Welcome to the State of Alaska Travel News Bulletin. The tourism office sends this out periodically to keep media up-to-date on Alaska tourism and travel news. Media are invited to call 800-327-9372 www.TravelAlaska.com/media for more information.

June 1, 2012

In this June Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. ASMI announces seafood cook off winner
2. Inaugural OysterFest adds flavor to Celebration
3. Happy 70th birthday to the Alaska Highway
4. Icy Strait Point celebrates the Hoonah cannery

1. ASMI announces seafood cook off winner
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute crowned Chef Christopher Vane of Crush Wine Bistro in Anchorage as the winner of the Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off on May 14. As winner of the event, Chef Vane will represent Alaska in the Great American Seafood Cook Off in New Orleans this August. During the Alaska event, competitors were judged on a plated dish featuring wild Alaska seafood and Alaska Grown products by a panel of well-established chefs. Chef Vane’s dish of white “troll-caught” king salmon pinwheels over spinach/herb and polenta cakes beat out the dishes of five other chefs from around Alaska. ASMI plans to host the Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off annually to select Alaska’s representative for the national competition. A few days after the event, the first Copper River red and king salmon of the season were sustainably harvested in Cordova, Alaska. Within 24 hours of the commercial season opening, the coveted fish began appearing in upscale seafood markets and on restaurant menus in Alaska and around the country. For more information on Alaska seafood, visit www.alaskaseafood.org.
Media Contact:
Contact: Tyson Fick, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Phone: 1-800-478-2903
Email: tfick@alaskaseafood.org
Twitter: @ASMIAKSeafood
Facebook: www.facebook.com/alaskaseafood
URL: www.alaskaseafood.org

2. Inaugural OysterFest adds flavor to Celebration
A new event for oyster lovers will take place June 7-9 and coincide with Celebration in Juneau. The inaugural OysterFest will add even more flavor to Celebration this year with a showcase of Alaska-grown oysters. Participants can learn shellfish safety and preparation tips, see oyster demonstrations by Tlingit chef Rob Kinneen and meet oyster growers from Southeast Alaska. Shellfish farming is the only fish farming allowed in Alaska. The state's plankton-rich waters produce high-quality oysters with plump, sweet meat. OysterFest is sponsored by Haa Aaní, a subsidiary of Sealaska Corporation, and will be held at the future site of the Walter Soboleff Cultural Center in downtown Juneau. Participants can also sample the shellfish and enjoy oyster-themed menu pairings at local restaurants around town. Celebration is a dance and cultural festival that showcases the traditions and customs of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska. While Celebration is held every other year, OysterFest organizers plan to host the seafood showcase annually.
Media Contact:
Contact: Shawn Blumenshine, Sealaska Corporation
Phone: 907-586-9251
Email: shawn.blumenshine@sealaska.com
Twitter: @Sealaska
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Sealaska
URL: www.sealaska.com

3. Happy 70th birthday to the Alaska Highway
 This year marks the 70th anniversary of the historic Alaska Highway, also known as the Alcan, which connects Alaska to the Yukon and British Columbia, and is a common passage for road travelers driving to and from the contiguous 48 states. Constructed during World War II, the route started out as a gravel road through the Canadian wilderness with few amenities along the way. Today, the modern highway stretching from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska boasts impressive scenery and plenty of attractions along its 1,387-mile route. Anglers can stop for a chance to reel in rainbow or lake trout at Stone Mountain Provincial Park in British Columbia; watch for bear, moose, wolves, Dall sheep and other wildlife while driving through Kluane National Park and Preserve; stop for a soak at Liard River Hot Springs; or visit the Signpost Forest, a display of more than 70,000 signs and license plates from around the world. The Alaska Highway is completely paved and open to travelers year round. The in-depth guidebook “The Milepost” is considered the bible of northern road travel offering mile-by-mile guidance and highlights of the journey, including places to spend the night, fish, view wildlife, hike and fill up the car. Drivers navigating the highway in August should keep their eyes out for a convoy of about 100 historic military vehicles that are registered to drive the highway, an event sponsored by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association in recognition of the military presence during the highway’s construction. Visitors can start planning their road trip or any Alaska vacation using the new TravelAlaska iPhone/iPad app released last month and available for download on iTunes. For maps and routes, points of interest, travel tips and more info about traveling the Alaska Highway, visit www.northtoalaska.com.
Media Contact:
Contact: Tara Stevens, Thompson & Co. Public Relations
Phone: 907-561-4488
Email: tara@thompsonpr.com
Twitter: @AlaskaTravlNews
Facebook: www.facebook.com/alaskatravelnews
URL: www.TravelAlaska.com/media

4. Icy Strait Point celebrates the Hoonah cannery
Icy Strait Point is planning a series of events throughout the 2012 summer season to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hoonah Packing Co. cannery, located at the heart of the Alaska Native-owned cruise ship destination. Once the economic engine of Hoonah, the cannery is no longer used to process fish. Its facilities have been restored and guests can now take tours to see how the canning line operated in 1912, and enjoy a free museum that offers an historical look at the area and the commercial fishing industry in Southeast Alaska. Icy Strait Point will celebrate with two Neighbor’s Days events, providing day excursion deals from Juneau and Gustavus for independent travelers that include transportation. The first on June 23 will kick off the 100-year celebration, corresponding with the traditional start of the fishing season and will focus on the fishing history of the Icy Strait Point site and cannery. The second event on Saturday, August 24 will focus on the history of the cannery itself and the people who worked there. Cruise passengers will also have access to prizes and informative cannery tours while in port throughout the season. Guests to Icy Strait Point can choose from 22 excursions and numerous recreational opportunities, from a new Island Exploration Tour, a new kayaking adventure, bear viewing, fishing or the world's highest and longest ZipRider zip line. For more information, visit www.icystraitpoint.com.
Media Contact:
Contact: Tyler Hickman, Icy Strait Point
Phone: 907-523-3687
Email: Thickman@icystraitpoint.com
Twitter: @IcyStraitPoint
Facebook: www.facebook.com/IcyStraitPoint
URL: www.icystraitpoint.com



Social Media Spotlight 

Follow the events of the 1912 Novarupta eruption that created the Valley of 10,000 Smokes and led to the development of Katmai National Park and Preserve on Twitter at: @Katmai1912.
In June 1912, the world’s largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century occurred at Novarupta. Now 100 years later, what remains is a 40-square-mile, 700-foot-deep ash flow of once vibrantly steaming cracks and fissures, know as the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. Today, Katmai National Park and Preserve is famous for brown bear viewing and fishing as well as the dramatic, volcano-formed landscape. Learn more at www.avo.alaska.edu/

The Katmai-Novarupta eruption of 1912 was the largest in North American history. The eruption lasted for three days.

Katmai Village after the eruption of 1912.

The Novarupta dome is approximately 1200 feet across and 195 feet tall.

Hiking in Gulley City near Novarupra Dome.

Novarupta Rhyolite dome from 1912.
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