Kestrel SkyHawk, education director at the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, presents a golden eagle from the center to visitors at last year’s Eagle Festival on Feb. 3, 2018.

Birds of prey, nature exhibits and walks through wilderness are all part of Arlington’s annual Eagle Festival which returns this year Feb. 1-2.

The event provides downtown activities for local families with a focus on the nature around the Stillaguamish Valley.

“It started because we didn’t have a lot going on in the winter time,” said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization project manager with the city of Arlington. “And because we also wanted an event that focused on the nature here."

The festival began in 2008 and has continued with support of the city of Arlington, the Stillaguamish Tribe and various other local organizations which help to put it on.

“The people really enjoy it and come back every year, which is why we continue to help run it,” said Lopez.

There are numerous activities for people to do throughout the day.

“People like the variety of events. There are a lot of different things throughout the day for everyone,” said Lopez.

The Sarvey Wildlife Care Center plans to return with some of their large birds, usually including a couple of eagles and owls, for display at the Arlington City Council chambers. Sarvey officials plan to be there from noon to 4 p.m.

“You get to be up close and personal to some birds of prey,” said Lopez. 

Sound Salmon Solutions, the Snohomish Conservation District and other groups will also be at the City Council chambers with nature exhibits.

Nature tours include a bird identification walk sponsored by the Pilchuck Audubon Society, which has a new location at Country Charm Park, 604 E Gilman Ave., this year. It is from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The Nature Conservancy at Port Susan also returns with a tour.

“The Nature Conservancy is not usually open to the public, so this is a rare opportunity to meet with some biologists and volunteers there,” said Lopez.

The Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a treasure hunt for children and an “Identify Your Arlington Stream” event.

“There will be an interactive display at the new Stilly Collective [by the Arlington Police Department],” said Lopez.

“People will be able to identify where they live and see the local streams,” she said.

New this year is also an inflatable obstacle course for children that will be hosted at Arlington Fire Department Station 46 at 137 N MacLeod Street.

Chainsaw sculptors also return and will work out at the Legion Park parking lot. They are scheduled to be active Feb. 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More information and details about all the events going on at this year’s Eagle Festival are available on the city of Arlington website at www.arlingtonwa.gov/168.

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