Dungeness River Festival
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 25-26,
Where: Railroad Bridge Park, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road
2015 Dungeness River Festival Schedule:
Ongoing food, nature activities and exhibits.
Friday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• 10:30 a.m., performance by Five Acre School’s marimba band, Sound Waves.
• 11 a.m., river/salmon walk with Bob Boekelheide.
• Noon, performance by Five Acre School’s marimba band, Sound Waves.
• 2:30 p.m., “How They Built the Bridge” talk by Ken Wiersema.
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• 11 a.m., Aspire Dance Academy performance.
• Noon, river/salmon walk with Bob Boekelheide.
• 1 p.m., Klahhane Hiking Club 100th anniversary presentation.
• 1:30 p.m., traditional Welcome Ceremony by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
• 2 p.m., the 100th anniversary celebration of the Dungeness Railroad Bridge and unveiling of plaque.
• 3 p.m., railroad song singalong led by Brian Grad.
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 26-27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Olympic Driftwood Sculptors’ Seventh Anniversary Show
by ALANA LINDEROTH
Memorable moments are to come together at the 16th annual Dungeness River Festival set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Saturday, Sept. 25-26.
“This year’s River Festival offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the bridge, watch salmon spawning within sight of the trestle replacement work and enjoy the exhibits and activities,” Powell Jones, Dungeness River Audubon Center executive director, said.
Overcoming drought, fish driven to spawn, including a large pink salmon run, have returned to the Dungeness River and can be seen during the upcoming weekend festival aimed at highlighting the river’s vital functions.
Not only has the Dungeness River continued to be a historic waterway for fish that help support the overall health of the river and surrounding environment, but it provides natural resources for a variety of species, including humans, supplies water for irrigation and spurs economic growth as an attraction for both locals and visitors, Jones explained.
“This river is really the lifeblood of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley,” he said. “We’re living in its historic floodplain and we should give thanks to that.”
In an effort to join the community and its shared appreciation for the Dungeness River, local, state, federal, tribal and nonprofit entities active on the Olympic Peninsula will offer interactive nature exhibits and activities with returning favorites such as a septic system walk through, the Animal Olympics, the opportunity to make fish prints and chance to hold a geoduck.
“The park is typically filled with students on Friday,” Julie Jackson, 100th Anniversary Committee and River Center board member, said. “It’s always a lot of fun.”
Music, presentations and festivities continue through Saturday where those attending will be honored with a traditional welcome ceremony by singers and drummers with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. The ceremony will segue to 100th anniversary celebration of the Dungeness Railroad Bridge where a plaque commemorating the placement of the bridge on the National Register of Historic Places will be unveiled.
The Milwaukee Road built the Dungeness Railroad Bridge in the summer of 1915. During the festival, a 25-foot long assessor’s map showing the Milwaukee Road right-of-way in 1913 is among the attractions on the bridge.
“The bridge is also the perfect viewing platform for seeing both the salmon and the massive trestle construction project,” Lyn Muench, 100th Anniversary Committee chairman, said.
In conjunction with the festival, area artisans will showcase their diverse and artistic abilities to transform found wood into art at the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors seventh annual art show Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 26-27, in the Dungeness Audubon River Center.
Visit www.dungenessrivercenter.org for more information or call the center at 681-4076.