Rain can’t stop the festivities at Salmon Days

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.

  • Friday, October 10, 2008 1:00am
  • Life

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.

That childhood rhyme ran through my head several times on Saturday as I partook in my first-ever Salmon Days.

The day was wet and windy and it really brought to a head that for one, we in the Pacific Northwest don’t let a lot get in our way. We also have managed to turn rainwear into fashion.

Not only do we have bright coats but Northwesterners have a plethora of colorful umbrellas and rainboots.

Yep, we Northwesterners know how to deal with the rain, but even I was surprised at how many came from all over the region to participate in Salmon Days ­— rain be damned.

So, taking heart from my fellow festival-goers, I zipped my winter ski coat up tight and ventured forth to discover what the big deal was about, a festival dedicated to fish.

It didn’t take me too long to realize that there was a lot more to this than just the fish.

I spotted plenty of kids activities, music, artwork and, of course, the food.

Dozens of booths dedicated to putting me into a calorie coma. There was the usual greasy fare, including something I had never tried before, ribbon-cut chips, which were delicious. There was also fare from around the world, scones and desserts, including an amazing apple turnover with vanilla ice cream, which I loved. Naturally, there was plenty of salmon on the menu.

(Although I couldn’t help contemplating the irony in a festival that celebrated the salmon by eating them. After all you have all the people “oohing” and “ahhing” over the fish at the hatchery and then, right across the street is the salmon barbecue. However, I grew up on a farm where we raised beef cattle, so I am used to looking into the eyes of dinner.

From salmon barbecue, to smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese (which is what I eventually chose) and salmon caesar wraps (which I really wished I still had room for once I discovered that booth) salmon was gobbled up in abundance.

While I do love food, one of my favorite things in the world is art.

I almost majored in it in college, until my dad pointed out that most likely I wouldn’t make any money at art, so I switched to journalism, where I make even less.

There was art aplenty at Salmon Days. I especially loved the twisted metal sculptures featured in several booths, from twisted animals to wall art. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford any of them. Luckily though I now have plenty of ideas for my next art projects! Including trying to figure out how to make the really cool table top decorations that were pieces of slate, marble or granite that appeared as if flames were coming out of rock. Even more impressive was the booth owner thought ahead enough to bring an aquarium to place the display pieces in so that the wind wouldn’t blow the flames out.

And blow it did. Several times the wind gusts blew up the street and nearly took over our booth, as well as others. Yes, in case you missed it, the Issaquah Reporter had a booth near the north end of Front Street. We tried tying the booth to the railroad tracks and our racks of papers, but we still had a few dicey moments.

I do think though that one of my favorite things about Salmon Days was asking others about their favorite thing. Not the actual asking, since I still feel a bit awkward walking up to a stranger and putting them on the spot. However the answers and seeing what different people liked to do was really interesting to me. So, for the few of you who I ran up with a camera asking what your favorite thing was, thanks again for helping making my first Salmon Days a memorable one!

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