Cam Choy, associate professor of art at Kenai Peninsula College, works on a salmon sculpture in collaboration with the Kenai Watershed Forum during the Kenai River Festival at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska on June 8, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Cam Choy, associate professor of art at Kenai Peninsula College, works on a salmon sculpture in collaboration with the Kenai Watershed Forum during the Kenai River Festival at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska on June 8, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Kenai River Festival returns this weekend

The festival aims to spread awareness about the Kenai River watershed and its surrounding systems

The Kenai River Festival is back in person this year for the first time since 2019 with a weekend full of activities for people of all ages.

Hosted by the Kenai Watershed Forum, the festival aims to spread awareness about the Kenai River watershed and its surrounding systems, as well as the forum’s stewardship projects.

Brandon Drzazgowski, the Stream Watch coordinator at the forum, said this is the first year he’ll be a part of the festival, and he’s looking forward to seeing community members come out to appreciate the natural resources of the Kenai River.

“I’m just excited to see how the community gets together for a bigger event,” he said.

A big part of the festival will include education, Drzazgowski said, about what kind of stewardship projects are on the horizon for the forum. He said a few of those include the organization’s involvement with educating high schoolers on invasive species control and salmon fishing and life cycle.

One recent project in particular, he said, was the forum’s participation in a local halibut fishing tournament. Anglers had to collect trash to have their fish count toward the competition. Drzazgowski said the added component aligned with a lot of the work the forum does.

“We liked that idea because it helped people enjoy natural resources, but take care of them at the same time,” he said.

In addition to education, the festival will include food and artisan vendors, children’s activities, live music and the annual Run for the River. Registration, dinner and the bib pickup will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. The 10-mile race will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with the 5-kilometer starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The festival will be from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, visit the Kenai River Festival 2022 Facebook Page or https://www.kenaiwatershed.org/community-outreach/kenai-river-festival/.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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