This year’s Arlington Eagle Festival will hold activities either virtually or meant to be enjoyed on one’s own and will begin Jan. 23 and continue through Feb. 13.
The festival includes online activities as well as a guide to local nature opportunities.
“This year is a little bit different because we can’t have crowds,” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization and communications manager.
“We have a large number of activities that people can go do on their own or with their family,” she said.
The annual festival started as a way to help downtown businesses and environmental education.
“We started this as an economic project to bring people into the downtown,” said Lopez.
Many local environmental organizations usually contribute to the festival.
“We’re happy to sponsor something that helps promote the local environmental organizations,” said Lopez.
In place of the normal activities, organizers had to arrange some safe activities for this year.
“It was a little bit challenging, but we have a pretty good partnership with the Stillaguamish Tribe,” said Lopez.
The organizers on the festival committee still wanted to put something on this year so they decided to proceed.
Eagle Festival brochures are available online at arlingtonwa.gov/eaglefest with a list of the online and outside activities.
Recommended visiting spots include Arlington’s Stormwater Wetland Park, Portage Creek Wildlife Area, Squire Creek Park and the Forston Mill ponds.
Nature visit suggestions range from Arlington to Darrington to near Stanwood.
“There are a lot of cool activities to get people out and into nature more,” said Lopez.
The Arlington Arts Council will again sponsor an Eagle Photo Contest and Nature Haiku Contest. The council sponsors prizes of $200 for the best eagle photo and $25 for the three winning Haikus.
There are a number of online activities, many from local environmental organizations, including videos, games, virtual tours and activity sheets.
Local nonprofit Sound Salmon Solutions “has an online game where you guide a salmon upstream to spawn,” said Lopez.
New this year is the Stilly Valley Trek which will allow participants to register online with their exercise goals.
The first 50 people to register online will receive a free pedometer from the organizers of the event, Stilly Valley Health Connections.
“They want to keep people moving,” said Lopez.
Families can fill out Eagle Bingo cards that are included in the festival brochure as they complete their activities throughout the weeks of the festival.
Completed cards can be returned to the Arlington City Hall drop box at 238 N Olympic Ave., Arlington.
Prizes will be handed out for completed cards, including a $300 gift certificate to North Cascades Institute at Diablo Lake.
The certificate can be used to stay overnight at their lodge or participate in their outdoor activities such as kayaking, said Lopez.
Other prizes include outdoor gear, bird feeders and nature books. Prizes are sponsored by the Stillaguamish Tribe’s Natural Resources Department.