June 9, 2022
Sarah Highfield
Port of Whitman County hosts annual Snake River Family Festival

Free family festival set for Saturday, June 18, at Boyer Park & Marina

Colfax (June 9, 2022) — The public is invited to attend the 2022 Snake River Family Festival on Saturday, June 18, at Boyer Park & Marina, 1753 Granite Road in Colfax. The free event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a free barbecue lunch (while supplies last), Ferdinand’s ice cream, exhibits, children’s activities and live music from Eric E.

The annual festival, sponsored by the Port of Whitman County, celebrates the lifeblood of the Palouse: The Snake River. Attendees can meet with area experts and learn more about hydropower, navigation on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, safe on-water recreation and the salmon recovery work made possible by the four lower Snake River dams. Current exhibitors include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Whitman County Sheriff’s Office, Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, Shaver Transportation Company, Almota Elevator Company, McGregor Company, Port of Clarkston and others.

“FIN, the Migrating Salmon,” a 25-foot-long summer chum sculpture from the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, will be on display, as well as a variety of interactive, river-related educational activities. Almota Elevator Company will supply bushels of soft white wheat to fill a “wheat box” – the Whitman County spin on the traditional sandbox. An antique rope maker will be on hand to teach children how to tie nautical ropes. By visiting these and other exhibits, attendees can complete a Snake River Family Festival passport to win prizes, including two tickets for a ½-day Nez Perce Crossing Jetboat Tour from Snake River Adventures.

The 2022 Snake River Family Festival will also celebrate Boyer Park & Marina’s 50th anniversary. Historic photos of the park and Whitman County student essays answering the prompt, “What do you love about Boyer Park & Marina?” will be on display. The essay contest winner, second-grade student Alice Oar of Pullman Christian School, will read her essay aloud. Festival-goers can also enjoy the no-cost recreational amenities available at Boyer Park & Marina during the event, including a sandy swimming beach, play structure and 3.5-mile paved biking and walking path along the river. Additionally, one of Boyer Park’s riverfront cabins will be open for tours during the festival. For a fee, pedal boats and adult and children’s bicycles can be rented at the park office, and Snake River souvenirs are available for purchase at the gift shop.

2022 marks the fifth year of the Snake River Family Festival after the 2020 festival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 2021 festival was modified to allow for social distancing. The Port of Whitman County founded the event to celebrate the ecological, economic and recreational benefits of the river system to the Palouse: 

  • The 465-mile river highway provides the most ecologically sound mode of transportation for the crops and products that are shipped from the Palouse to the Pacific Ocean. In 2018, 3.8 million tons of cargo moved through the Snake River channel. It would have taken 38,966 rail cars or 149,870 semi-trucks to move those goods without barges.
  • Eliminating the clean power and efficient transportation provided by the Lower Snake River dams would add to climate change by increasing cumulative carbon emissions equivalent to building a coal-fired power plant like the one in Boardman, Oregon, every five or six years.
  • In addition to fighting climate change, the river system supports world-class investments in fish passage facilities. Juvenile fish survival rates past each of the eight federal dams on the system are between 95% and 98%. Fish populations are stronger than they have been since 1938.
  • The river system supports thousands of jobs across the region. According to Northwest RiverPartners, hydropower creates 100,000 jobs in the Northwest. According to Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, trade and transportation along the Lower Columbia River creates more than 40,000 jobs.
  • Because of the lower Snake River dams, the Palouse enjoys unrivaled recreational opportunity. Beautiful on-water facilities, such as Boyer Park and Marina, were made possible by reservoirs filling behind the dams and creating lakes.

For more information, please visit the Snake River Family Festival’s website and Facebook page.

More about Eric E.

Eric E. has performed in 49 of the United States and 19 countries, sharing the stage with acts such as Jay Leno, Styx, Little River Band, Air Supply, Dan Seals, Bobby McFerrin, Eric Bibb, Phil Keaggy, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Glenn Kaiser, Bryan Duncan and dozens more. Blending and adapting originals, pop, rock, blues, jazz and country to each audience's whims, Eric creates a unique experience that is unforgettable. In 37 years and thousands of performances, he has never played the same playlist twice.


The Port of Whitman County is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Whitman County through industrial real estate development, preservation of multi-modal transportation, facilitation of economic development and provision of on-water recreational opportunities.