1. Sustainable fishing exhibit now open in Seward
The Alaska SeaLife Center has a new, interactive addition to its extensive marine research and rehabilitation facility. The 21-foot model fishing boat exhibit will promote education of sustainable fishing practices. The boat offers a built-in video game called ecoOcean, developed by fisheries experts, that challenges participants to drive around the ocean catching fish with sustainable practices in mind. Visitors can also experience the thrill of being a boat captain in the interactive cabin featuring pre-recorded radio calls between actual fishermen. This exhibit is made possible by a partnership between the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Kiel with support from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Seward Community Foundation. The Alaska SeaLife center is a private, non-profit research institution and visitor attraction that rehabilitates Alaska sea mammals and birds.
Contact: Laurie Morrow, Alaska SeaLife Center
Phone: (907) 224-6889
Facebook: Alaska SeaLife Center
Photo credit: Alaska SeaLife Center
2. Alaska's state fair season heat up
Bring on the food, entertainment, rides and record-breaking vegetables; itâ€™s state fair season in Alaska. The 45th annual Southeast Alaska State Fair (www.seakfair.org) will be held in Haines, July 25â€“28 celebrating summer in the Inside Passage with music, contests, exhibits, food and shopping. Next up is the Tanana Valley State Fair (www.tananavalleystatefair.com) in Fairbanks, Aug. 2â€“11. This celebration features several zany events including racing pigs, watermelon-eating contest, dance groups and much more. Last but not least, the Alaska State Fair (www.alaskastatefair.org) will be held Aug. 22â€“Sept. 2 in Palmer. Several concerts by nationally recognized artists help add to the allure of this end-of-summer Alaska party, along with thrilling rides, delicious food and hundreds of events for the whole family to enjoy. Also drawing giant crowds each year is the even-larger produce at the Annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off. Last year, Palmer resident Scott Robb beat the standing record by more than 10 pounds with his cabbage weighing in at 138.25 pounds.
Contact: Tara Stevens, Thompson & Co. Public Relationsâ€¨
Facebook: Alaska Travel Newsâ€¨
Photo credit: Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau
3. World Eskimo-Indian Olympics kicking off 52nd year
The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics is gearing up for its 52nd annual games in Fairbanks, beginning July 17, 2013. A slew of vendors, athletes and spectators will come together to celebrate the art of competition and the recognition of cultural traditions from all over the world. The first games in 1961 served as a meeting place for village leaders from around Alaska and, over the years, has grown to draw people from 22 countries and 26 states. Athletes are put to the test with high-endurance competitions including: the seal hop, one-and-two-foot high kicks, stick pull, ear pull, blanket toss, fish cutting, seal skinning, muktuk eating and several others â€” not your average sporting events. The Olympics also features performances from Native dance groups, the Miss World Eskimo-Indian Olympics pageant, more than 80 vendors selling Alaska Native arts and crafts, food and more. For more information, visit: weio.org.
Contact: Amy Geiger, Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau
Facebook: Inside Alaska
Photo credit: Jade Frank/Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau
4. A warm welcome at Icy Strait Point
Cruise passengers visiting Icy Strait Point this season will be greeted with a special invitation to warm up with some genuine Tlingit hospitality. As they step ashore, each passenger will be handed a wood chip that they can toss in the fire near the beach. Following Huna Tlingit tradition, a storyteller gathers guests around the fire to share stories and local history, offering a unique experience for travelers who want to learn about the Native culture. The informal nature of the conversation and the atmosphere lets guests create their own experience. Located in Hoonah about 50 miles west of Juneau, Icy Strait Point is a private cruise ship destination owned and operated by Huna Totem Corporation, the Native village corporation owned by 1,350 Alaska Natives with ancestral ties to Hoonah and Glacier Bay. Guests have the opportunity to explore the area on 23 cultural and wilderness excursions, dine at one of several restaurants, shop from locally owned stores and engage in Native culture.
Contact: Meghan Aftosmis, Thompson & Co. Public Relations
Facebook: Icy Strait Point
Photo credit: Icy Strait Point