OTHELLO -- Each spring, sandhill cranes make a stop in the fields near Othello on their spring migration, and the town has been formally celebrating their return each year since 1998.
This year, the annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival runs March 23-25.
The festival includes biking tours, a gallery of crane art at the Old Hotel, various energy tours, waterbird lectures, crane viewing tours and children's programs throughout the three days.
Tours can fill up quickly. A schedule of events is online at www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org.
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Among the featured lecturers are bird and energy experts Dick Erickson, Mike and MerryLynn Denny, and Daniel and Ginger Poleschook.
New to this year's festival will be a visit from the 90-ton Abraham Lincoln Pullman car, reportedly America's oldest operating railroad car.
The refurbished car was built in 1910 and fashioned after the American Mission style with red gum wood and custom bronze fixtures, European tapestry and experimental electric lights.
Free tours of the railroad car are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 24 only, which will be parked at the Columbia Basin Railroad station on North Broadway Street in Othello.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org