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Updated 11:00am - Nov 26, 2014

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Celebrating a way of life

While past festivals were held next to Yurok tribal headquarters, as seen above, this year they will be at a site on Chapman Road. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
While past festivals were held next to Yurok tribal headquarters, as seen above, this year they will be at a site on Chapman Road. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
 For more than fifty years, the Yurok Tribe has been celebrating the staple of their people’s diet and overall way of life: salmon.

The 51st annual Klamath Salmon Festival will be held Saturday in Klamath, featuring live music, Yurok cultural events, a 5-kilometer run, a classic car show, a parade, authentic handmade gifts from more than a 100 vendors and a delicious, traditionally cooked salmon feast.

 

The $10 meal includes a hunk of fresh salmon, bread from Arcata’s Brio, a delicious salad from Ocean Air Farms in Fort Dick and a side of fruit.

A great way to start the day is with the Ney-Puy 5k, which is open to all. Sign-ups will be open until just before the run starts at 8:30 a.m. It’s fine to walk, run or a combination of both. Hooded sweatshirts with the Salmon Festival logo will go to the first five finishers. The run will start and end at the festival site. Please call (707) 482-2811 ext. 205 to sign up.

In the early afternoon, the Merv George Band, a Hupa-led rock band from Hoopa, will be playing two sets of classic tunes, just in time to boogie after the salmon lunch. 

Traditional stick games will be featured at Saturday’s Salmon Festival.  Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Traditional stick games will be featured at Saturday’s Salmon Festival. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson

The salmon festival will also feature the annual Stick Game Tournament, a highly competitive traditional sport played between Native Americans of the Klamath River.

The rough game of stick combines wrestling, running and passing and usually involves two teams of three men each. The men carry a strong stick made of wood used to move a toggle (two smaller pieces of wood tied togther) down the long field and pass the opponents’ goal. One of the few rules is that players cannot use both hands to choke an opponent with their stick. Many other physical blows are allowed and make for an entertaining spectacle.

An Indian Card Game Tournament will allow attendees to get a taste for traditional gambling practiced by Yuroks and other regional Indians.

The Classic Car Show will bring vintage rides from across the region to the festival for display.

For the first time, the salmon festival will also have a cribbage tournament.

A free breakfast will be offered to Veterans at 8 a.m. at the Klamath Community Center on Salmon Blvd, sponsored by the Klamath Chamber of Commerce.

Following the breakfast will be the parade at 10 a.m. 

The salmon will start at 11 a.m.

The salmon festival has a new location this year closer to the river and away from US Highway 101. To reach the event from Crescent City, take the exit for Terwer Valley in Klamath just before crossing over the Klamath River. Then take a right on Chapman Road, and the festival will be on your left.

For more information contact Matt Mais at (707) 482-1350 ext. 1306.

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