Sockeye salmon turn the Horsefly River red as they return to spawn in the local river. The Horsefly Salmon Festival takes place Sept. 27 and 28.

Sockeye salmon turn the Horsefly River red as they return to spawn in the local river. The Horsefly Salmon Festival takes place Sept. 27 and 28.

Horsefly welcomes returning salmon

The Horsefly River Roundtable invites all to the annual Horsefly River Salmon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28.

The Horsefly River Roundtable invites all to the annual Horsefly River Salmon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28.

Activities will be happening across the bridge in downtown Horsefly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Both days will be filled with arts and crafts for children of all ages, including traditional arts with Secwepmec Elders, and Gyotaku — traditional Japanese fish printing, says event spokesperson Marin Patenaude.

“Local river interpreters and Department of Fishries and Ocans representatives will be there to answer questions regarding the status of the river, what you can do to help, and any of your watershed related questions, and local vendors will be selling food, coffee and wares including delicious bannock,” Patenaude says.

Pateneaude says Horsefly has recently upgraded its fully accessible Horsefly Salmon Habitat Trail to the spawning channels. The whole family is encouraged to take a stroll along the river and help the Horsefly River Roundtable achieve and maintain healthy watersheds and gain awareness and appreciation for our sacred waters and the creatures they host. On the Saturday night, Arts on the Fly Festival Society will be hosting an evening of music and dance at the Horsefly Community Hall. Music starts at 7 p.m.

There is plenty of camping space along the Horsefly River, so plan to stay the weekend, Patenaude says. All the weekend’s events are free, including camping.

This year’s Salmon Festival is a collaborative event sponsored by the Horsefly River Roundtable, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society. As in previous years, this is a family-focused all-ages event aimed at celebrating and understanding more about the highly significant Horsefly sockeye salmon run.

For more information check out http://www.horseflyriver.ca/salmonfestival/salmon.html or the event page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/297065403805945/.