Celebrating the river

More than 800 students from Helen Haller Elementary, Greywolf Elementary, Five Acre School and other area schools crowded the Dungeness River Audubon Center on Friday to learn about the watershed and its plant and animal life.

"It just looked to me like a wonderful day for children," said Dungeness River Festival co-chairwoman Shirley Anderson.

More children, joined by their families, enjoyed the center on Saturday, bringing the festival attendance total to more than 3,000, Anderson estimated.

Although the festival, which used to be biennial but now occurs every year, is not primarily a fundraising event, Anderson said 30 local artists created river-themed pieces for an art show and sale and $600 was raised for the River Center's future activities. Four artists also received gift certificates to local businesses after being chosen as People's Choice in the art show - first-place winner Bill Lohnes and second-, third- and fourth-place artists Zach Holm, Bob Fairbank and Cynthia Thomas.

"The main purpose of the festival is education and enjoyment," Anderson said. "I felt it was the perfect weekend."

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