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Festival being held to say goodbye to local Trumpeter Swans

Residents are invited to say goodbye to the Trumpeter Swans for the winter. The first annual Saskatoon Island Fall Fair will be held on September 23 to celebrate the migration of the swans.

Alberta Parks Visitor Services Specialist Chelsey Rhodes says the festival lines up with when the swans leave the park for the winter.

“Every year the Trumpeter Swans migrate to the Grande Prairie area. They stick around here and nest in some of our small pockets of water and then they come back to Saskatoon Island Provincial Park to some of the larger bodies of water to migrate out from this area.”

The park used to host an event called the Swan Festival every April to welcome the Trumpeter Swans back to the park. Rhodes says the date of the festival was changed to the fall to give visitors a better chance of seeing them.

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“We switched the season of the festival because we’ve been finding that to be able to view the swans, it’s a lot better to see them in the fall than in the spring.”

The event will feature performances from local artists, an outdoor market, nature activities and craft workshops. Rhodes says there will also be experts at the event who will teach visitors about the birds.

“We have some local swan experts coming to give you those tips and tricks on how to get some great photos of the Trumpeter Swans. We also have some great local naturalists that are willing to take some visitors to use some spotting scopes and binoculars to hopefully actually see some Trumpeter Swans on the day of the event.”

The free festival will take place at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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