Millions of sockeye salmon are returning to the Adams River near Kamloops in one of the most spectacular displays of natural beauty in the world.

The salmon return to spawn every year, but every four years during the dominant run in the four-year cycle, millions of sockeye turn the water crimson with spawning fish drawing more than 250,000 people.

Adams River sockeye salmon2:26

It's a chance for the Adams River Salmon Society to educate the public with casual stream-side lectures. Organizers say the run is becoming much more of an international draw bringing in tour groups from around the world.

It’s poetic. It’s that ultimate sacrifice, " said Adams River Salmon Society coordinator Jeremy Heighton.

"We lose our connection to nature, living in highrises, big cities, we lose that connection to nature and there’s a lot of raw power here and I think when people leave here they’re sort of humbled.​"

The 2014 Salute to the Sockeye festival began Friday at Roderick Haig Brown Provincial Park north east of Kamloops.The festival runs until Oct 26.

With files from Greg Rasmussen