A Little History Of The Festival
Founded in 2019 by Downtown Colonial Beach
Ospreys are so plentiful in Colonial Beach, they tended to be taken for granted by local residents. Then Joyce Reimherr, President of Downtown Colonial Beach, had the idea to have an Osprey Festival celebrating the return of the birds to Colonial Beach every spring. Joyce recruited other bird lovers and collaborated with Downtown Colonial Beach to hold the inaugural Osprey Festival on the weekend April 12 – 14, 2019. Thanks to Joyce and her inspiration, the festival received very favorable reviews and planning for the 2020 festival began, then Covid-19 hit.
Undaunted, a “Virtual Osprey Festival” for 2020 and 2021 were mounted. These “virtual” festivals recruited osprey watchers to keep track of the nests, generated gorgeous and fascinating osprey photography and paved the way for a return to the live festival on April 9, 2022. The success of the 2022 live Festival and the participation of osprey experts from around the world have set the stage for rebranding the festival in 2023, The Virginia Osprey Festival in Colonial Beach
The festival’s core focus has always been sharing in-depth information on the ospreys and introducing people to the fascinating pastime of bird watching. Bird experts delivered presentations at the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, Audubon Chapter guides led bird walks and trolley nest tours were led by one of our local experts. The town’s museum curator recounted the history of Colonial Beach. Visitors also had the chance to view the nests by taking a golf cart ride around the town’s “Point” with community hosts who provided their own personal take on the Ospreys and town history. There was also bird-related arts and crafts for the children.
Although the festival is officially held on a Saturday, additional events around town were added in 2022. The monthly second Friday Art Walk featured bird-themed art and a juried show of bird art was held at the Artists’ Alliance, the town’s main art gallery. Saturday night post festival revelries continued with the Grand ole O’spry Concert.