Arts and Entertainment

Stillaguamish Festival of the River runs Aug. 10-12

Stillaguamish Festival of the River Pow Wow dancers Tomasina, left, and Fred Ballew carefully make their way through the
Stillaguamish Festival of the River Pow Wow dancers Tomasina, left, and Fred Ballew carefully make their way through the 'potato dance,' a whimsical elimination competition during which couples have to hold potatoes between their foreheads, without using their hands, as they dance together.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish Festival of the River and Pow Wow are fast approaching.

The 23rd annual event, which takes place starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12, will again be held at River Meadows County Park. This year will also include an additional day for the festival, starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, for a music show. The festival became a three-day event starting last year.

As usual, the festivities for Saturday and Sunday will include a Native American Pow Wow open to the general public, as well as arts, crafts and food for attendees to enjoy. Live music will be played through all three days of the event.

The festival is provided and organized by the Stillaguamish Tribe. Its mission is to help people who live in the Stillaguamish watershed and surrounding regions understand how their actions can help make their environment cleaner for people, fish and wildlife.

To honor the area, festival organizers will have watershed education exhibits, fly casting and tying instruction, and interpretive river and forest walks.

While the event itself is free, attendees can sign up for the Stilly Fun Run, which kicks off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, after an 8:30 a.m. check-in and registration. The cost for the run will be $15 for adults and $10 for those under 18.

Organizers will hold a tribal salmon bake over alder coals, and a number of children's activities and entertainment will also be available during the festival.

The musical acts are set to include Dave Mason, Dr. John, LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, Los Lonely Boys, Jana Kramer, Brett Eldredge and Lee Brice. The music starts at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 and 12, and runs until 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 p.m. on Sunday. On Friday, Aug. 10, it kicks off at around 1:30 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m.

All musical performances are free to view, but there is a $5-per-car daily parking fee. Seating is first come, first served on the lawn, and traffic can back up on the two-lane highway, so festival organizers advise attendees to arrive early. You may bring your own chairs, as well as your own food and drink, except for alcohol.

Dogs must be leashed and their owners must bring bags to dispose of their waste.

River Meadows County Park is located at 20416 Jordan Rd. in Arlington. For more information, log onto

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