17th Dungeness River Festival Opens September 23

Published on September 22, 2016 under Event
17th Dungeness River Festival Opens September 23

This two-day community festival in Railroad Bridge Park celebrates the natural and cultural resources of the Dungeness River and the North Olympic Peninsula

Sequim, Wash., September 14, 2016 – “Last year’s River Festival marked the 100th anniversary of our iconic railroad bridge and this year’s Festival-goers can enjoy full use of both the historic bridge and the beautiful new bridge,” says Powell Jones, Executive Director of the Dungeness River Audubon Center. On Saturday, Jones will lead a walk and tour on the S’Klallam art on the bridge that replaced the storm-damaged trestle and opened in December 2015. The Festival, which opens Friday, September 23, will feature music, dance, nature walks, presentations, and more. The free Festival runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (September 23-24) in Railroad Bridge Park, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, in Sequim. In conjunction with the Festival, the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors will hold its fall art show on Saturday and Sunday (September 24-25) in the River Center.

Students from local elementary schools and music will fill Railroad Bridge Park Friday morning. The Five Acre School marimba band, the Sound Waves, will perform at 10:30 a.m. and again at 12:15 p.m. For the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students visiting the festival Jones says “The festival is a wonderful time for students of our area to connect with the watershed that they call home and learn about how they can help preserve and enjoy it”

Saturday morning, the Jamestown S’Klallam drummers and singers will open the Festival with a traditional welcome ceremony that includes a circle dance open to all. New attractions on Saturday include a Farm Fresh Cooking demonstration by Ankur Shaw, Bridge Art and Stories by Powell Jones, and a Ethnobotany Survival Challenge walk by the River Center’s new Education Coordinator Jenna Ziogas. Saturday will include some past favorites including Bob Boekelheide leading a River and Salmon Walk at 11:00 a.m. And, at 2:30 , engineer and history buff Ken Wiersema will present “How They Built the Bridge” followed by a walk up to the bridge.

On both Friday and Saturday, local, state, federal, tribal, and non-profit entities active on the north Olympic Peninsula will offer interactive nature exhibits and activities, as well as exhibits that demonstrate energy efficiency, water conservation and clean air. Come make a fish print on your T-shirt, walk through a septic system, learn how worms breathe, even hold a giant geoduck clam. Also, Festival goers can try their skills at ‘Animal Olympics’ when they mimic a specific animal. For example, they can ‘Jump like a Frog’ or ‘Creep like a Crab.’

The River Center and its partners, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society sponsor the annual Dungeness River Festival. The Center’s mission is to inspire understanding, enjoyment and stewardship of the Olympic Peninsula’s unique natural and cultural resources, with emphasis on birds, rivers, fish, and people…the essence of the River Festival.

On Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors will hold their 8th anniversary show in the River Center. Area artisans have turned wood found on beaches and in forests into amazing art. The River Festival provides many opportunities to enjoy the fall bounty of the Olympic Peninsula, and Railroad Bridge Park offers the best public access to the Dungeness River and Olympic Discovery Trail.

Like us on Facebook or visit the River Center web site for more upcoming information on the festival schedule and events at or contact the Dungeness River Audubon Center at 681-4076.

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