This coming Wednesday, July 10th, Wet Planet will be hosting their 8th annual Riverfest and Symposium. The day will kick off with a community rafting trip, hosted by Wet Planet in partnership with other local outfitters. This affordable, $20 raft trip is designed for the local community to enjoy the river together.

“We care about the White Salmon River, and appreciate being able to take visitors and neighbors rafting and kayaking every day. It always surprises us how many folks in the area have never been out on the river, so we love creating this opportunity each year to share it in an affordable way our community members who don’t get a chance to get out on the river as much as we do” says Wet Planet owner Todd Collins, who is also on the Husum – BZ Community Council.

After the rafting trip, rafters and event attendees are invited to grab lunch by the newest eatery in Husum, Big Man’s Rotisserie. For the occasion, the Big Man’s grill will be stationed at the parking lot of the Husum Fire Hall, serving up flat breads hot from the griddle, stuffed with toppings like fresh chicken and beef, sweet slaw, avocados, and homemade chili sauce, or their specialty, rotisserie chicken fresh off the BBQ.

Next up: the symposium. The topics, presented by regional experts, include a “state of the river” overview, conservation resources available to landowners, the threat, identification and prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species, watershed stewardship, and fish resources: an update and what to expect.

A moderated discussion will follow with a panel of river-related specialists, who will wrestle with the benefits and challenges of wood in the river. Additional sub-basin and river-related information will be provided by organizations at table displays. Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife staff will hold two demonstrations on how to decontaminate a water craft (using a boat-washing station outside the fire hall) in order to prevent the introduction or spread of aquatic invasive species which could threaten the economic and ecological vitality of the river. Raffle drawings will be held in between talks, and visitors will have opportunities to interact with presenters and panelists.

Following the symposium it is time to get out on the river again for the Social Paddle & Trash Bash. The Wednesday Evening Social Paddle, organized each week by Luke Maddox with the Kayak Shed, is joining forces with local raft guides led by Zoller’s guide Ben Kofoed for a river clean-up. Paddlers are challenged to pick up as much trash as possible, and prizes will be given for the most and/or funniest river trash collected.

After a great day of activities, the party will move to Husum Riverside B&B and Ice House Café. The river community will be able to grab a slice of pizza by Solstice, and a beverage at the bar. Solstice has been named “The Best Pizza in Washington” by Food Network Magazine, and it’s easy to see why, with quality toppings like cherries, chorizo, and goat cheese, or butternut squash, leeks, bacon & blue cheese, all baked in their custom-built mobile pizza oven. This will also be a great opportunity to watch OPB’s documentary about the White Salmon River, “The White Salmon River Runs Free: Breaching the Condit Dam” created by Andy Maser. As of 8:30 PM, local band The Shed Shakers will be filling the dance floor with their blend of acoustic newgrass, bluegrass, and rock and roll.

So come on out, whether you can come for the whole day, half of the day, or for just part of the festival, it will be a good time and a great learning experience. See you in a week!

A special thanks to gorge locals, Doppio’s CoffeeDouble Mountain BrewingGroundKiller Burger, and Kayak Shed for their sponsorship and donations!