News Release

October 19, 2012

Othello Sandhill Crane Festival Changes the Date of Event

Media Contacts:
Marie Lotz, (509) 488-2802

Art Contest Submissions Deadline Approaching

OTHELLO, Wash. - The internationally-known Othello Sandhill Crane Festival will be held on a different weekend next year, so save the date! Festival organizers say that moving the date to the first weekend in April will allow more people and featured speakers the chance to attend the popular event in central Washington State.

The festival draws thousands of visitors to Adams County every spring, and will be celebrating its fifteenth anniversary in 2013. Dozens of lectures, tours, and other activities will be featured at the event from April 5-7th, which showcases the annual migration of 25,000 Sandhill cranes.

Biologists, geologists, birders, local farmers, authors, and historians will be leading tours and lectures at the event. The theme for this year’s festival will be “Migration” in honor of the dozens of bird species that travel through central Washington every spring and fall.

Othello is a bustling farming community located near the Coulee Corridor “flyway,” an aerial highway used by thousands of migrating birds. Over half of Washington State’s bird species utilize this seasonal migration pathway. Local cornfields provide the ideal “rest stop” for Sandhills, who travel cross-country to nesting and feeding grounds twice a year.

The festival committee also sponsors an annual contest each year for brochure/poster artwork or photography. The deadline for the art contest is Oct. 29, 2012. Entries must be turned in to the Conversation District Office in Othello (located at 170 N Broadway Ave.) by 5 p.m. that day.

The fall migration season is underway, and visitors to the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge near Othello can expect to see migrating sandhill cranes as well as many other types of birds.

The Othello Sandhill Crane Festival is a nonprofit event chaired by an all-volunteer committee, and proceeds generated by the event go toward providing the following year’s festival activities.

For more information, please visit www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org. Be sure to “like” the festival’s Facebook page for the latest information on speakers and events.  The Columbia National Wildlife Refuge is online at www.fws.gov/columbia