We’re very glad to know that the Yuba-Sutter Swan Fest is coming back this year – just over a week away (Nov. 8-10).

We think that it does a few things –it brings some visitors to town; gives locals a great opportunity to learn about and celebrate their own environment; reminds us all to stop and take stock of local assets –such as the land that grows the rice that powers our economy and is flooded this time of year, becoming a rest and feeding stop for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, including those swans.

We’re sure that people who are engaged in producing, setting up, running and taking down the show and tours are doing the community a great service. We’re not sure that there is a direct financial reward. But we do believe that the pride and community built by this festival bolster our economy.

It’s been a few years since the last festival –it was slated then canceled when the local chamber of commerce ran into some snags and had to make a strategic retreat. 

The present CEO, Marni Sanders, board members and staff, in partnership with Visit Yuba-Sutter and California Rice, are making real progress –they have to be to put on a three-day event of this magnitude.

“People were wondering where it went,” Sanders said. “It’s a great opportunity for people to explore the outdoors and our region.”

Seriously, it’s normal to think of the Swan Festival as a tourism builder. But it’s as much for us as for them –it’s time to take stock in what we’ve got. You can sign up for dozens of programs and tours –go birding on Beale Air Force Base property, tour the Sutter Buttes, do a sunset tour of the backroads and through the habitat, go on an “Owl Prowl,” or a “Raptor Retreat,” taste some fine wine; go Birding at Bobelaine; go on car tours and hikes; learn about nature journaling with water color; take your kids to special programs; find your way around historic Marysville on a hay rack ride, check out local falconry, go “Craning for Cranes” look for bats, tour the Chinese Temple ... what a weekend it will be.

Go to www.yubasutterchamber.com and scroll down to the festival information. Click in and you’ll find a lineup of field trips –you can register on line.

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