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Salmon Festival Celebrates Mighty Skagit River

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Free summer event offers family fun with a conservation message. The new location will be at Swinomish Casino & Lodge’s Waterfront Park in Anacortes, Washington.

The Skagit River Salmon Festival is back for its third year with a new location and more festival fun than ever. Join us Saturday, September 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Swinomish Casino & Lodge’s Waterfront Park in Anacortes. The Festival is a free family-centered event featuring youth activities and crafts, local artisans, recreational and educational booths, live music, great food and cultural opportunities.

“We are very excited about the Festival’s new location,” Festival President Kevin Tate said. “This event has something for everybody. The grassy waterfront park setting with Mt. Baker in the distance creates an amazing backdrop for celebrating the Skagit River and the return of the salmon.”

The Skagit River Salmon Festival is a diverse partnership between local, state and federal agencies, Tribal communities, local utilities, businesses and non-profit organizations focused on inspiring conservation of the amazing Skagit River, its rich cultural history and abundant natural resources.

“As the largest river in Puget Sound, the Skagit River is of critical importance to the recovery of threatened salmon species in Washington state,” said Alison Studley, Executive Director for the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and a Festival board member. “The Festival is the perfect opportunity for our community to celebrate the tremendous salmon resources in the Skagit watershed and inspire their conservation.”

Creating a significant community event from the ground up requires relationship building and strong partnerships. During the first two years of the Festival, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Swinomish Casino & Lodge participated in various capacities—from major sponsorship to cultural entertainment to food booths serving traditional alder wood smoked salmon. This year they decided to take it one-step further.

“Our relationship with the Festival is very special,” explained Lodge General Manager Dallas Widmark. “Our team saw an opportunity to align the resources and relationships the Festival had developed during its first two years with the existing resources and relationships of both the Swinomish Tribe and the Swinomish Casino & Lodge to create a tremendous ongoing community event.”

Each year the Festival continues to grow, drawing just shy of 5,000 visitors from around the Puget Sound region in 2013. As part of its commitment to the community, a portion of the proceeds raised will help fund a scholarship in Environmental Sciences at Northwest Indian College, as well as support the Mighty Skagit Watershed Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Skagit County.

Besides an impressive list of talented local bands and musicians to enjoy throughout the day, new on-site this year will be the addition of the Puget Sound DockDogs —the world’s premier canine aquatics competition. Utilizing a 40-foot pool, dogs and their owners from Washington, Oregon and Canada will compete in the following aquatic events:
• Big Air (long jump)
• Extreme Vertical (high jump)
• Speed Retrieve (fastest dog to the end of the pool wins the race)

The Festival is currently seeking local artisans and vendors who wish to display their crafts for sale at the event and “SPAWNsors” looking for great exposure for their business. For more information on how to become a sponsor, please contact Festival Coordinator Jackie Huerta at (360) 588-3703 or skagitriverfest@gmail.com.

For more information about the Skagit River Salmon Festival, visit: http://skagitriverfest.org

About Skagit River Salmon Festival
Established in 2012, the Skagit River Salmon Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose purpose is to inspire conservation of the Skagit watershed’s incredible resources through a community celebration showcasing the Skagit River, its rich history, and vast natural and cultural resources.