Flock to the 2015 Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival

Life in Grays Harbor comes alive in the spring, welcoming the returning migrations of animals in our waters, on our lands, and in our skies. In April and May, tens of thousands of gray whales swim along our coasts, and hundreds of thousands of shorebirds stop along our beaches and estuaries, heading north for the summer. The great shorebird migration is part of a time-honored event in Grays Harbor, bringing in tourists from around the country in this mass migration to the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival at the Grays Harbor Wildlife Refuge in Hoquiam.

grays harbor shorebird festival

During the first weekend in May, thousands of visitors from as far away as Oregon, California and Idaho flock to Grays Harbor to see the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds from as far away as South America. During the Shorebird Festival, 23 different species of shorebirds are seen making this migration each year, with the Grays Harbor Wildlife Refuge serving as one of the amazing stops for resting and eating on their journey. The migration in Grays Harbor typically lasts only three weeks, but their arrival helps kick off spring.

“Each and every year, the Shorebird Festival is a lot of fun,” explains Shelia McCartan, the Education Coordinator for the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and a member of the Shorebird Festival Planning committee. “The Shorebird Festival is really great celebration of a nature phenomenon in our backyard.”


Read more here:  http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/04/28/grays-harbor-shorebird-festival/

5 Scenic Nature Drives in Grays Harbor


Living in the Pacific Northwest, especially on and near the Olympic Peninsula, we are lucky to have access to some of the scenic drives in the country. From old growth forests housing elk, bear, bobcat and deer to coastal vistas that are wilder than anything seen along competing coastlines, the scenic beauty in our neck of the woods offer great opportunities for exploration. While many know that all you need to do is drive along Highway 101 around the Peninsula for fantastic views and experiences, few know the joy of experiencing a remote forest service road.

The remote roads around Grays Harbor not only show us the beauty of the region, but they also give us a glimpse into our shared history and culture. Driving along a dirt road in the middle of the woods, it is easy to see what drew so many settlers to this area and why the native populations have called this place home for millennia. On your next day off, pack a picnic, hop in your car and explore these nature drives around Grays Harbor.

nature drive grays harborDonkey Creek Road to Wynoochee

Car Type: Any

Road: Sections of Paved and Maintained Gravel

Best Season: Summer and Early Fall

Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/T3w2A

Many forest service roads are known for being rugged and far off the beaten path, but the Donkey Creek Road to Wynoochee route is special. The road is known for bear sightings, deer and grouse constantly crossing the road, and sections of old growth forests along sublimely beautiful rivers and creeks of the southwestern Olympic Peninsula.

With bridge crossings over Donkey Creek, the Humptulips and Wynoochee Rivers, this trek follows old logging routes that have been used for more than 75 years. There aren’t numerous picnic or hiking trails along this route, but traveling from Highway 101 to Wynoochee is something everyone should experience. Crossing the southern end of the Olympic Peninsula, the dirt road weaves and meanders along waterways and through forests home to various woodland creatures. Perfect for both sunny and rainy days, this drive is one best taken in the early morning hours or late evening, as that is when the animals are most active.  Read more here:   www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/04/18/5-scenic-nature-drives-grays-harbor/

Grays Harbor Raceway Revs Up For Summer Season

Racing fans and anyone who enjoys “loud, exciting and very quick race cars” are in for plenty of speed and excitement at the Grays Harbor Raceway this year. “There will be lots more fan excitement,” says Steve Beitler, Promoter and General Manager of the Grays Harbor Raceway. He adds, “We’re going to continue to grow the classes. We have lots of new drivers and new cars.” The season opens on April 25 and includes the Summer Thunder Sprintcar Series.

Located at the Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds in Elma, the raceway is a 3/10 mile, semi-banked, clay, oval race track. It’s a magnet for those who feel the “need for speed” and enjoy watching sprint car racing in a family-friendly venue.

“We definitely cater to families,” says Beitler. “The best part about being involved with the raceway is seeing all the families doing something fun together and having a great time.” He says he also enjoys watching new racers develop.

grays harbor raceway

“We average around 1,000 to 1,400 for a regular event,” says Beitler. Attendance at special events such as fireworks shows, monster trucks or World of Outlaws averages around 3,000 or 4,000 according to Beitler. He says, “It’s a great way for moms, dads, kids, grandparents and everyone to spend time together and have fun.” Beitler adds that the American Sprint Car Series national tour is coming back in July.

Beitler took over promotion of the Grays Harbor Raceway about a year ago. Before that, he was with the Skagit Speedway for about 14 years. Beitler’s involvement with racing began at age eight when he went to work at Skagit Speedway selling programs and doing clean up. He started racing himself during his senior year in high school, building his first race car with money earned milking cows on a dairy farm.

Read more here:  www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/04/16/grays-harbor-raceway-2/

Ariel Biggs and the Race to Win

Most girls, at the age of five, when faced with choosing either a race car or a pony would choose the pony. Not Ariel Biggs. When her dad gave her the choice, Ariel chose a quarter midget – a small, caged, go-cart type race car. At age six, she began racing and today is going round the track faster than ever. Her dad’s love for cars and passion for building and fixing them was infectious. Ariel not only drove, but learned about the insides of her car and how to make them run correctly when broken.

ariel biggs racing

At age 13, Ariel won her first Extreme Winged Sprint Series Championship in Oregon on the dirt track and shortly after, Don Emery became her first “car owner.” As her sponsorship base grew, however, so did Ariel’s challenges. “I’ve grown up with girls who get pushed around on the track, but my dad always said to me, ‘you’re not a girl – you’re a race car driver.’ Because of that, I’ve always gotten along fairly well. But I’ve had people laugh at me and walk away when I’ve told them that I race cars – all because I’m a girl,” explains Ariel. “Having people laugh at me has driven me to work harder. I think it’s fun proving people wrong.” As a woman in a primarily male-dominated arena, Ariel has had to work hard to earn respect.

Read more here  www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/04/13/ariel-biggs-racing/

RFP – Tourism Creative Services Television, Print and Electronic Marketing

Grays Harbor County

Request for Proposals

Tourism Creative Services – Television, Print and Electronic Marketing

Grays Harbor County is requesting proposals from qualified professionals for creative services to assist in the County Tourism Department’s marketing campaign.  For the purpose of this RFP, the services will be broken up into two (2) parts, marked “A” and “B” below. Qualified professionals may submit for either the tasks detailed in section “A”, the tasks detailed in Section “B”, or both.

  1. The production of television commercials, trafficking coordination with selected networks/stations, and associated tasks. Desired services may also include the posting of the created commercials and video on YouTube and other social media sites.
  2. The production of collateral print, advertising material intended to reach relevant local, state, regional, national and international tourism markets. Desired services will also include the placement of print and electronic marketing materials in paid and unpaid media outlets within local, state, regional, national and international markets, as appropriate.                                Questions regarding this RFP shall be directed to Mike Bruner, Fairgrounds and Tourism Manager, at (360) 482-2651 ext. 1870, or by email at mbruner@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.
  3. Dates of publication will be April 13, 2015.
  4. Detailed RFP can be downloaded from http://www.visitgraysharbor.com
  5. Budget (2015): $38,000 – Total professional services budget (for all tasks within Section “A” and “B”)