Eagle Festival returns to Arlington |SLIDESHOW

ARLINGTON — The fifth annual Eagle Festival benefited from warm, sunny weather on Saturday, Feb. 4, as crowds converged on downtown Arlington.

Sarvey Wildlife Center staff once again presented a selection of live birds of prey in the Arlington City Council Chambers, attracting onlookers of all ages.

Kestrel SkyHawk explained how the Sarvey Wildlife Center has rehabilitated injured, orphaned and ill raptors for decades, and taken in several thousand wild animals every year.

Although Sarvey’s goal is to release such animals back into the wild, it provides permanent care to those who can no longer survive in the wild without human care, including the golden and bald eagles, red-tailed hawk, barred owl and peregrine falcon that perched on the arms of Sarvey staff in the Council Chambers that afternoon.

The Arlington Arts Council’s annual eagle photography contest and nature art show offered area residents an opportunity to engage with wildlife in an entirely different way, which Mike Nordine did by sculpting an eagle statue out of old auto parts and other scrap metals.

“It started when my daughter wanted me to make a penguin,” said Nordine, who’s been scrap-metal sculpting for 15 years. “I never quite know what I’ll do next, because I never work it out or write it down before I put it together.”

Roberta Baker of the Arlington Arts Council proudly touted their 20-entry increase over last year, noting that entrants hailed from Stanwood and Camano Island as well as Arlington. Magnolia Hall hosted not only the art show, but also artist demonstrations which included the work of Donald Frazier, a carver for more than 20 years.

“It’s a good way to spend your time, and every once in a while you can make some money at it,” Frazier laughed. “I started out with bird carving, which is always popular, but lately I’ve gotten more into decorative carving, like for household architecture.”

Fogdog Gallery also encouraged area residents to celebrate the wild through creative works with a nature poetry contest, that owner Claire Cundiff reported had drawn 14 submissions from poets aged 5-72. Not only did Cundiff showcase the poems in the branches of a display tree at Fogdog’s new location on Olympic Avenue, but the first- and second-place winners in the adult and youth entrant categories also received cash prizes, as well as invitations to read their poems during an open mic night at Fogdog on Feb. 23.

Studio Tremko also used the Eagle Festival as an occasion to promote their new location, on West Street in downtown Arlington, as they invited close to 10 fellow chainsaw carvers to mark the annual community event, once again, with live demonstrations of their chainsaw carving artistic skills.

“It’s great to get them all down here at once for an afternoon of fun,” said Dave Tremko, co-owner of Studio Tremko. “The public gets great deals on some great art, all well below retail prices, and our carvers get enough money for gas to get back home, to places as far away as Bellingham and Vancouver.”

Just as Dave’s wife and Studio Tremko co-owner Debbie had carved an eagle statue for one of the city’s roundabouts in time for the 2011 Eagle Festival, so too was Dave himself able to present a chainsaw-carved sculpture of two eagles, a bear and a stag to the city for another of its roundabouts during this year’s Eagle Festival.

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