The Sacramento River Spring Festival traditionally marked the opening day of fishing season. It’s gone through several changes. Rebecca Franco, who teaches watershed education to elementary and high school students in Dunsmuir said, “We always had some sort of festival each year. Last year it was held in the fall with River Clean-Up. Now that it’s in the spring far more students and teachers were able to participate and prepare for the event. Teachers wanted the festival to be downtown and later-on in the school year. That way students can go to the event representing a greater accumulation of knowledge gained from our watershed education program.”
“This last Saturday was larger than any other year we’ve had. It was the festival where the community was most involved,” said Franco, who estimated over 300 people in attendance throughout the day.
Watershed education and wildlife exhibits ranged from live owls to a composting exhibit to arts and crafts, student demos and flyfishing demos, there was a performance at The Family Resource Center on Pine St. It was a 20 minute operetta that had Pat O'Connor’s DES kindergarten students playing the parts of local business owners and city officials. The students
talked and sang about Dunsmuir and the different businesses, the railroad, and the town’s history.
In the evening, a fundraising dinner supported by volunteers and local businesses was held at The Brown Trout Cafe. Approximately $1,100 was raised to go toward the restoration of the fountain on Dunsmuir Avenue and Pine St.
Franco said she was impressed by how many Dunsmuir businesses, educators and volunteers came together along with additional groups in the county. “The beauty of the festival was that all levels of the community were involved, not only the local community but the broader community of Siskiyou County was supportive: the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The US Forest Service, CalFire, Siskiyou Backhoe and Septic, Roseburg, Timber works, and Pacific Power.