STEVEN FRIEDERICH | THE DAILY WORLD
Felix Harris, 3 years old from Humptulips, crawls into the giant 28-foot fiberglass a replica of a Coho Salmon named Fin at the Chehalis Watershed Festival in this file photo from 2010.
Want a free lunch? The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation are cooking up a free salmon bake on Saturday as part of the 7th Annual Watershed Festival at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen.
Also, a portable trout pond will be on site for children to fish in and the Chehalis Tribe has agreed to cook the trout on the spot, said festival organizer Janel Spaulding.
The watershed festival is a way to celebrate the Chehalis River and help the public understand the value of a healthy watershed and ecoystem, Spaulding said. Beyond the free food, there will be plenty of exhibitors and children’s activities, as well, she said. The biggest visible presence at the festival will be Fin, the giant 28-foot long fiberglass salmon. Children can crawl through the creature and view murals inside of it that tell the life story of the salmon.
The festival starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. on the shores of the Chehalis River at Morrison Riverfront Park, as well as inside the Rotary Log Pavilion. The salmon bake starts at noon and ends at 4 p.m. Everything is free.
The tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain is in town to help participate in the event and will offer tours and adventure sails throughout the festival, and the Grays Harbor Historic Seaport Authority is offering free longboat sailings at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Also at the festival will be the annual Chehalis Basin Drinking Water Taste Test. For three of the past four years, the city for Centralia has won the honors in the blind taste test. The city of McCleary won two years ago. This time, Centralia, McCleary, Aberdeen and Chehalis will compete to see who has the best drinking water. The public votes for the winner.
Among other activities, the Grays Harbor Noxious Weed Board will let youth build monster bugs and weeds; Grays Harbor College’s Natural Resources Program will host a “name that tree” contest, the Aberdeen Stormwater Department will show the public some of the bizarre items that go down the drain and the Chehalis Basin Partnership will host a hands-on watershed model. Lots of other public agencies and non-profits also participate.
Local artist Anita Eisenman will host a “gyotaku” Japanese fish printing for the public, as well.