The Yurok Tribe’s 57th annual Klamath Salmon Festival is on Saturday, and everyone is encouraged to enjoy fresh salmon and learn about the Yurok culture.
“The whole community is invited to come out and celebrate the Klamath River salmon,” said Yurok Chairman Joseph L. James. “We are especially excited about this year’s event because it presents a perfect opportunity to share our rich culture and heritage.”
Every year, the Yurok Tribe puts on the annual celebration to bring the community together to celebrate the bounty of the Klamath River. Fresh-caught Klamath salmon will once again be served this year. The meal is $11 and is comprised of a salmon steak, water and three homemade side dishes, including a green salad, chili, potato salad, and a dinner roll.
This festival’s theme this year is “Skue’n ‘Owook, Can’t Wait for Tomorrow,” which embodies the optimism felt for the much-anticipated removal of the Klamath dams and the impending reintroduction of the California condor in Yurok Country.
The festival offers a diverse range of family oriented events,including a one-of-a-kind traditional basket weaver demonstration, stick game tournament, kids’ fun zone, a parade, an Indian card game tournament, live music from Blue Rhythm Revue, three-on-three basketball tournament, petting zoo, the Ney-Puey Color Run, Archie Thompson Memorial Softball Tournament and more. Yurok elder George Smoker and his wife, Marla, are putting on their 10th annual classic car show at this year’s festival. Some 100 vendors will also be selling gifts, artwork and treats.
The basket weaver demonstration is a highlight of this year’s salmon celebration. Ten weavers, representing the California Basketweavers Association and multiple tribes in the Pacific Northwest, will be demonstrating how to create a wide range of basketry and traditional regalia. The weavers are members of tribes in the redwood region, as well as Oregon and Washington.
Registration for the Ney-Puey Color Run begins at 9 a.m. Participants will convene at the Yurok Justice Center on Klamath Boulevard before the start of the run at 10 a.m.
Sign-ups for the Indian card game tournament are between 9 and 10 a.m. at the amphitheater next to the Yurok Country Visitor Center. The single-elimination tournament starts at 10 a.m. There will be a $25 buy-in and a $300 cash prize.
The annual parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. and at 11 a.m. the Stick Game and basketball tournaments will start.
There are several other events happening in Klamath on the Friday before and the Sunday after the Salmon Festival. On Friday at 5 p.m., Yurok author Shaunna Oteka McCovey will be reading from her re-released book of poetry, “The Smokehouse Boys,” at the Klamath Book Nook. At 7 p.m., there will be a screening of the new documentary “Artifishal” right down the street at the Yurok Tribe’s headquarters, 190 Klamath Blvd. Head over to Abalone Bar and Grill at 9 p.m. to get your groove on to classic rock tunes played by Taxi.On Sunday,the Cal-Ore River Racers are putting on an adrenaline-packed, hydroplane racing competition at noon on the Lower Klamath River.