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Tourism Harrison River Valley unleashes Season of the Wild celebration

Fall, winter celebration promises multiple events celebrating local wildlife
Though the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival is gone, the Season of the Wild hosted by Tourism Harrison River Valley aims to act as its spiritual successor and build on the legacy of wildlife awareness and conservation. (Bob Friesen File Photo)

Though the beloved Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival has flown into the sunset, its spirit lives on through a new Tourism Harrison River Valley event.

On Thursday, Oct. 14, Tourism Harrison River Valley unveiled the inaugural Season of the Wild celebration.

Season of the Wild runs from Oct. 16 to Jan. 31. Weekend events spanning just over three months will include a salmon feast and storytelling at the Sasquatch Pub, a speaker series at the Agassiz-Harrison Museum and, of course, the always-anticipated bald eagle watch to take place at the Kilby Historic Site on the weekends beginning Nov. 13.

“While we were saddened to hear that the festival would not be moving forward, we embrace the need to continue building on the Harrison River Valley’s designation as the world’s largest winter bald eagle gathering,” said Robert Reyerse, Tourism Harrison River Valley’s executive director.

Season of the Wild is not only a tribute to the Bald Eagle Festival, which ran for 25 years, but it’s a glimpse into the story of wildlife in the Harrison River Valley, highlighting the salmon, bald eagles and the mighty white sturgeon. Spawning season starts in October and runs through early November, making for prime viewing of the valley’s prized indigenous fish. As temperatures cool down in the north, the bald eagles descend upon particularly the Harrison Mills area October through January with peak viewing in November.

Sandpiper Resort has been known as a eagle-spotting hotspot during the later months for years, said general manager Ted Swaine.

“Its certification as Canada’s only Salmon Stronghold, deeply, lends to attracting the eagles. We are fortunate to see the thousands of eagles that arrive every year and are expecting another banner year,” Swaine said.

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