Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is home to—or a migratory stop for—hundreds of species of birds and other wildlife. It’s also the home of BirdFest & Bluegrass from Friday, Oct. 6, through Sunday, Oct. 8, the annual celebration of the fall sandhill crane migration through our local wetlands. Thousands of birds and people flock to Ridgefield every year to celebrate, listen to music, enjoy craft beer, and experience wildlife first-hand against the backdrop of open habitat as far as the eye can see.
Visit the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, see the sandhill cranes dance, and paddle a kayak through some of the Refuge’s waterways. There will be expert-led bird walks, bird language workshops, an Audubon Wild Bird Show, raptor displays, and a variety of guided hikes including photography, geology, ethnobotany, and an evening hike. Kayaking and canoe river trips can be reserved in advance by visiting https://ridgefieldfriends.org/news/birdfest-bluegrass-2017-schedule-events/. There will be children’s activities and craft stations in downtown Ridgefield. The weekend will also include a watercolor workshop, a digital photography workshop, and a traditional salmon bake on Sunday. An expanded Birders’ Marketplace will offer garden items, pottery, art, photography, birdhouses, clothes, books, and more. Food vendors will be open throughout the weekend as well as during the Saturday Farmers Market.
Sandhill Crane Tours give guests an exclusive opportunity to visit an area of the refuge not often open to the public. BirdFest is the only time the general public is able to visit this area for a unique wildlife viewing experience that has become one of the festival’s signature events. Reservations can be made at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/friends-of-the-ridgefield-national-wildlife-refuge-14684957139.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, you can see Hitchcock’s “The Birds” at the Old Liberty Theater, followed at 9 p.m. by the Bluegrass Band Whiskey Achievers playing at the Sportsman’s Steakhouse & Saloon. On Saturday, Oct. 7, there will be bluegrass jammers playing between the Old Liberty and the Sportsman’s Steakhouse from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Brian Oberlin Bluegrass Trio will be at the the Old Liberty, followed by Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8, the documentary The Promised Lands will be shown free of charge at the Old Liberty.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to https://ridgefieldfriends.org/events/birdfest-bluegrass/.