Come out for food, fun and flair at 44th annual Salmon Days

October 1, 2013

As the salmon return, so do the thousands of people expected for this year’s Salmon Days Festival.

Oct. 5 and 6 will see coho, chinook, sockeye, kokanee and many festivalgoers make their way to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery for a weekendlong celebration full of events, activities, food and music.

The homegrown event celebrates the return of local salmon as they make their pilgrimage from the Pacific Ocean back to the spawning grounds of Issaquah Creek and the hatchery. Approximately 180,000 people attended last year’s event, which was met with sunny, mild weather.

The Grand Parade will kick off the weekend beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 5. It will wind its way down Front Street to the hatchery in a bright display of community spirit and appreciation of the surrounding environment.

By Greg Farrar Two Chinook salmon struggle at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery weir Sept. 26 to return upstream seeking a place to spawn in Issaquah Creek.

By Greg Farrar
Two Chinook salmon struggle at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery weir Sept. 26 to return upstream seeking a place to spawn in Issaquah Creek.

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October 1, 2013

Rain, rain, go away, Salmon Days here to stay


Rain, rain, so much rain. There may be more than one benefit to all the rain of the past few days, but in Issaquah there is one species that is welcoming the rushing creek waters.

Welcome home, salmon. This gush is just for you.

But now that the creek flow is strong and swift, calling the salmon home, the rain can quit. We’ve got a party coming on and 150,000 guests are due to arrive this weekend.

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Wake up, run with the fishes

October 1, 2013

The Issaquah Rotary Run with the Fishes is Oct. 6.

This year’s run is the 37th annual Rotary run. Runners can participate in the Run with the Fishes 5K Run/Walk or the Kids Dash.

For those who want to make a race of it, timing chips will be provided, or participants can just walk or stroll. Event proceeds benefit local charities supported by the Issaquah Rotary Foundation.

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Music Man

October 1, 2013

David Harris is still bookin’ rock ‘n’ roll after 30 years

David Harris’s earliest recollections of Salmon Days are of the festival being more like a town parade that featured the high school band, the Issaquah Indians football team, the National Guard and a fire truck with a guest appearance by JP Patches and Gertrude.

Little did the British expatriate know that in fall 1970, just a year after moving to Issaquah, he’d soon have a hand in shaping the town’s music scene for decades to come.

The 26-year-old had uprooted his wife and two children from southern London to take a job as an engineer with The Boeing Co. in 1965.

“I remember getting on the plane and literally not knowing where we were going,” Harris said.

By Greg Farrar David Harris (right) looks on as Mungo Jerry performs on the Rainier Avenue Stage during the 2009 Salmon Days Festival.

By Greg Farrar
David Harris (right) looks on as Mungo Jerry performs on the Rainier Avenue Stage during the 2009 Salmon Days Festival.

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Salmon Days is named best festival in the world

September 24, 2013

The 2012 Salmon Days Festival earned 11 international honors, festival organizers announced Sept. 17.

The annual event earned the coveted gold for the Haas Wilkerson Grand Pinnacle Award, given to the best overall festival. Issaquah bested festivals from all around the world in the $250,000 to $750,000 budget category. Salmon Days also received the prestigious honor in 2009.

“I am so grateful to be a part of such an amazing community of people who have made Salmon Days what it is for the last 43 years,” said Robin Kelley, festival director. “It has always been the best to us. It’s nice and humbling to see it recognized on the world stage.”

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Wheels or shoes, this race is for you

September 10, 2013

Whether you race on two wheels or two feet, there is an event to challenge you in conjunction with Salmon Days, Oct. 5 and 6.

The Salmon Days-sponsored Upstream Hill Climb for bicycles will be Sept. 28. The 37th annual Issaquah Rotary Run with the Fishes will be Oct. 6.

Salmon Days took over sponsorship of the established Cougar Mountain Climb for Cancer and changed the name to Upstream Hill Climb to fit with the Salmon Days theme, according to Brian Twiggs, director of sponsorships for Salmon Days.

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Volunteer for Salmon Days at party tonight

September 10, 2013

NEW — 9 a.m. Sept. 10, 2013

Salmon Days organizers need all the help they can muster to accommodate the more than 150,000 visitors expected to stream into Issaquah for the annual festival Oct. 5-6.

Prospective volunteers can join the iconic festival at the annual Salmon Days volunteer sign-up party tonight. Organizers need volunteers for a variety of activities, including manning booths, selling souvenirs and cleaning up after the event concludes.

Party participants receive a free dinner catered by Timber Ridge at Talus and, for signing up for one or more volunteer shifts, a free Ohfishal Salmon Days volunteer T-shirt.

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Salmon Days stage renamed for David Harris

September 3, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 3, 2013

The Salmon Days Festival’s mainstage will bear the name of an important Issaquah legend beginning this year.

David Harris

David Harris

The David Harris Rainier Boulevard Stage honors the man that has dedicated 30 years to the annual event.

Harris, a member of the Issaquah Hall of Fame, has long overseen much of anything that has to do with musical entertainment in this town. That includes organization of the music for both Salmon Days and Concerts on the Green.

Issaquah Salmon Days takes home seven awards

April 2, 2013

The Washington Festivals and Events Association honored Issaquah’s annual Salmon Days festival not just once, but seven times March 19.

The Salmon Days Festival theme presented to the Washington Festivals and Events Association was “Thrills and Gills.” The Salmon Days festival received silver in the Grand Summit Award category, along with three gold awards for Best Event Program, Best T-shirt, Best Other Merchandise and three silver Summit Awards, for Best Commemorative Poster, Best Promotional Brochure and Best Website within its budget category of $150,000 and over.

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