Ridgefield’s Birdfest and Bluegrass Festival returns with festivities on the refuge and in downtown


The Birdfest and Bluegrass Festival is an effort to bring awareness to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge by both the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the City of Ridgefield.

This year’s festival on Saturday, Oct. 7 will include the “Walk for the Wild” 5k that begins at 11 a.m. at Overlook Park and goes through the Carty Unit of the Refuge. The 5k walk will benefit the future Community Nature Center at the wildlife refuge. To donate to the goal of $3,000 and/or register for the 5k walk, visit support.americaswildliferefuges.org/team/516152.

The Community Nature Center is set to break ground in 2024, according to the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

For birders and people interested in learning more about what wildlife calls the refuge’s Carty Unit home, a bird walk with Ron Escano at 8 a.m. will kick off the day followed by many other guided tours of the Carty Unit. At 10 a.m., a guided tour titled “Bird Language” will take place at the Carty Unit followed by an 11 a.m. family naturalist walk, a noon walk titled “From Mud to Birds and Everything in Between — Running a Refuge,” a 1 p.m. “Bird Language” walk and a 2 p.m. family naturalist walk.

Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  at the Carty Unit of the wildlife refuge with an opening blessing by the Chinook Tribal Nation followed by tours of the Cathlapotle Plankhouse on the Carty Unit.

Family activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the refuge administrative building’s conference room on the Carty Unit. The family activities include making bird masks, a scavenger hunt, completing an American kestrel bingo card for a sticker, coloring a canvas bag with a bird or fish theme, and looking through spotting scopes and binoculars with a volunteer to help identify what is seen.

In downtown Ridgefield, crafts, vendor fairs and jamming bluegrass music will fill the area.

Starting at 9 a.m. and running until 2 p.m. in Davis Park will be the vendor fair, which will feature over 40 local vendors selling pastries, artwork, ceramics and more. A craft tent with supplies and instructions for fun bird and bluegrass-themed craft items will also be on hand while supplies last.

While the 5k walk gets underway, the last dragon boat paddle of the season will take place at 11 a.m. at the marina boat launch. Registration for the dragon boat paddle can be found on the City of Ridgefield website. No experience is required, and equipment is provided.

Bluegrass music is available at various locations. People interested are invited to bring their instruments and jam along with others.

Outdoor locations:

11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ridgefield Craft Brewing back porch

Noon to 4 p.m., Sportsman’s Pub Outdoors/Back Porch

• Old Liberty Theater

• Carts in the Park

• Ridgefield Mercantile

Indoor locations:

Ridgefield Community Library Teen Room

• Starliner Dining Room

Bluegrass concerts are scheduled around downtown, as well.

Davis Park:

11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Phoenix Duo

Sportsman’s Pub:

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Ash Creek

1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Whistlin’ Rufus

2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Hardshell Harmony

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Corral Creek

Ridgefield Craft Brewing

4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Misty Mamas

7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Whiskey Deaf

For more information and directions to select events featured at the Birdfest and Bluegrass Festival, visit ridgefieldfriends.org/birdfest-bluegrass.