Before I left Alaska to return to Maine, we had the chance to revel in the spirit of Alaska at the state fair. Our friends Doug and Lynn were visiting from New York and we wanted to show them a good time.
I knew I was in luck within minutes of arriving when I came face-to-face with Miss Alaska, her white satin band sparkling and her crown towering on the top of her head.
A Tlingit native, Miss Alaska 2017 created her own tradition at the Miss America pageant when she strode onto the runway during the evening gown competition draped in a brilliant red and black Native blanket. (Watch her here.) I saw her later at the stage where the Native peoples told stories, made music and danced.
Much of the spirit of Alaska was expressed in stage performances throughout the fair. First up was the gunslinger, spinning his revolvers and a mean lasso. Here’s a glimpse:
The battle of the lumberjacks, a comedy show, really, with a feisty blonde mistress of ceremony and strapping competitors played to a packed audience throughout the day. With 129 million acres of forest in the state of Alaska, lumberjack skills are always in demand. Mark caught the action on his iPhone. Don't miss it!
In the exhibit halls we found floral and vegetable arrangements inspired by the theme “Better Together.” Love that kale!
In the handcraft hall, women demonstrated weaving and spinning. A handmade hooked rug and a wreath made from bird feathers caught my eye.
The animals were few, though healthy, with chickens and rabbits by the score. One lusty fellow crowed at us as we exited the State Fair halls. (Yeah, I know the video is lopsided, but he still sounds good!)
I’m in Maine now and Mark is wrapping up his stay at Janis and Jerome’s in Alaska and will soon drive cross country with our son Sam.
Listen as Johnny Cash & Lynn Anderson tear it up.
Where we are today.