Celebrate the annual return of salmon to Issaquah’s lakes, streams and downtown hatchery at the 50th annual Issaquah Salmon Days Festival Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 5-6, and at the Salmon Days Carnival Friday-Saturday, Oct. 4-6.
On Friday, the fun starts with the carnival at Issaquah Valley Elementary from 4 to 9 p.m. There will be a carousel, Ferris wheel, games and more. The carnival festivities continue from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. One-day unlimited-rides wristbands purchased online are $20 on Friday and $22 Saturday-Sunday, while tickets bought the day-of are $26.
On Saturday, the festival kicks off with the grand parade featuring more than 100 participants, starting at 10 a.m. This year’s grand marshal is Bryan Clay, Olympic decathlon champion and Issaquah resident. The route starts at Front and Dogwood streets, then heads north on Front Street, turns left onto Gilman Boulevard and exits at 12th Avenue.
It’s not a festival without music! From noon to 6 p.m. each day, catch live music at the Community Center Stage. With rock classics, modern hits, jazz and more from different bands each day, there is something for everyone.
Be sure to bring the kids because there will be plenty for them to do at the Field of Fun. Watch them take a ride on the mini train, create fish prints and play lawn games. There will also be a petting zoo, soccer arena, trampoline jump zone, activity course and drone fun zone.
For more fun, head over to the Puget Sound DockDogs competition to watch dogs run, jump from docks and dive into water from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. If you and your dog would like to participate, you can register on-site starting at 8 a.m. If you’d rather browse products from a variety of vendors and get some shopping done, there will also be a market with food, arts and crafts.
Want to hang out at a tasting event? Sample Washington state wine and beer while enjoying jazz from local musicians at the Issaquah Library North Side Parking Lot. Tickets for the tasting are $20 and include 10 tasting tokens, a souvenir glass and wine bag. You can also make a donation to support local salmon when you purchase your tickets. Wine bottles will be available for purchase and sales are 10 percent off. If you purchase any bottles, the Salmon Days wine concierge will store them for you so you can enjoy the festival without carrying the bottles. Just remember to pick them up on your way out!
The tasting event is 21 and over only, but there will be a family-friendly beer garden at the Issaquah Community Center. Both the tasting and beer garden will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Issaquah Salmon Days Festival
Hours: Festival: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 5-6. Carnival: 4-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. Tasting event and beer garden: noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 5-6.
Location: Festival: downtown Issaquah, 232 Front St. N. Carnival: Issaquah Valley Elementary, 555 N.W. Holly St. Tasting: Issaquah Library North Side Parking Lot, 10 W. Sunset Way. Beer garden: Issaquah Community Center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S.
Cost: Festival: free admission. Carnival: $20-$26. Tasting: $20.
More info: issaquahchamber.com/salmondays