Darrington Day offers gateway to outdoors, history, music

Festival provides access to recreation, history and music

By Gale Fiege, the Herald

DARRINGTON — People headed out to the woods or the North Cascades for Memorial Day weekend are encouraged to stop by Darrington Day.

The free annual event celebrates the area’s history, culture and outdoor activities with live music, tours and exhibits. Darrington Day is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Make your first stop at the information booth in front of the Darrington IGA grocery store, 1090 Seeman St., just off Highway 530. There, you can pick up maps, schedules and information about hiking trails.

Ask about the opening of the Old Sauk Trail, which offers a 1.3-mile stroll on a wheelchair-accessible trail through the lush forest along the Sauk River. A ribbon-cutting for the new trail is set for 10 a.m. Another ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. celebrates the completion of a refurbished shed that protects five ancient Sauk-Suiattle dugout canoes. The shed is located across the highway from Forest Service’s Darrington Ranger District office, 1405 Emens Ave. N.

History is big in Darrington. People can take the self-guided history and trivia tour around town and see the Forest Fire Lookout display at the Cascade Senior Center, 1115 Darrington St. Watch a slideshow about the Green Mountain Forest Fire Lookout, which is 80 years old this summer. In addition, the Forest Fire Lookout Association plans to display models of lookouts throughout the country and be on hand to talk about restoring the nearby North Mountain Lookout.

Adventure Cascades, a new outdoors guide business along the highway, plans an open house at 1055 Seeman St. People can enter a raffle to win a rafting trip for two. Mountain Loop Books and Coffee, 1085 Darrington St., has author Eric Erickson scheduled until 2 p.m. to sign his book, “Mile Post, a History of the Arlington-Darrington Branch of The Northern Pacific Railway, 1899 to 2009.”

From noon to late in the afternoon, people can enjoy live music in Old School Park, 1026 Alvord St, while browsing booths with work by local artists. Whitehorse Musicians Guild and the Darrington Bluegrass Association offer traditional local bluegrass, and several folk, blues and classic rock bands are scheduled.

For more information go to www.darringtonwatourism.com.