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Maritime Festival to bring some things old and new to Marine Park

Second annual celebration aims to highlight Juneau's Maritime culture and history

Posted: May 12, 2011 - 5:08pm

The second annual Juneau Maritime Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at Marine Park Plaza and the surrounding areas.

Last year’s festivities found the park bustling with activity, and Event Coordinator Stuart Gerger said this year’s festival, which is organized by the Juneau Economic Development Council, will be no exception. Some of the events will be reminiscent of last year, while others are new, he said. But whether it’s the live Coast Guard rescue or the Native canoe welcome, all the activities and information available will circle a commonality every Juneauite shares.

“We all live in this maritime community together. Yet, we all live in very different ways. This is a chance to share the ways we live together on government, Native and historical levels.”

Gerger said organizers of this year’s Maritime Festival are excited to work with local tribal leaders who will assist with presenting an opening ceremony welcoming dignitaries and other participants. The One People Canoe Society also plans to bring their Native canoes to the event for public display and will stage a canoe race.

Coast Guard Station Juneau along with Air Station Sitka will bring their helicopter over for the day. Landing around 11 a.m. at the Subport, they will open it for public touring then lift off again later in the afternoon to carry out a rescue demonstration in Gastineau Channel.

For those interested in the new developments planned for the waterfront area, Gerger said the City and Borough of Juneau has put together an exhibition of current design projects.

“People interested in waterfront development will be able to get more information on those,” he said.

A popular draw from last year, Taku Smokeries and Glacier Seafoods will again do open-air fillet demonstrations during the early part of this year’s festival. The products will head straight to the grill, manned by the folks at Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and a group of volunteer grillmasters, Gerger said. The public is invited to sample the results, along with a topping or two from Alaskan Brewing’s “Cooking With Beer” recipe book.

Kids will be able to enjoy hands-on activities like dry land flycasting sponsored by the 4H Fishing Club, a touch tank courtesy of DIPAC and Lego tables from STEM, to name a few.

What people may not know about, Gerger said, is the silent auction that will be going on all day.

Attendees will be able to bid on Alaska Airlines tickets, Tracy Arm boat tours, Taku Lodge trips or even the chance to charter an Allen Marine vessel for an office or company celebration. Bidding will happen between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Gerger said those bidding do not have to be present to win.

Locals will also have a chance to enter a marinade contest. Entry forms are available at the festival website, Gerger said. Food and drink will also be available at the festival, with a variety of food vendors selling fresh hot or cold items. Alaskan Brewing has organized a beer garden with the help of the Rendezvous Bar and will be selling beer and wine. All proceeds from the beer sales go toward offsetting the cost of the festival, Gerger said.

The day will be a busy one in the downtown area, with Museum Day festivities as well as The Canvas Art Studio’s open studio event that day. For more information, visit www.juneaumaritimefestival.org.

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