Community Day will be at Rocky Reach Dam & Discovery Center on Sept 21st, 2024.

Salmon Fest Community Days are for everyone!

Since it’s inception in 1991, thousands of attendees from across Washington State have enjoyed a day of Natural Resources “Edu”-tainment at Salmon Festival. From salmon-centric activities like the popular 40 x 40 foot Salmon Maze, to the meticulously crafted Native American Village and related exhibits and activities, there’s something fun for everyone! 

Due to continued construction at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, Salmon Festival will take place at Rocky Reach Dam Discovery Center. We’d like to shout out a huge thank you to our friends at the Chelan County PUD for making it possible to host the community for Salmon Festival!

The Festival continues to remain true to its natural resource education mission while updating and augmenting activities to keep the messages fresh, timely and engaging.  In response, the event has become nationally recognized for its educational excellence.  See some of our most treasured Awards.

As always, the event is free of charge to the public and is made possible by the many supporting agencies and organizations, 100’s of volunteers, and a dedicated core team of event organizers.  

Below is a list of activities, exhibits, and live entertainment, plus schedules, maps and more. 

Activities & Exhibits

Take a look at these fun activities that are typically planned throughout the day. This tentative list will continue to be updated as we near the festival.

Many agencies and organizations share information through hands-on, interactive activities like Cascadia Conservation District, Yakama Nation Fisheries, Bureau of Land Management, Washington State Parks, and Wolf Haven, just to name a few.

Chelan PUD hosts an extraordinary Native American Village at Salmon Fest. Representatives from over 12 tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest have been present. This part of the event is so special, it has it’s own page! Learn more.

It’s a cultural education experience and provides a valuable opportunity for native peoples of all ages to come together to share their traditions and experiences.

Some of the hands-on highlights include:
– drumming & dancing
– atlatl and other traditional games
– flint knapping
– plateau fishing demos
– canoe carving
– basket weaving
– salmon bake

In this 40 by 40 foot barrier-free maze, students experience the many challenges of aquatic life and migration when they discover themselves as salmon, hatching and struggling to survive. They meet predators along the way as they go through the salmon’s amazing life cycle. 

Gaze through the waters and become eye to eye with our local freshwater fish. Learn more about why fish look the way they do and how to identify them. Knowledgeable fish biologists are even on-hand to answer your questions.

View live raptors while learning about the “Hunters of the Sky” with Sardis Raptor Center. What do raptors eat? How high can they fly? What do they do in the winter? Drop in with your questions about owls, hawks, eagles, falcons and more and see them live, up close!

Pronounced “Gee-oh-tak-oo”. Learn the external anatomy of a fish then apply paint and carefully press paper over it for a colorful print in the same manner that Japanese fishermen once recorded their daily catch, by making a fish rubbing (gyo=fish, taku=rubbing).

Learn how to use computer code to program a salmon robot up a river to it’s spawning grounds.

Join the Audubon Society to search high and low for life-like wooden bird models. Learn skills to help identify birds that you can see right here in North Central Washington.

Learn-through-playing in a giant sandbox! This hands-on interactive watershed modeling activity is a unique learning experience, in which participants learn the fundamental elements of a healthy and properly functioning watershed and then use that knowledge to create ideal Salmon habitat.

Live Entertainment

Enjoy acts from the ever-popular “Reptile Lady,” live musicians, and participate in the tribal parade with dancing, drumming, and storytelling.  

2023 Performance Schedule:

10:00-11:30 a.m. – Pow Wow (Performance Arena)

11:45 a.m. – Welcome (Entertainment Stage)

12:00- 1:00 p.m. – Reptile Lady April Jackson (Entertainment Stage)

1:00-2:30 p.m. – Pow Wow (Performance Arena)

2:30-3:15 p.m. – Live Music (Entertainment Stage)

3:30-4:30 p.m. – Reptile Lady, April Jackson (Entertainment Stage)

Spotlight on Dancing, Drumming, & Cultural Presentations:
Immerse yourself in the sights of sounds of traditional dancing and drumming during our pow wows, scheduled on Saturday, Sept 23 at 10am and 1pm. A pow wow is a celebration of life and a community gathering that allow visitors to share the Native American cultural traditions. Experience the music and dance that have been performed by Plateau Indian Peoples for centuries.

Spotlight on the Reptile Lady, April Jackson:
Snakes, alligators, and lizards? Interact with reptiles from all over the world in this educational and fun show with the Reptile Lady, April Jackson. Perfect for children of all ages.

Community Day Festival Map

Salmon Fest Poster Contest

Every year, 3rd grade students from across Washington State submit their own artwork for a chance to be featured on the o-“fish”-al Wenatchee River Salmon Festival poster. Check out the winning design below for 2023! Special thanks to our partners at the Chelan County PUD for organizing this program! 

2023 Grand Prize Winning Poster created by Ellie Mae B. from Alpine Lakes Elementary

Visit the Poster Contest page to learn more about participating in the contest and to view past drawings.