The bald and the beautiful: Eagle Festival lands in Arlington Feb. 3-4

ARLINGTON – The 10th annual Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival returns to Arlington today featuring bird walks, encounters with bald eagles, river rafting, chainsaw carvers, food, music and more.

Most of the activities are centered in downtown Arlington at City Hall and Legion Park, or Haller Park. However, there are other fun festival-related events just a short drive away.

City Recreation manager Sarah Lopez said the festival is unique because it adds a family recreational opportunity at a time of year that can be bleak from a weather standpoint.

“It’s nature-centered, and it happens in the middle of the winter,” she said. “People like having something offered at this time of year, when there aren’t as many activities for families.”

Audubon bird watcher Virginia Clark will lead a trail walk at Haller Park, 1100 West Ave., to identify songbirds that live in the forested wetland habitat. You may see a bald eagle in a cottonwood tree near the historic roundhouse.

From 10 a.m. to noon, wildlife biologists will offer tours at Port Susan Bay Nature Conservancy, at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River, where people can watch eagles. From Arlington, take Highway 530 west through Silvana. Turn left on Norman Road, then follow to Boe Road to the end.

For a personal encounter with a bald eagle and other live birds of prey, Sarvey Wildlife Center will host an open house from noon to 4 p.m. at City Hall, 238 N. Olympic Ave. Along with Sarvey, an organization that cares for injured animals, there will be nature exhibits and information from Pilchuck Audubon, Snohomish Conservation District and the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum.

The Country Carvers Chainsaw Carving show returns from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in Legion Park, 114 N. Olympic Ave. A dozen award-winning carvers will carve eagles and other art. At 2:30 p.m. Nyal Thomas will carve an ice sculpture to be auctioned at 3 p.m., along with wood carvings.

The City Hall parking lot will offer attractions including food vendors; Dan Cramer’s Western Town petting farm on wheels with a miniature pony and donkey, goats, ducks, bunnies and more; Western Wildlife Outreach’s Large Carnivore Education Trailer; the Stillaguamish Tribe and Sound Salmon Solution’s Stillaguamish Salmon Stop; and an antique tractors and working old engines display from the Sky Valley Tractor Club.

The Mirkwood Shire and Café will offer music at 7:30 p.m. Cover charge is $5; music is all ages until 11 p.m., when minors must leave.

The Predators of the Heart Wild Animal Show has performances at 1 and 3 p.m. at Eagle Creek Elementary, 1216 E. 5th St. Hosted by Arlington’s Calvary Church, the animals from the Skagit County animal refuge sanctuary include wolves, reptiles, birds of prey, a mountain lion and more.

Free hands-on craft projects for kids will be available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Arlington United Church, 101 E. Fourth St.

Members of the Arlington United Church are also hosting a bake sale and soup lunch.

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