14th Dungeness River Festival celebrates the watercourse and all around it

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– The 14th annual Dungeness River Festival will celebrate the river and its role in the North Olympic Peninsula’s ecosystem for two days next weekend.

With a theme “Think Downstream . . . Go Green!,” this year’s festival features music, nature walks, storytelling and special presentations.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday with events in Railroad Bridge Park at the end of West Hendrickson Road. Admission is free.

In conjunction with the festival, the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors organization will host its annual show from 10 a.m. to
4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the river center at the park, displaying art made of driftwood by area artisans.

The festival is organized by staff and volunteers at the Dungeness River Audubon Center every year on the last full weekend of September to celebrate the river’s natural and cultural resources.

Hundreds of students are expected to descend on the interactive exhibits on opening day, and special attractions are planned for adults as well.

Good walking shoes and notebooks might be in order.

Friday highlights include a river walk led by Bob Boekelheide at 11 a.m.; a presentation by Jamestown S’Klallam storyteller and elder Elaine Grinnell, “Drums, Baskets and Stories of the Jamestown S’Klallam People,” at 2:30 p.m.; and a natural landscaping walk led by Joe Holtrop, district manager of the Clallam Conservation District, at 3 p.m.

At 11:30 a.m., the Five Acre School marimba band Sound Waves will perform, and at 3 p.m., Aspire Academy dance and music students will demonstrate their talents.

On both Friday and Saturday, nonprofits will offer interactive nature exhibits and activities. Exhibits will demonstrate energy efficiency, water conservation and clean air measures.

Also, festivalgoers can try their skills at “Animal Olympics” when they mimic a specific animal.

For example, they can “Jump Like a Frog” or “Walk Like a Crab.”

Food will include wraps, sandwiches, soup, tacos and the ever-popular fry bread.

On Saturday, the Jamestown S’Klallam drummers and singers will lead a traditional welcome ceremony at 10 a.m., and the Young Fiddlers will perform at 11 a.m.

Saturday afternoon activities in the River Stage amphitheater will include Jazzercise and a drumming circle.

At 2 p.m., Ken Wiersema will lead a walk onto the bridge and talk about how early engineers built the historic railroad bridge in 1915.

Partners of the river center include the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe and the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society.

For a complete schedule, visit www.DungenessRiverCenter.org.

For more information, phone the Dungeness River Audubon Center at 360-681-4076.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 25. 2013 7:22PM
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