ZIMMERMAN -- Families braved the blustery weather for the Fall Wildlife Festival at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge today.

Steve Karel of the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge says the festival is a celebration of the refuge.

"This is our celebration of our 49th year for the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge being here," Karel says.

"Every year we try to have a festival and bring in partners and different educational events for folks to come out and enjoy."

The wildlife refuge teamed up with the Friends of Sherburne to put on the festival.

Sue Hix, president of the Friends of Sherburne, says the refuge is a great place to go enjoy wildlife, despite the day's windy weather.

"I love being outside this time of year - even though it's not our most hospitable day, it still worked out despite some challenges with the wind," Hix says.

"I love being out here where you could see an eagle fly over, maybe a Sandhill Crane...you can't beat that."

The Fall Wildlife Festival included a cookout, a 5k run, guest speakers, a hay ride, and activities for the kids like archery and BB gun lessons and face painting.

"The best part about this event is getting the kids out and learning about what's out here," Karel says.

"[For] a lot of people, they live in this area but they may not be familiar with what the refuge has to offer."

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON