then have these ducks go down the South Fork of the Palouse River. It starts from the Pine Street Bridge, located near Thomas Hammer Coffee House.
The rubber ducks, which are numbered for each donation, are released into the South Fork, and then they drift to the Pullman Depot. There are three heats at 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and a final heat at 3:00 PM.
As we said before, Pullman began with the convergence of three rivers, and as many have settled here, a very creative community has formed (mostly thanks to Washington State University), and there are a lot of artful creations to be appreciated here.