Established in 2012, the Skagit River Salmon Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose purpose is to inspire conservation of the Skagit watershed’s incredible resources through a community celebration showcasing the Skagit River, its rich history, and vast natural and cultural resources.
Board of Directors
Skagit Public Utility District
Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group
Skagit Watershed Council
Washington State University Extension -
Skagit County Public Works-Solid Waste Division
For more than 20 years, individuals and organizations working to protect the Skagit River and its resources talked about the need for a community-wide festival to elevate the importance the river plays in all of our lives. In 2012, several private and public entities again joined in discussions around this community need, and were in a position to provide funding to help develop such an event.
This seed money was enough to engage a group of hardworking individuals to form a planning committee, create a nonprofit organization, and hire a professional festival coordinator to ensure a successful first event. They had high hopes of this festival becoming an annual Skagit County happening.
On September 15, 2012, along the banks of the Skagit River at Edgewater Park in Mount Vernon, the first ever Skagit River Salmon Festival was successfully held. Roughly 3,000 people turned out and organizers were thrilled with the Festival’s achievements in its inaugural year.
The Festival’s growing success is a result of the relationships fostered with our community partners, including federal, state, and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, Tribal communities and private businesses. The Festival provides a unique opportunity to engage the greater community in the stewardship role each entity plays in safeguarding various facets of the mighty Skagit River watershed.
The Skagit River Salmon Festival has strong connections to many organizations that are working towards similar outcomes. Each year, roughly 50 groups that are engaged with the conservation and preservation of natural and cultural resources in the Skagit watershed have been invited to participate in the Festival. Out of these invitations, at least 30 of the entities have participated each year. The entities represent federal agencies managing Skagit River resources, state agencies working to conserve resources, and of course the County and cities. These groups also include a multitude of nonprofit organizations with dramatically variable geographic focuses—from local to statewide or even international.