Swimming Upstream


  • Mark Larson
The Yurok Tribe’s 55th annual Klamath Salmon Festival, happening Saturday, Aug. 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Klamath (free, $15 salmon feast), typically celebrates the wealth of the river and the bounty it provides. This year, with record-low salmon runs forcing the tribe to purchase fish from outside of the Klamath River, the celebration’s focus is on the health of the river and raising awareness about the struggle of its salmon — an essential part of the tribe’s culture, tradition and existence.

Among the more than 100 vendors, including food, arts, crafts and jewelry, are information booths to help the rally for the salmon. Stop by a few of them while you’re enjoying the day’s events, which begin with a Veterans Breakfast at the Klamath Community Center at 7:30 a.m. (free for military veterans and active service personnel) and include the annual parade down Klamath Boulevard at 10 a.m. and a wild salmon lunch starting at 11 a.m. ($15, includes homemade sides and drink). The annual Stick Game Tournament, a highly-competitive, full-contact sport that resembles lacrosse, begins at noon.

There will also be a softball tournament, classic car show, cultural demonstrations, an Indian card game and a hopping kid’s corner with four bounce houses, zip line, bumper cars, a bubble park, face painting, snow cone and popcorn snack booth, photo booth and a fishing booth. Whew! And how about squid at a salmon festival? You bet. Spend the day enjoying the rocking tunes of headlining band Dr. Squid, who take the stage at noon.

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