First annual Governor's Picnic is today

Posted: Friday, August 21, 2009

It wasn't long before Gov. Sean Parnell took office after former Gov. Sarah Palin's July 26 resignation that he told Juneau he'd be coming to the capital for a Governor's Picnic.

That's something his predecessor didn't do. She held farewell picnics this year in Anchorage, Fairbanks and her hometown of Wasilla.

Today, Parnell and members of his cabinet will be serving up free salmon and hot dogs at the Sandy Beach picnic from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"It's a great opportunity to come and welcome the governor and his family to Juneau," said Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau. "I hope we have a great turnout."

Earlier this week Parnell called in to KINY radio's Problem Corner program to invite Juneau residents to the picnic.

That show, of course, is hosted by Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, a long-time local radio broadcaster and former owner of the station.

While members of Parnell's cabinet will be helping out with the food service, volunteers are handling the labor and local fishermen and processors donated the fish. It's not taxpayer funded.

Community leaders hope to show Parnell how happy they are to welcome him to Juneau, though he previously lived here as a member of the state Legislature as well.

Parnell is calling it the "first annual" picnic for Juneau.

"I hope it will become a tradition, it's a really positive event for us," Muñoz said.

Parnell took over the governorship with 16 months left in Palin's four-year term. He plans to seek re-election.

Muñoz said Parnell has been very accessible to Juneau so far, meeting with members of the public, the Assembly and the Juneau delegation in the short time he's been governor.

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