BirdFest and Bluegrass

BirdFest & Bluegrass, taking place the weekend of October 6-8th, is an annual celebration of the fall migration of the Sandhill Crane. This year’s festival will bring some exciting developments, with new family-friendly events at Overlook Park, expanded hikes and workshops on the Refuge, and a bluegrass picker’s festival throughout town.

Kicking off the weekend on Friday, there will be a screening of ‘Love Thy Nature’ at the Old Liberty Theater. Saturday and Sunday are packed with activities for all ages, all over town, including the always popular Audubon Live Bird Show, raptor displays, craft stations, and more! From bird walks and bird language workshops to sandhill crane tours and a variety of hikes! Kayaking and Big Canoe river trips can be reserved in advance by visiting the website link below. A special offering that makes our BirdFest unique is the sandhill crane tours. Not only do you get to view these unique birds, you get an exclusive opportunity to visit an area of the refuge not usually open to the public. Reservations can be made here

The weekend will also include a watercolor workshop, a digital photography workshop, the Birders’ Marketplace, and stick around Sunday for a traditional salmon bake with complimentary samplings. Visitors can also get an early start on holiday shopping.

Lastly, enjoy bluegrass music throughout Ridgefield, with pickers jamming in businesses, venues, and parks around town. Dan Varland, founder/director of Coastal Raptors, professional ornithologist, and amateur entertainer will give a keynote presentation entitled “The Turkey Vulture: Love at Second Sight”, followed by a joint presentation with Tony Starlight, professional entertainer and amateur ornithologist. Dan and Tony will discuss how a tagged turkey vulture brought them together. Their presentation will include some original music, Tony’s discovery of the joys of birding, and some photography and comic commentary on birding.

Purchase your commemorative festival button at the following businesses downtown: Buckets, the Old Liberty Theater, Ridgefield Floral and the Sportsmans. They are $5 each, and may also be purchased at City Hall. This button gets you into several events, and supports the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

For more information and a schedule of events, go here.

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