Salmon Fest: 20 Years Old and Kind of Fishy

September 23rd, 2010 in Archived Salmon Fest News

From the Thursday, 9-23-10 R6 Region Update

– Story and photos courtesy Susan Peterson, Okanogan-Wenatchee NF

The 20th Wenatchee River Salmon Festival, a natural resource education event celebrating the return of the salmon to the Wenatchee River, was held last weekend at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. Despite the downpour, almost 10,000 people participated in the four-day event.

Salmon Fest was the region’s first “government, nature inspired” festival and has been the model for over 200 other festivals throughout the northwest. Conservation Education is the foundation of the festival, but the intent of the festival is to make connections between people, differing cultures and nature in an educational, fun and creative way.

Gene Tagaban at the Native American Intertribal Encampment.

Thirty-one schools participated on Thursday and Friday with nearly 3,000 4th graders engaging with biologists and specialists in hands-on, interactive activities, from “Kids in the Creek” to nature-inspired music with renowned entertainer Dana Lyons.

On the weekend, visitors enjoyed festival favorites such as Gyotaku (Japanese Fish prints), the Native American Village, and live raptors, but people really enjoyed the outdoor recreation activities— a newly expanded portion of the festival. From snow shoes to kayaking, plus really good food and entertainment, the festival engaged “kids” from ages 2-90.

This annual event is co-hosted by the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, and Chelan County PUD #1. Over 55 other partners are involved with the festival, along with 450 volunteers.