Virtual Salmon Festival 2020

Every September, thousands of Salmon migrate to the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville, California, to spawn- and every September people flock to Downtown Oroville to have a bunch of fun.  Unfortunately, this year the events have been greatly scaled back.  Fortunately, I captured much of the 2013 Salmon Festival and can share it with you so we can have a virtual Salmon Festival.

The hatchery was built in 1967 after the construction of the Oroville Dam. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the hatchery is one of the most advanced and successful fish hatcheries in California.

Eager fish climb the ladder every fall. And every fall, people flock to the hatchery on a continual basis to watch the fish finish their long journey. It is a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation.  It is one of my favorite memories of growing up in Otown.
A festival in honor of the determined fish is held at the end of September each year.

The annual Salmon Dinner is a popular event of the Salmon Festival.  It is held at the Nature Center near the Old Bath House.  The meal will surely be missed by many this year.  It is a definite highlight of the festival

There has been no shortage of food at past festivals —from barbeque to tamales to tri tip and, of course, Salmon. There has also been popcorn, kettle corn and other yummy treats at these festivals.  Entertainment is another common feature as well. Bands can typically be found on the levee, in the streets, and all around town. Whether it's rock, country, jazz, or other types of music, no one was ever left disappointed.

Vendors have also been involved in past day-long events. There were always all kinds of unique items for sale, many made from recycled materials—saving our landfills and beautifying our homes.  At the end of the day, no doubt everyone went home exhausted but happy—and anticipating the following year’s Salmon Festival.
Tours of the fish hatchery are another big feature of the festival. Attendees could see the fish and the spawning process up close, get a detailed explanation on how the hatchery functions, learn the history of the hatchery and find out how it benefits not only the Salmon but also Oroville.

The Street Fair was a huge part of the festival.  There was always tons of shopping, food, music, games, and more.  New treasures could always be discovered during the Street Fair each year.

The Salmon Court was probably one of the biggest attractions of the annual Salmon Festival. Gourmet food, barbequed foods, and naturally, Salmon was served. A beer and wine garden was also included in the festivities. Local artists often displayed their work. There was even a health fair, where free health screenings were provided. 

Another great part of the festival was the free shuttle that took riders on a continuous loop between Riverbend Park and the corner of Grand Avenue and Table Mountain Boulevard so they didn't miss a single feature of the Salmon Festival.  
For more information on the Salmon Festival, go to the official website. To learn more about the hatchery, go to  I hope you enjoyed this year's virtual Salmon Festival.  😊


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