Music, kids activities, Native American culture and environmental information will be available at the Stillaguamish Tribe's annual Festival of the River which will be held Aug. 11-12 this year.

It returns to River Meadows County Park at 20416 Jordan Road, Arlington. Admission to the festival is free, although parking costs $20 per car. Those arriving between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. only have to pay $10.

This year country music duo Maddie & Tae headline on Aug. 11 and classic rock musician Rick Springfield headlines on Aug. 12.

The Stillaguamish Tribe also tried to bring in more bands in general and more local bands this year, said Tamara Neuffer, one of the main organizers for the event.

"We'll have some new acts that people haven't seen before," she said.

Local bands playing include the JP Falcon Gray Band and Bellingham's Soulful 7.

"The festival is about a lot more than the music," said Neuffer.

Native American storytellers and logging shows will also be going on in other parts of the festival.

There is also a kids zone with a number of rides/activities for kids, most of which are free, said Neuffer.

"What they really like about the festival is that it is very family friendly," she said.

Festival-goers can also learn about Native American culture or attend the Native American powwows, which are held in the afternoon of each day of the festival.

"There's so many dancers that come from around the U.S. to participate," said Neuffer.

"People appreciate being able to see what a powwow is like, which is something that they may not have experienced before," she said

The Festival of the River is also meant to highlight the Stillaguamish Valley and the environment around it.

Last year many of the environmental groups were gathered into one location, said Neuffer.

"The big environmental tent was a big hit," she said.

"It has this big open feel so parents can go through it and not feel like they're being cooped up," Neuffer said.

The annual event is put on by the Stillaguamish Tribe.

"It's a gift to the community," said Neuffer.

"The Stillaguamish Tribe pays for it, not the casino like some people think," she said.

This is the 29th annual Festival of the River and Neuffer said that the Tribe is looking forward to 30 years.

"Next year is going to be 30 years for the festival and we're hopeful to put on a big celebration for that," she said.

More information about the local festival is available at

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