Greywolf Elementary students from left, Alexia Constant, Mariah Duran and Joanna Seelye, investigate how Oscar the oyster eats pollution at last year’s Dungeness River Festival. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Greywolf Elementary students from left, Alexia Constant, Mariah Duran and Joanna Seelye, investigate how Oscar the oyster eats pollution at last year’s Dungeness River Festival. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Dungeness River Fest returns for 17th year

Annual event showcases area’s natural, cultural resources.

SEQUIM — The Dungeness Railroad Bridge is back and at full strength for the 17th Dungeness River Festival.

The festival will feature a full array of free activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday in Railroad Bridge Park, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road.

A year removed from the centennial celebration of the bridge, festivalgoers can enjoy both the historic bridge and beautiful new bridge, said Powell Jones, executive director of the Dungeness River Audubon Center.

The bridge was under construction last year, limiting access to both the Olympic Discovery Trail and Dungeness River, but it reopened in December 2015 after storm damage brought down a portion of the trestle in February 2015.

Admission remains free and includes live music and dance, more than 20 hands-on activities and exhibits for all visitors including fish printing, guided walks and more.

The Olympic Driftwood Sculptors will host a fall art show with up to 80 sculptures from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the river center.

Sound Waves perform

The Five Acre School marimba band, the Sound Waves, will perform at 10:30 a.m. and again at 12:15 p.m. today.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Jamestown S’Klallam drummers and singers will open the festival with a traditional welcome ceremony and circle dance open to all.

Festival organizers are bringing in a few new attractions, including a “Farm Fresh Cooking” demonstration by Ankur Shaw, “Bridge Art and Stories” by Powell Jones and an “Ethnobotany Survival Challenge” walk by the river center’s new education coordinator, Jenna Ziogas.

Past favorites also will return, including a river and salmon walk at 11 a.m. Saturday with Bob Boekelheide. Ken Wiersema will present “How They Built the Bridge,” followed by a walk up to the bridge at 2:30 p.m.

Jones also will lead a walk and tour at a time to be determined Saturday of the S’Klallam art on the bridge that was installed during construction.

Throughout the festival, local, state, federal, tribal and nonprofit 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.

Organizers encourage visitors to make a fish print for a T-shirt, learn how worms breathe and to hold a geoduck clam.

The river center and its partners, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, sponsor the annual Dungeness River Festival.

The center’s mission along with the festival 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.

For more information on the festival or river center, visit www.DungenessRiver or call 360-681-4076.

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