The MRAK Almanac is your place for political, cultural, and civic events, events where you’ll meet political leaders or, if you are interested in getting to know your state, these are great places to meet conservative- and moderate-leaning Alaskans.
Alaska Fact Book
Question: Is it true that there are more caribou than people in Alaska?
Answer: Yes. According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, there are 32 known herds of caribou living in Alaska. The total population of these herds is estimated to be over 950,000 individual animals. Recent data shows that there around about 737,000 people in the state, meaning that caribou outnumber humans by around 200,000. The Western Arctic Caribou Herd is by far the largest herd in the state with some 300,000 animals. Fish and Game allows for approximately 22,000 caribou to be harvested by hunters each year.
7/12: Interior Alaska GOP weekly luncheon in Fairbanks. Guest of honor this week is Bryce Ward, mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Lunch is at Denny’s at 11:30 am.
7/12: Juneau Summer Block Party at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Begins at 5:30 pm. There will be outdoor live music, games, and local food vendors. Bring the family.
7/12: The Regulatory Commission of Alaska will meet in Anchorage at 9 am. There will be an opportunity for public testimony. Read the agenda here.
7/12: A series of Occupy to Override rallies are expected in Anchorage’s Delaney Strip Park starting today. Hosted by Defend the Sacred AK, the same group that organized the occupation of Wasilla Middle School last Wednesday. Visit the event’s Facebook page here.
7/12: 3rd annual North Pole Food Truck Festival, one of the largest events of the year in North Pole. Entrance is free, and there will be many local food vendors with unique and delicious fare for the whole family to enjoy. Starts at 5 pm outside the North Pole Worship Center next to Sourdough Fuel.
7/12: The University of Alaska Task Force on University Structure will hold a special meeting in Anchorage at 9 am. The task force will be meeting in room 107 of the Lee Gorsuch Commons. No public testimony will be heard, but the public is welcome to attend.
7/13: Anchorage Young Republicans (AYR) fundraiser and executive board elections. Bring a friend to this free event and get to know fellow young conservatives in the Anchorage area. More information at this link.
7/13: Arctic Lightning Airshow at Eielson AFB near Fairbanks. This is the first time there has been an air show at Eielson in several years, so don’t miss out on the chance to see our country’s finest in action. There will be demonstrations of the new F-35, the F-22, the F-16, and several others. Gates open at 8 am and wheels are up around noon.
7/13: Tired of weeds that don’t belong in Alaska? Participate in the 8th annual Invasive Weed Smackdown in Palmer. Meet at the downtown pavilion at 10 am and spread across downtown pulling weeds until around noon. Immediately followed by the Midsummer Garden and Art Fair. Learn more here.
7/12-7/13: Annual Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm Strawberry Festival in Palmer. Come enjoy this year’s strawberry harvest with the whole family. There will also be hayrides, frozen lemonade, and live music. Tickets are required, visit this link for more details.
7/12-7/13: 2nd annual Alaska Yoga Festival in Ester, about 10 minutes outside of Fairbanks. Last year, the festival attracted over 100 participants and they are hoping to grow this year. Yoga classes will be taught on the hour from morning till night. No prior experience required, visit this link to register.
7/12-7/13: 16th annual Copper River Salmon Jam in Cordova. Join the Cordova community to celebrate a magical time of year complete with blooming fireweed, fresh salmon, and live music. Further information at their Facebook page here.
7/14: Golden Days River Regatta in Fairbanks. Watch teams float down the Chena River in makeshift rafts and vote for your favorite. Float starts at 11 am in downtown Fairbanks, read more or register a team here.
7/14: Drag races at the Alaska Raceway Park in Palmer starting at 10 am. Races will be running all day. Ticket purchase is required, more details here.
7/13-7/14: Downtown Market & Festival in downtown Anchorage—largest outdoor market in Alaska. Runs from 10 am to 6 pm.
7/13-7/14: Yard Sale at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage from 9 am to 3 pm. Come out and support the zoo by purchasing animal care items, holiday decorations, and vintage zoo items that are no longer needed. Read more here.
7/10-7/14: 34th annual Bear Paw Festival in Eagle River. There will be rides and amusements for the kids, vendors, live music, and a talent show. Most entertaining of all is the Slippery Salmon Olympics, an annual tradition. Sponsored by the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber. See the full schedule here.
Alaska History Archive:
July 12, 1959—60 years ago: The cornerstone of Alaska Methodist University (now APU) was officially dedicated in a ceremony outside Grant Hall. Alaska Methodist University was founded with a priority of Alaska Native education in mind, and offered its first classes in the fall of 1960. In 1978, it was renamed Alaska Pacific University but still retains its Methodist affiliation. Today, around 500 students attend APU.
July 14, 1868—151 years ago: By a vote of 113 to 43, the United States House of Representatives passed the appropriation needed to purchase Alaska from Russia. The price had been previously agreed upon—$7.2 million or about 2 cents per acre. Anger over the purchase of “Seward’s Icebox” continued from years after the U.S. gained the territory, but subsided nearly immediately when gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1896.