Salmon Days promises ‘thrills’ in festival theme

March 27, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Salmon Days Festival 2012 theme

Salmon Days Festival organizers dipped into local history to craft the 2012 festival theme — “Thrills & Gills,” a hat tip to the Issaquah Rodeo from a century ago.

The logo sports a cowboy astride a leaping — or bucking — salmon. Organizers said the theme is meant to reflect the excitement of salmon returning to Issaquah Creek to spawn each autumn.

In the early 1900s, long before Salmon Days, a Fourth of July celebration and a rodeo at modern-day Veterans’ Memorial Field served as the main attractions in the coalmining and farming community. By 1910, the celebration shifted from Independence Day to Labor Day.

In 1970, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce presented the inaugural Salmon Days Festival as part of Labor Day festivities.

Salmon Days is due to return for a 43rd season Oct. 6-7. The festival in October 2011 lured more than 150,000 people to downtown Issaquah and the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Salmon Days unfolded under the theme “Wild Things!” — a riff on the classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Like she has for the past 18 festivals, Issaquah designer Robin Dale Spicer created the Salmon Days logo and theme.

Organizers announced the 2012 theme at a chamber function March 20.

Salmon Days is a major fundraiser for nonprofit service groups and organizations, as well as the chamber of commerce.

The festival is also a perennial honoree among Evergreen State and international celebrations.

The iconic festival earned 11 international honors in October from the International Festivals & Events Association. Salmon Days received honors for advertising, print, promotional and retail merchandise, including a prestigious Bronze Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award — a top honor for festivals.

The awards honored the 2010 festival and the theme “Something Up Our Leaves.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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