By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — In this city, where the eagle is the high school mascot and raptors are part of the culture year round, the Eagle Festival celebrates the wintertime visit of large groups of bald eagles to the Stillaguamish River watershed.
The city and the Stillaguamish Tribe are holding the fifth annual festival Saturday in downtown Arlington.
New for the festival this year is an opening night reception, with wine tasting from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Eagle Festival art show, housed at Magnolia Hall, 225 E. Third St. Hosted by the Arlington Arts Council, the show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with artist demonstrations and prizes to be awarded to winning photographers.
Eagle experts plan to be on hand Saturday at several outdoor locations.
•Bill Blake, the city’s natural resource manager, will lead a walk on the Arlington Eagle Trail. Meet at 9 a.m. in the Haller Park parking lot, 1100 West Ave.
Stillaguamish Tribe wildlife biologist Jen Sevigny and Nature Conservancy and Audubon volunteers plan to have their birding scopes ready for visitors from 10 a.m. to noon at the Port Susan Nature Conservancy. Head west from Island Crossing through Silvana, turn on Norman Road and as you approach the bay, look for the signs.
A guided walk through the Lower Pilchuck Creek Wildlife Preserve is planned from noon to 1 p.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. by Franchesca Perez, a tribal biologist. From I-5 exit 210, turn right from 236th Avenue NE onto 6th Ave NE. The preserve is on the left after the road crosses Pilchuck Creek.
Sarvey Wildlife Center volunteers offer a visit with birds of prey from noon to 4 p.m. in the City Council chambers, 110 E. Third St. Nature exhibits from Sound Salmon Solutions, Pilchuck Audubon Society, Wolf Haven and Snohomish Conservation District also are scheduled. Wolf Haven plans video presentations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m at the Mirkwood-Shire Cafe, 117 Division St.
The festival has entertainment and activities for kids.
•The Country Carvers Chainsaw is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. near Olympic Avenue. At noon, Dave Tremko plans to present an eagle sculpture to Mayor Barbara Tolbert. An auction of chainsaw sculptures is set for 3 p.m.
A display of nature poetry is offered by the Fogdog Gallery, 233 N. Olympic Ave, and free arts and crafts projects for families are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 101 S. Olympic Ave.
The Downtown Arlington Business Association is providing wagon rides around downtown.
Arlington airport staff offer a chance to sit in an experimental aircraft and Sky Valley Tractor Club members plan to have some old tractors on display from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the City Hall parking along Olympic Avenue.
The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum plans to host a concert of American Indian flute music. A map of the Stillaguamish River watershed is on display outside the museum at 20722 67th Ave. NE.
Finally, get skanking with the Skablins, ska band from Arlington, beginning at 4 p.m. at Mirkwood-Shire Cafe.
The Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival is Saturday.
Everyone is encouraged to enter the Eagle Festival photography and poetry contests.
Submissions are required by 2 p.m. Friday.
For details, go to www. arlingtonwa.gov/eaglefest.