Only a cynical Grinch or skeptical Scrooge could consider Juneau's annual Gallery Walk to be a mere retailing event. Yes, it is a shopping experience, but also much more. It is a civic celebration and the kickoff to Juneau's Christmas season.
Downtown parking places were at a premium on Friday night. But the atmosphere was festive, not hurried and certainly not harried. People with smiles on their faces filled the sidewalks and shops. Laughter could be heard up and down Franklin Street. Folks were having a good time, enjoying each other's company and the merchants' hospitality.
If you had a conflict that prevented you from joining in on Friday or Saturday, the fun continues from noon until 4 p.m. today downtown and at selected galleries in the Mendenhall Valley. You may find a gift to put under your Christmas tree or to mail to Aunt Sally in Spokane, but you also are likely to bump into a friend whom you may not have seen since last December's Gallery Walk.
Avoid the Christmas rush. Put on a coat and a smile, forget about dimpled chads for a while. Check out the galleries. Meet an artist or a friend. Enjoy a free snack and wash it down with a hot or cold drink. Sign up to win a prize. 'Tis the season.