The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival has come to an end.
After 25 years of hosting the event, which celebrates the return of the bald eagles to the valley, the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Society has announced that it is no longer planning to host the event.
“The popularity of the event brought thousands of people to Harrison Mills, too many at one time to be sustainable,” explained Jo-Anne Chadwick, president of the society.
She said the group “was dedicated to protecting the area and having so many people arrive over a two-day weekend was having the opposite effect.”
The society will continue to produce informational material to distribute through the Mission Visitor Centre and other local attractions.
According to a press release, the festival began with a group of friends that gathered in the fall to view the thousands of eagles that descended upon the Harrison River.
“Over the years the event gained popularity and grew to include multiple activities and viewing sites, jet boat eagle tours, and expert speakers,” the releases noted.
According to Chadwick people flocked from all over B.C., Canada, the U.S., and abroad to view the natural phenomenon in person.
The society directors and committee agreed that the only way to solve the pressure on the area from excessive traffic was to change the focus of the event.
In place of a two-day festival, the society will focus on highlighting the significance of the Harrison River ecosystem to the environment by sharing information through marketing material and the website.
“The festival was highly successful for many years and was only made possible thanks to the dedicated committee, volunteers and community support. The society thanks the long-standing partnerships between local businesses and environmental organizations, the District of Mission, and the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce.”
For information on the eagles of the Fraser Valley and how to plan your self-guided adventure visit the website www.fvbef.ca.