June 5, 2023
Sarah Highfield
Port of Whitman County Hosts Annual Snake River Family Festival June 10

Free family festival set for Saturday, June 10, at Boyer Park & Marina

WHITMAN COUNTY – The Port of Whitman County invites the community to attend its sixth annual Snake River Family Festival on Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Boyer Park & Marina, 1753 Granite Road, in Colfax.

The event features a free barbecue lunch and ice cream while supplies last, live music by Jerry Lee Raines, river-related exhibits, a free shuttle to Lower Granite Dam for facility tours and entertainment for all ages. Admission, parking and all activities are free and open to the public.

The Port of Whitman County sponsors the festival every year to highlight the Columbia-Snake River System and its benefits to the Palouse region and broader Pacific Northwest. Attendees can meet with area experts and learn more about hydropower, river navigation, safe on-water recreation and the salmon recovery work made possible by the four lower Snake River dams.

Exhibitors will include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Whitman County Public Health, Whitman County Sheriff’s Office, Whitman County Conservation District, Rock Lake Conservation District, the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, Port of Whitman County, Port of Lewiston, Port of Clarkston, Tidewater Transportation & Terminals, Shaver Transportation Company and the McGregor Company. Festivalgoers can enter a raffle by visiting each exhibitor booth and receiving stamps on their event “passport.” The grand prize is a half-day guided Hells Canyon jet boat tour for two from Snake River Adventures.

The festival will offer several activities in and around the Snake River. Free bike, trike, kayak and pedal boat rentals will be available through the Boyer Park KOA on a limited basis. Bicyclists are encouraged to learn more about the Columbia-Snake River System by viewing the interpretive signs along the 3.5-mile paved Snake River Trail. Younger children may enjoy playing in the “wheat box,” Whitman County’s spin on the traditional sandbox, or climbing inside “FIN the Migrating Salmon,” a 25-foot-long summer chum sculpture from the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. 

In addition, attendees can sign up at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers booth to take a free tour of Lower Granite Lock and Dam during the festival. Participants can see the powerhouse and navigation lock up close, experience migrating fish ascending the fish ladder and learn more about hydropower, river navigation and the Army Corps’ mission of environmental stewardship. One-hour tours will be offered at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. A free shuttle will transport 30 passengers each from the park to the Lower Granite Dam Visitor Center for the first two tours. The third and final tour at 3 p.m. will be available only by crossing with a personal vehicle. Sign-ups for the tours will be on a first come first served basis during the festival hours. Those who wish to attend a tour must wear closed-toe shoes, provide a valid official photo I.D. and meet the other posted tour requirements.

“We hope the Snake River Family Festival is a fun outlet for many ‘firsts’ this year. For some, it might be the first time they’ve seen salmon and steelhead bound through a fish ladder or felt the vibration of a 135-megawatt turbine spinning. For others, it may be the first time they’ve experienced Boyer Park & Marina and all the riverside park offers for on-water recreation in our rural county,” said Port Commission President Karl Webber. “The goal is for every attendee to learn something new.”

For more information on the Snake River Family Festival, please visit the event Facebook page for live updates.


Additional Information to Know Before You Go


-Due to construction, a portion of Almota Road between Upper Union Flat Road and Klaus Road has been closed since May 30. Whitman County suggests anyone coming from Highway 26 (from the West) or from Highway 195 (Spokane through Colfax) take 195 through Colfax to Hamilton Hill Road and then to 194.

  • From 195, turn right onto Hamilton Hill Rd
  • Turn right onto WA-194 W
  • Turn left to stay on WA-194 W
  • Turn left onto Lower Granite Rd

 Google Maps estimates this trip at 46 minutes from Highway 26 and Sommers Road (34.8 miles).

-The Snake River Family Festival will be preceded by a ribbon cutting celebrating the recent completion of the Port of Whitman County’s project to replace and rehabilitate the original 1975 docks at Boyer Park. The ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m. in front of the marina. The public is invited to attend. More information can be found in the media advisory.

-This year’s event coincides with “Free Fishing Weekend,” when fishing licenses are not required to fish for certain species in Washington.




About the Port of Whitman County

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.