Esther Short Park
The historic Esther Short Park is the centerpiece to downtown Vancouver WA and serves as a hub for events and entertainment. The five-acre square is the oldest public park in the Northwest, dating back to 1853.
Today, the park has been developed into an urban plaza complete with a covered performance pavilion, a Victorian rose garden, an interactive fountain, and an inclusive playground for children containing equipment for all abilities. Perhaps the park’s most impressive feature is the 69-foot Salmon Run Bell Tower, which includes a glockenspiel diorama that regularly emerges to tell the story of the Chinook Indians. Other pieces of public art around the park create a welcoming setting, including a nearly century-old sculpture of the “Pioneer Mother” herself, Esther Short.
Follow the sound of hourly bells chiming to find the nearly year-round Vancouver Famers Market located on the west border of the park on weekends. Summer festivals fill the park with melodious tunes, local cuisine, and libations, attracting visitors and locals alike. Annual favorites include the Craft Beer and Wine Festival, and 4 Days of Aloha.