The north state community is invited to enjoy lively music, tasty food, hands-on learning, and visits with a walking fish during the Sacramento River Spring Festival this Friday night and Saturday, April 30 and May 1 in downtown Dunsmuir.

The Friday night program hosted by the Brown Trout Cafe offers two hours of mixed offerings.

Dunsmuir High School’s geometry class headed by teacher Gabe Dougherty is analyzing the path of the Sacramento River to southern California and will present their findings in The Economics of Water presentation. Pat Devereaux’s DHS art class will have aquatic insect masterpieces on display.

Tammera Ridge’s fourth graders and Susan Keeler’s fifth graders from Dunsmuir Elementary School will hit the beat with their Waterfowl Rap song. There will be updates from The River Exchange and Dunsmuir schools’ watershed program.

Craig Ballenger, Friday night’s keynote speaker, is a local with stories to tell like Hooked on Wild Trout: The Upper Sac, an Angler’s Paradise. His program will describe tactics and strategies for fishing nymphs on this renowned trout stream.

Also included will be information on hatches throughout the season along with historic information on the Upper Sacramento fishery. Ballenger works for California Trout and is a writer and historian.
Saturday’s program will kick off with Pat O’Connor’s DES kindergarteners acting in their Three Little Squirrels Operetta at the Kid’s Factory. It’s an imaginative version of the Three Little Pigs with a local twist.

“There is more edu-tainment this year and the watershed community has stepped up to freely share talent and expertise,” said festival coordinator Rebeca Franco.

Face painting, a popular activity, will again be available thanks to Tony Mabee of Mount Shasta Ink. Festival juggler, Steve Russ, will be wondering around wowing viewers with his quick hands.

Swing into the day with the Champion Club trio playing the guitar, piano and clarinet. Paula Reynolds and Gerry Smida will later play jazz and music from greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

Take the time to stop at the 30 exhibits because they are guaranteed to engage your interest.

Julie Cassidy, USDA Forest Service Heritage Manager, will again display Native American weaved hats and baskets and show visitors how to make pine nut jewelry.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office knows about water safety and will have a jet boat on display.

The Dunsmuir  Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Unit will give tours of their emergency vehicle.

Mount Shasta’s Sisson Middle School sixth graders and teacher Juliane Tinsman will join Dunsmuir schools in teaching the public about the Sacramento River watershed through their Producers, Consumers and Decomposers exhibit.

The Dunsmuir Garden Club will provide pots that decompose with native plants for the public to take home.

Birds are a prime topic for several exhibitors including the Mount Shasta Area Audubon Society. If you need a bird feeder, get it here as visitors will make their own with peanut butter, seeds and pine cones.

USFS biologist Debbie Derby will challenge with a bird game and Susan Thomas will bring live raptors.

The Dunsmuir Library has recruited storytellers to spin tails in their program Fish Swim Upstream, offered four times during the day.

The River Exchange will help visitors learn about native and non-native fish through Name That Fish. They will also host a native plant walk in Tauhindauli Park at the end of the festival.

“The festival’s partners and ‘spawnsors’ are critical to the success of this event,” said Sandra Spelliscy, executive director of the River Exchange. “The city of Dunsmuir, the US Forest Service, Dunsmuir’s Rotary, Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Power, Roseburg Forest Products, Mount Shasta Area Newspapers, Mayor Peter Arth, and other businesses and organizations are steadfast in their support of education and the community.”

For more information about the festival or to become a “spawnsor” contact Franco at (530) 945-6085 or 235-4828, extension 100.