BirdFest and Bluegrass to take flight October 6

Annual Ridgefield festival connects people with nature and music

RIDGEFIELD — The Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge will present the 18th annual BirdFest and Bluegrass festival from Fri., Oct. 6 to Sun., Oct 8 at various locations in Ridgefield.

Chinook Tribal Vice Chairman, Sam Robinson, plays a drum during the blessing of food and friendship before the traditional salmon bake at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, at the Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge during 2016 BirdFest. Photo by Mike Schultz.
Chinook Tribal Vice Chairman, Sam Robinson, plays a drum during the blessing of food and friendship before the traditional salmon bake at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, at the Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge during 2016 BirdFest. Photo by Mike Schultz.
American Kestrel on display during the live bird show presented by Audubon Society of Portland at Davis Park in downtown Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz.
American Kestrel on display during the live bird show presented by Audubon Society of Portland at Davis Park in downtown Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz.

The annual BirdFest event allows attendees to learn about local nature, wildlife and Native American heritage. Various events throughout the weekend allow people to learn about birds, natural history and Chinook culture in a variety of ways, from hands-on activities to keynote presentations.

The BirdFest celebration also features bluegrass music performances at a variety of locations and businesses in Ridgefield.

BirdFest activities occur at three separate venues around Ridgefield. The Refuge Carty Unit and Cathlapotle Plankhouse hosts a variety of events related to nature and Native American heritage. The Refuge River “S” Unit and Kiwa Trail location also will host various activities highlighting local nature. Finally, hands-on activities and educational events will be hosted at venues throughout downtown Ridgefield.

The BirdFest festival begins Friday evening with a showing of the film “Love Thy Nature,” at 7:00 p.m. at the Old Liberty Theater in downtown Ridgefield.

Visitors tour the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge during 2016 BirdFest. Photo by Mike Schultz.
Visitors tour the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge during 2016 BirdFest. Photo by Mike Schultz.

 

 

Julio, a great horned owl on display during the live bird show presented by Audubon Society of Portland at View Ridge Middle School. Photo by Mike Schultz.
Julio, a great horned owl on display during the live bird show presented by Audubon Society of Portland at View Ridge Middle School. Photo by Mike Schultz.

The first Sandhill Crane Tour and Night Hike will also occur on Friday evening.

 

On Saturday, various family-friendly activities will happen at locations and parks throughout downtown Ridgefield. The Audubon Society of Portland will present a live bird show at Union Ridge Elementary School at 1:00 p.m., where visitors can learn about several types of birds and see them up close.

From 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the Old Liberty Theater, the BirdFest keynote presentation will be given by Dan Varland and Tony Starlight. It will feature a discussion about this year’s Bird of the Year, the turkey vulture, as well as original music and photography. An entrance fee of a $5 commemorative button purchase or donation is suggested.

At the wildlife refuge itself, visitors can go on bird walks and other hikes that teach about local wildlife and the geology of the region.

 

Ginnie Ross, a volunteer for the Audubon Society of Portland with Ruby, a turkey vulture during the live bird show at View Ridge Middle School. The turkey vulture is the 2017 BirdFest Bird of the Year. Photo by Mike Schultz.
Ginnie Ross, a volunteer for the Audubon Society of Portland with Ruby, a turkey vulture during the live bird show at View Ridge Middle School. The turkey vulture is the 2017 BirdFest Bird of the Year. Photo by Mike Schultz.

There will also be kayak and canoe tours of the refuge. Some events, such as the kayak and canoe tours, the sandhill crane tours, watercolor workshops and photography workshops require pre-registration by Oct. 4.

 

Cultural presentations about local Native American heritage will also be held at the refuge. Tours of the plankhouse and flintknapping demonstrations are available at the Carty Unit and Cathlapotle Plankhouse on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday, there will also be a traditional salmon bake from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

On Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., BirdFest will feature the Picker’s Festival, with a variety of bluegrass performances taking place at venues around downtown Ridgefield. God’s Word Baptist Church will sponsor a featured performance at Overlook Park mid day Saturday.

For more information about the 18th annual BirdFest and Bluegrass festival, as well as a full schedule of events, sign up lists and pricing, visit https://ridgefieldfriends.org/events/birdfest-bluegrass/.  

About The Author

mm

Alex Peru is a 2017 graduate of Washington State University Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and a double minor in Political Science and Business Administration. Peru grew up in Battle Ground, and graduated from CAM Academy in 2013. He worked for The VanCougar, WSU Vancouver’s campus newspaper, for three years, including one year as the editor-in-chief. When not working, Peru enjoys reading books about history, working on cars and enjoying the outdoors in Clark County’s beautiful rivers, lakes and forests.

Related posts