It’s that time of year once again, as this Saturday marks the 25 year anniversary of the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival put on by U.S Fish & Wildlife Service Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forest, Friends of Northwest Hatcheries, Chelan County PUD, and the Bureau of Reclamation.
Not only does this mark the 25th year of SalmonFest, it is also the 75 year anniversary of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery that was originally built in 1939-1940. Along with all the fun outdoor recreation and educational activities of year, this year will feature a historical exhibit. Come take a walk through time and explore the ambitious past, the busy present, and the hopeful future of our relationship with salmon in Washington State!
The Salmon Festival is fun for all ages, and admission and activities are FREE.
Take part in the many inter-generational hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, wildlife “edu-tainment”, music, art, and experience a meaningful cultural exchange with Native Americans in their tribal village.
With high’s expected in the upper 70’s in Leavenworth on Saturday, it should be a great day to play and learn outdoors!
Following is a map of activity locations and a LONG list of activities promoted through the SalmonFest website. If you’d like to get involved with SalmonFest as a volunteer, they’re still looking for a few adults to help empty trash cans, deliver materials and water around to the booths, and an assortment of other odds and ends jobs. If interested, call the Hatchery Office at 548-6662 x271.
Agency and Organization Exhibits
Many agencies and organizations in our community share information through “hands-on” interactive activities. You can find the birds with the Audubon Society, make a lifecycle bracelet with Yakama Nation Fisheries, learn all about bear behavior with North Cascades National Park staff, and much much more. So much to do and see!
Watch art come alive on the sidewalk with colorful chalk! Local artists donate their time to create original, nature-related pictures and you can see it happen on Saturday morning. It is simply beautiful.
Children and parents are invited to dress in colorful costumes of birds, insects, wolves, and other creatures and “fly, hop, crawl, swim or walk” in a short parade down Chinook Avenue. (costumes provided)
Creativity Corner Art Tent
Express yourself by creating your own silk screen salmon art with arts organization ARTIS, and special guest artist Sue King. Make your own souvenir salmon!
Students from the Cascade Discovery Program (alternative high school located on fish hatchery grounds) demonstrate horticultural practices in their beautiful garden.
Kids can participate in a discovery hunt to test their knowledge of our natural resources. Find the activities, answer questions, collect 10 stamps and win a prize!
Eye to Eye with Our Local Fish
Do you know what fish you are looking at? Gaze through the crystal clear waters in this custom-made 35 ft. aquarium and see freshwater fish up close. Learn more about our local fish species with a “user friendly” identification process.
Find the Bobbers!
A trio of musical mayhem, the Bobbers will be on the grounds performing their fun, fishy tunes with delightful style and humor.
Try some tasty treats from our food court! A wide choice of snacks and full meals are available in the nice surroundings of Hatchery Park and the Main Stage venue.
Capture your Salmon Festival experience in the same manner that Japanese fishermen once recorded their daily catch, by making a fish rubbing (gyo=fish, taku=rubbing). After the fish is painted, paper is carefully pressed over it for a colorful, lasting print.
Health Screening Unit
Salmon Fest is very excited to host the Northwest Lions Foundation and their Health Screening Unit. These screenings are FREE of charge and open to the public, all ages welcome. There are 5 general areas of screenings that our Unit services: Diabetes – Glaucoma – Blood Pressure – Hearing – Vision. And it only takes a few minutes!
Icicle Creek Nature Trail
Take a stroll on the beautiful one-mile trail that meanders along Icicle Creek. Keep an eye out for bears, deer, ducks and BIG SALMON looking for a place to spawn as their life cycle brings them back to where they began their journey.
Leavenworth Fisheries Complex Historical Exhibit
We are excited to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Complex! See equipment, photos, and journals from years past and explore the rich history of the Leavenworth hatchery’s development since completion in 1940.
Migration “Mini” Golf
Play a round of miniature golf while learning about the migration of salmon – it’s not so easy!
Native American Village
In this intertribal village you have an opportunity to observe the Native American Indian culture. Watch the preparation of salmon using traditional methods of baking and drying, see handmade pelts, baskets, beadwork and a traditional hand-made Long Tent in the Native Plateau Tradition. Also this year we have renowned storyteller and flute player Gene Tagaband to captivate audiences with unique regalia and traditional stories; audience participation included!
Outdoor Recreation Activities and Exhibits (see the full list further below)
Get Connected to the Outdoors! Join us at the outdoor recreation exhibit area where you may find everything to get started on a journey of discovery and fun! Experience the 24 ft. climbing wall, fly tying and casting or disc golf; Or try traditional bow hunting, pellet gun target shooting and even a slip n’ slide! You can even meet a Karelian Bear Dog! Get your questions answered about where to go, what to do and how to find it in the Cascades! Visit the Outdoor Recreation Activities and Exhibits page for a complete list, or scroll further down.
Students and parents alike 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.
In this 40 by 40 foot barrier-free maze, experience the many challenges of aquatic life and migration when you discover yourself as salmon, hatching and struggling to survive. Meet predators along the way as you go through the salmon’s amazing life cycle.
