Bear Paw Festival is coming back to Eagle River next week with Slippery Salmon Olympics

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By BRITNEY OLSEN, FESTIVAL CO-CHAIR

The annual Bear Paw Festival is back and better than ever in downtown Eagle River! I hope you’ll join us for five days of nonstop PAWsitive Adventures from July 10 to 14 during the 39th Festival.

The Festival continues to evolve for a new generation and keeps entertaining the Alaskans who grew up attending. For decades, visitors have adored the Grand Parade, Slippery Salmon Olympics, 5-K Fun Run, and many other classic events alongside local vendors and the Golden Wheel Amusements carnival.

For the first time children can cuddle goats at a petting zoo, as well as enjoy the Lego Competition and free activities like the Teddy Bear Picnic or Ice Cream Eating Contest again. Back by popular demand for adults are some of the newer events like the Bear Paw LIVE beer garden featuring local breweries and free live music shows, a Cornhole tournament, Human Foosball, and Trivia Night.

Distinctly Alaskan activities include the infamous Slippery Salmon Olympics, XTRATUF Boot Decorating Competition, and Alaska Vendor Court. The Bear Paw LIVE Beer Garden is back in Town Square Park with free music by well-known Alaska bands and local breweries, while traditional events like the Grand Parade, Classic Car Show, 5-K Fun Run, Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, and Motorcycle Show will continue to thrill kids of all ages.

Check out bearpawfestival.org for a list of events, vendors, parking and shuttle information, road closures, frequently asked questions, and more. Follow us on Facebook (we’ll be streaming live and posting Reels throughout the Festival) @BearPawFestival.

It’s an honor – and a huge responsibility – for the organizing committee to carry on the iconic Bear Paw Festival hosted by the nonprofit Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce since 1985 alongside our member partners, local sponsors, and large staff of amazing volunteers. Our uniquely home-grown event truly has something for everyone at the 2024 Bear Paw Festival as we celebrate the theme of PAWsitive Adventures!

Want to support this great community event but can’t make it to the Festival? Become a Friend of the Festival, or donate directly to the Chamber and help out other free public events like the annual Winter Wonderland Celebration or maintaining Chief Alex Park.

I hope you’ll join us for the Bear Paw Festival June 10-14 and make the Eagle River-Chugiak area your base for PAWsitive Adventures!

Britney Olsen is the co-chair of the Bear Paw Festival.

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