The Yurok Tribe’s Klamath Salmon Festival is This Saturday

This is a press release from the Yurok Tribe:

Klamath River salmon, freshly caught and cooked the traditional way over an open fire, is back on the menu at the Yurok Tribe’s 56th Annual Klamath Salmon Festival, which is happening on Saturday, August 18.

“We are happy to have salmon back on the menu in our homes and at the Salmon Festival,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “We invite everyone to the festival, to taste the goodness of the fish and to celebrate the Klamath River.”

In 2016 and 2017, the Tribe could not in good conscious serve Klamath salmon at the festival because the fish runs were so low. During those years, the Klamath fish population plummeted as a result of juvenile salmon disease outbreaks, excessive water diversions and water quality issues caused by the lower four Klamath dams.

This year’s salmon celebration is free to attend and jam-packed with engaging and enjoyable activities for the family, including: the Klamath Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Veteran’s Breakfast, annual parade, obstacle course and fun zone for kids, multiple cultural demonstrations, 9th Annual Classic Car Show, 3 on 3 basketball tournament, traditional Stick Game Tournament, Ney-Puey Color Run, Indian Card Game Tournament, Archie Thompson Memorial Softball Tournament, and much more.

Humboldt County rock band, Blue Rhythm Revue, is headlining this year’s event. Nearly 100 vendors will be selling high quality gifts, fine artwork and sweet treats.

The Yurok Tribe has added a few amazing new elements to this year’s event. Seven expert, traditional basket weavers, representing several local tribes, will be showcasing different types of ceremonial regalia, basketry and other cultural objects. These traditional items are skillfully constructed from myriad materials furnished from the forest, the river and the seashore.

The Yurok Fisheries Department and Watershed Restoration Program will have a booth where attendees can view through a Virtual Reality Headset, a 360 degree view of the Tribe’s award-winning, salmon habitat rehabilitation projects and remote natural landscapes on the Yurok Reservation.

The 56th Annual Salmon Festival begins at 7:30am with the Klamath Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Veteran’s Breakfast, which is free for all current and past service members. All participants in Ney-Puey Color Run will meet at 9am at the Yurok Justice Center before the walk/run begins at 10am. The annual parade is at 10:30am. At 11am on the main stage, Yurok youth will be sharing songs and stories in the Yurok language. The Stick Game Tournament and the 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament begin at noon. Blue Rhythm Revue’s first set is also at noon.

The annual salmon lunch starts at 11am. The lunch, comprised of a salmon steak, three homemade side dishes and water, is $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, children under 10-years-old.

After the Salmon Festival finishes up at 4pm, the Black Mountain Bandits, an alternative country rock band, is playing at the Redwood Hotel Casino, located across the street from the event site.

There are additional events happening on the day before and after the Salmon Festival. On Friday, August 17 at 5:30pm, talented artist and author, Lyn Risling will be reading from her new children’s book, Coyote at the Big Time, at the Klamath River Book Nook in downtown Klamath.

On Sunday, August 19, the Cal-Ore River Racers Association is having a hydroplane race on the Lower Klamath River, starting at noon.

For the Salmon Festival on Saturday, August 18 there is ample, secure parking off of exit 769. Follow the signs to Klamath Mill Rd. Please do not park on Hwy 101, behind the Boys and Girls Club or on the Stick Game Field.

The Yurok Tribe is the largest federally recognized Indian tribe in California and has a reservation that straddles the Lower Klamath River, extending for one mile on each side of the river, from its entry into the Pacific Ocean to approximately 45 miles upriver to the confluence with the Trinity River. The Tribe’s major initiatives include: natural resources management, fisheries protection, watershed restoration, dam removal, condor reintroduction, cultural revitalization, language preservation and land acquisition.

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