Salmon Storytelling Tent
In this colorful 30-foot long nylon inflatable Salmon Tent, audiences will be entertained with a variety of meaningful stories. Entertainment for the whole family!
Sardis Raptor Center
Gaze into the eyes of the fast flying falcon and the majestic eagle, or learn fascinating facts about hawks and owls at the “Hunters of the Sky” presentations by one of the largest raptor rehabilitation centers in Washington.
Take a guided hatchery tour by a hatchery employee and learn about the salmon’s life cycle, see live salmon eggs, discover how fish are aged, and watch the yearling salmon eat lunch.
On the Hatchery Grounds
- Storytelling in the Giant Salmon Tent
(check activity site for times)
- Outdoor Recreation exhibits, demos, activities
- Chalk Art created by local artists
- Animal Costume Parade
- Sardis Raptor Center Presentations
Gazebo 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Front Entrance 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Native American Village
- Dancing, Drumming, traditional salmon cooking, traditional long tent and exhibits
- Storyteller & Musician Gene Tagaban
Main Stage Program 11:15 am – 3:30 pm
- 11:15 am Mary Ware Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award
- 11:30 am Reptile Man
- 12:30 pm Hawthorne Ridge Prospectors (Bluegrass Band)
- 2:00 pm Danzas Multiculturales (Mulitcultural Dance Troupe)
- 2:45 pm Storytelling with Gene Tagaban
- 3:30 pm Reptile Man
OUTDOOR RECREATION & ACTIVITIES
Experience the 24 ft. climbing wall, kayaking, fly fishing or disc golf; learn traditional bow hunting, fly tying, rafting and more!
Get your questions answered about where to go, what to do and how to find it in the Cascades!
Find out about the latest and greatest bike program in Leavenworth! If you own a bike, you will want to know about the “Biking Rewards” program started by this new organization, and learn some safety tips too!
Chelan County Search and Rescue
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office will share important information on outdoor and home preparedness, and what they do when emergencies or disasters occur.
Come to the outdoor recreation area and try out your hands and feet on the 24 ft. tall climbing wall. Steve Danielson, owner of Climb for Fun, professionally staffs the wall and is well known in the Leavenworth area for presenting a safe, top notch activity – and it’s free at Salmon Fest!
Learn the basics of disc golf, courtesy of the Leavenworth Disc Golf Club and Stevens Pass Ski and Bike Park. Check out different discs, baskets, and other gear, as well as learn where to find nearby courses and purchase discs and gear. Try your skill at getting the disc in the baskets, and learn the different ways to throw it. Join Leavenworth Disc Golf Club members for a fun learning experience, and a raffle sponsored by Stevens Pass for several discs.
Kingfisher Fishing Boat
Dave Graybill, the “Fishin’ Magician”, will display his latest fishing boat. This year it is a Kingfisher 1925 Discovery from Bob Feil Boats & Motors in East Wenatchee. It’s outfitted for fishing our region with all the bells and whistles! Visit Dave and ask him ANYTHING about fishing!
A very popular exhibit in the Outdoor Recreation Area is the display of rafts, kayaks and paddleboards used to float our area rivers. Come by and check out the great white water videos!
Chelan and Douglas Counties’ RiverCom 911 provides this important emergency service. For increased effectiveness, they’ll explain what to expect and how to explain your situation when you dial 911. Great information for both kids and adults!
Traditional Bow Hunters
Traditional Bow Hunters of Washington is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of traditional equipment for bow hunting and archery. Venture out to the field beyond Icicle Creek and try your hand at shooting a traditional bow!
(Check program map for location.)
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Cougar and Bear Safety Program
The WDFW Cougar and Bear Safety program will demonstrate the skills of Karelian Bear dogs and talk about bear safety in and around your homes. A fun and exciting demo!
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – TIP Trailer
The WDFW will be presenting the TIP Trailer to educate the public about poaching and its repercussions. On display are confiscated illegally killed animals in an effort educate the public about poaching, protecting critical habitat, and to promote the hunting heritage of Washington State.
Washington Hunter Education Instructor Association
Try your hand at target shooting with an air pellet gun and learn proper basic safety practices. WHEIA can also give you the important information on hunter safety courses in your area.
Washington State Federation of Fly Fishers
Learn the basics of fly casting with the experts! Fly rods provided – with plenty of space to try casting!
Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association
Dedicated to the conservation and preservation of wildlife and enhancement of habitat, the Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association is a major sponsor of the festival.
Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers
Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers have all the material and instruction to provide fly-tying instruction. Learn about the different types of flies, the hooks being used, and the types of feathers and other materials necessary for fly-tying.
There’s even a FREE SHUTTLE FROM DOWNTOWN!
The Salmon Festival Shuttle will run from 10 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday, September 19. The shuttle will stop on Leavenworth’s Front Street near the Gazebo and will bring you right to the Salmon Festival’s Main Entrance. Make it easy for yourself and ride the FREE shuttle to the festival!