Annual Nisqually Watershed Festival Set for Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

By Nisqually Valley News staff
Posted 9/20/22

The 33rd annual Nisqually Watershed Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

The annual event serves as a …

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Annual Nisqually Watershed Festival Set for Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

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The 33rd annual Nisqually Watershed Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

The annual event serves as a community celebration that recognizes the cultural history found within the region.

“Beginning with protecting the river’s mouth from development in the 1970s to coming together in recent years to restore a threatened Chinook stock, the people of the Nisqually watershed have shown how we can work together for the environment,” stated Justin Hall, the executive director of the Nisqually River Foundation, in a news release from the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

The family-friendly event is free to attend. Activities throughout the day include art, music, science, food and more, according to the release.

Local nonprofits and agencies will also be present at the festival to teach guests about the Nisqually and its rich history. They will lead attendants through a series of interactive exhibits, nature trips and educational activities.

There will also be a marine touch tank on site so attendees can explore the local ecosystem, along with a 25-foot long replica salmon that teaches about salmon habitats.

Those who attend the festival will be able to decorate their own salmon-themed shirts and watch a fish dissection.

There will also be an “insect extravaganza,” which allows visitors to view local insects, as well as insects from around the world.



Other events include a guided nature walk, wooden salmon painting, a critter parade, and a shuttle to the Nisqually Reach Nature Center to tour the Nisqually nearshore.

Plenty of food choices will be on hand as well. Options include fresh fish at a salmon bake, Radio Fryer’s burgers and fries, and fair food.

Different performers set for the festival include the Reptile Lady, Bats Northwest, Olympia Highlanders, Wolf Haven International and Puget Sound Estuarium.

“Watershed communities have been working hard to protect and restore this unique place for years,” Hall stated in the release. “The festival has served as a showcase for what makes the Nisqually special. It’s where we all come together to celebrate what we have accomplished.”

More information about the festival can be found online at https://nisquallyriver.org/festival.

Parking is free and there will be a shuttle to the festival from the Hawks Prairie Park N Ride at 2548 Hogum Bay Road NE in Olympia. 

The shuttle will run to and from the refuge every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.  on Sept. 24.

The wildlife refuge is located at 100 Brown Farm Road NE, Olympia.

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