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Weekend festival celebrates local ‘slow food’ providers

Slow Food Roots Music fest features speakers, entertainment and awareness

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By Gale Fiege
Herald Writer
STANWOOD -- It's about food.
The Slow Food Roots Music Festival this weekend offers meals of local food and the chance to hear the likes of Dr. Les Berenson, an internist who studies genetically modified foods.
The festival also is an opportunity to hear nationally known American roots musicians, including those that play country, honkytonk, bluegrass, roots rock, blues and gospel.
Hosted by Slow Food Port Susan, the festival is 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the Stanwood-Camano Fairgrounds, 6431 Pioneer Highway. General admission tickets are $25, or $40 for both days. Proceeds go to support community projects such as the Port Susan Farmers Market, the Port Susan Food and Farming Center, the annual Harvest Jubilee and the Spring Nursery Tour.
Slow Food Port Susan's goals for the festival are to raise awareness about the Stanwood area's agricultural heritage, promote locally grown food and agricultural products, foster a tourism destination and provide funding for programs that sustain agriculture, said organizer Pearl Schaar.
"As a nonprofit, we are working toward the festival creating a steady stream of income to support our agricultural community," Schaar said. "We would like to see the festival grow beyond the fairgrounds and out to venues downtown, to farms in the Stillaguamish Valley, to Camano Island, down to Warm Beach -- all around Port Susan."
The organization also hopes to see the festival become the annual celebration for the state's 12 other Slow Food chapters, Schaar said. Slow Food, with 225 chapters nationwide, links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment, organizers say.
Local food to be served at the festival includes grilled burgers and bratwurst, pulled pork, grilled sockeye salmon, Samish Bay oysters, gluten-free quiche, lentil salad, fresh roasted sweet corn, bay shrimp cocktail, Skagit Valley fruit bowls, pie, gluten-free cookies, scones with blackberries and handmade ice cream, coffee, tea, smoothies and regional wines and beer.
Scheduled speakers are set to engage, inspire, educate and amuse, Schaar said. They plan to talk about nutrition, sustainable farming, tips for home gardeners and how to prepare food using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients.
Musical acts include the Iguanas from New Orleans, Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express from San Francisco, Duffy Bishop and the Rhythm Dogs, Knut Bell and the Blue Collars, Nick Vigarino's Back Porch Stomp, Russell Bartlett and Colin Gilmore, the Stilly River Band, Michael O'Neill, Side Saddle, Alice Stuart and the Formerlys, Lane Fernando, the Swearengens, Shelby Earl and Orville Johnson Goes Gospel.
Learn more
For tickets and more information, go to

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