Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, Aug. 17 @ 5:08 p.m. / Community

Klamath Salmon Festival Celebrates Reintroduction of California Condor to Yurok Country, Dam Removal


Yurok Tribal Police officer James Kleinhans, channeling Sasquatch, gets doused in green during the 2019 Ney-Puey Color Run at the Klamath Salmon Festival. | File photo: Jessica C. Andrews

From the Yurok Tribe:

The Yurok Tribe is extremely excited to invite the community to the 58th Annual Klamath Salmon Festival on Saturday, August 20 in Klamath. The theme of this year’s event is Rising Up in recognition of the recent reintroduction of the Prey-go-neesh (California condor) in Yurok Country and the pending removal of the Klamath dams.

“On behalf of the Yurok Tribe, I would like to invite you to the 58th Annual Klamath Salmon Festival,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “With condors soaring over Yurok skies for the first time in more than a century and the soon-to-be-realized restoration of our river, we have many reasons to give thanks and celebrate. The reintroduction of the condor and dam removal represent real progress toward a brighter future.”

Sponsored by the Yurok Tribe and Yurok Economic Development Corporation, the family focused festival will include: the annual Salmon Festival Parade, live music from Blue Rhythm Revue, Stick Game, Softball and Axe-Throwing Tournaments, the Yurok Tribal Court’s Ney-puey Color Run, a kids fun zone with a bounce house and slide, Ter-ker-kue’ (valley quail) Travelling Petting Zoo Therapy Animals, basket-weaving demonstrations, net auction, Smoked Salmon Contest, high quality products made by 100 local vendors and the unforgettable salmon lunch. The mouthwatering meal includes a fresh piece of Klamath salmon cooked the traditional way over an open fire, chili, potato salad, a bread roll and fruit for $15.

At this year's Salmon Festival, there will be an extraordinarily unique Traditional Basket Weaver Demonstration featuring some of the finest basketry on the West Coast. Organized by the California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA), the demonstration will showcase a wide variety of skillfully crafted cultural items made by professional weavers from across the state and the Pacific Northwest.

The Yurok Economic Development Corporation (YEDC) and the Yurok Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) built a brand-new Stick Game Field for the festival and the community's use after the event. Sponsored by the YEDC and TERO, the Stick Game Tournament will begin at 11am on the new field, which is located next to the Ada Charles Community Center. The Stick Game is a traditional sport played by local Tribes. The full-contact game resembles a blend of lacrosse and wrestling.

The Tribe has added a few new events to this year’s festival. The Yurok Economic Development Corporation is sponsoring an Axe-Throwing Competition at the Redwood Hotel Casino. Also, the Food Sovereignty Program of the Yurok Tribe Environmental Department and the Yurok Food Distribution Program are putting on a “Rez” version of Chopped. Last but not least, families will have an opportunity to interact with Ter-ker-kue’ Travelling Petting Zoo and Therapy Animals.

The 58th Annual Klamath Salmon Festival is open to all and free to attend. The event will kick off with the Ney-puey Color Run at 10am, which will be followed by the annual parade down Klamath Blvd at 10:30am. Runners will meet in front of the Yurok Tribal Court. The Stick Game Tournament begins at 11am. Blue Rhythm Revue will be playing at 11:30am and 1:30pm. The basket-weaving demonstration and delicious salmon lunch both start at 11am. The kids are will open at 11am too. The Axe-throwing Tournament starts at 1pm at Redwood Hotel Casino. There is a $10 buy-in and a $500 guaranteed prize pool. Join us in celebrating the Klamath River salmon on Saturday, August 20 at 190 Klamath Blvd!

*Parking and shuttles will be available off of Klamath Mill Road. Take exit 769 and follow the salmon signs.

Rising Up

In May, the first four condors were released in Yurok Country, where the sacred birds have been absent from 1892. Four additional condors are expected to be flying free in the next two months. A group of birds will be released every year for a minimum of 20 years. The Federal Regulatory Commission along with PacifiCorp, the State of California, and the State of Oregon are expected to soon sign off on the removal of the lower four dams on the Klamath River, which include: J.C.  Boyle Dam in Oregon and Copco 1, Copco 2, and Iron Gate Dam in California. The removal of the dams will open up more than 300 miles of historic salmon spawning habitat. It will also establish a more natural flow regime, which will also have a positive impact on fish production.

For more information, please visit our event page - https://fb.me/e/3K25qa44F


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