Fresh Salmon, Ancient Tradition

By Jessica Cejnar / The Del Norte Triplicate

The Yurok Tribe's 52nd annual cultural celebration kicks off Saturday morning in Klamath

The Yurok Tribe will share their traditions and culture as well as an important staple of their diet with the public on Saturday.

The 52nd Annual Klamath Salmon Festival includes live music, a parade, traditional games and an Indian card game tournament. Veterans will be treated to a special breakfast in the morning. The celebration will culminate with a salmon lunch.

The $10 lunch includes a hunk of fresh salmon, fresh bread, fruit and salad featuring produce from Ocean Air Farms in Fort Dick.

Music this year will be provided by the Merv George Band, a Hupa-fronted rock 'n' roll band that plays classic tunes.

Into the Current, a Native American group, will contribute its blend of indigenous reggae/island music.

The Salmon Festival will feature a classic car show. More than 50 cars and motorcycles were on display at last year's festival, according to the Yurok Tribe's press release.

The salmon festival also features the annual Stick Game Tournament, sponsored by LACO and Associates.

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 together - down a long field and past the opponents' goal. The game includes physical blows, but players cannot use both hands to choke an opponent.

The Indian Card Game Tournament will allow attendees to get a taste of traditional gambling practiced by Yuroks and other regional tribes.

The celebration will honor winners of the Noo-rey-o-won-ee (Beautiful Girl Inside and Out) and Keet-Ko (Strong / Able Boy) contests for their contributions to the community.

The celebration will also feature a watermelon eating contest and include a kids' area with a bounce house, face painting and other activities.

The celebration will take place on Klamath Boulevard in front of the tribe's newly opened Redwood Hotel. The event starts at 8 a.m. with the veterans breakfast at the Klamath Community Center sponsored by the Klamath Chamber of Commerce.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. and the salmon lunch will start at 11 a.m.

To get to the festival from Crescent City, go south on U.S. Highway 101 and turn left at Ehlers Avenue near Pem-Mey Fuel Mart.

For more information, call Matt Mais at 482-1350 ext. 1306 or visitwww.yuroktribe.org/salmonfestival.

Reach Jessica Cejnar at jcejnar@triplicate.com .

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The Del Norte Triplicate
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