Ellensburg, the county seat, is the largest city in the county and home to Central Washington University. Much of Downtown Ellensburg was constructed soon after July 4, 1889, when a devastating fire destroyed most of downtown and over 200 homes. This fire dashed the hopes of the city founders that Ellensburg would be named the state capital due to its central location. The downtown business district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was recently named one of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations in the Nation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ellensburg has retained the feel of small town America while also being a lively, sophisticated location. Ellensburg hosts several annual events including Jazz in the Valley music festival, Ellensburg Wine Festival, Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering, Winter Hop Brewfest, Ellensburg Kite Festival, the Ellensburg Rodeo and Kittitas County Fair, the National Western Art Show & Auction, the Kittitas County Farmers Market, and the Whiskey Dick Triathlon. Enjoy year round outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, river rafting and biking.