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 one particular Saturday, 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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This day is also a time when there are many vendors along with environmental and community organizations with booths. There is also music with local bands, as well as a beer tent. It is a good time for the community to come together and celebrate, to see something new with the artwork on display, and visit local businesses as well.
The Annual Duck Race
This is also the day of the Duck Race. Now, the Duck Race is not what you think, as no real ducks are being forced to race in this. No, these are all rubber ducks, but if you think that isn’t exciting, think again.
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, which is a work of art in and of itself.
The rubber ducks, which are numbered for each donation, are leased 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.
What else can we say about the Three Forks River and Arts Festival? Perhaps it is something that really highlights what Pullman, Washington is all about. It has nothing to do with Washington State University, as WSU is what most people think about when it comes to Pullman.
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 is a lot of artful creations that should be appreciated here.