‘Fair is fair’: Eagle River Republicans ask Anchorage to grant Bear Paw permit


The executive committee of the District 14 Republicans in Eagle River has sent a letter to Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, asking him to reconsider the municipality’s decision to withhold permits for the 39th annual Eagle River Bear Paw Festival, scheduled for July 8-12. The letter was also addressed to the Anchorage Assembly and copied to the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.

“We understand that the most recent Anchorage COVID-19 emergency declaration submitted by Mayor Berkowitz and approved by the Anchorage Assembly has been extended until July 31, 2020. The Administration, however, established a precedent to allow public gatherings, even during this period of emergency declaration. One example is the ongoing Saturday Markets,” the group wrote.

“To disallow the Bear Paw Festival is an inconsistent application of Municipal policy. We would like the same opportunity as others to create a positive community event in Eagle River, one that has huge ramifications for recharging the entire municipality, as well as to help the economy and small businesses to recover,” the letter continued.

The group said that Eagle River would be able to have the beloved festival with appropriate safety measures, and that the Bear Paw Festival is a much-needed break after four months of “hunkering down.”

The letter was signed by Julie Blackley, the chair of GOP District 14.

While the municipality has denied permits for the annual Eagle River event, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz joined hundreds of protesters in Anchorage to express disapproval for police brutality in a Black Lives Matter rally.

Here he was, speaking to protesters at the rally on June 6:

Michael Tavoliero, a Republican activist in Eagle River, said no group seems to be coming forward to defend the economic, social, and spiritual events in communities across the state, whether it’s the State Fair, Mount Marathon, or the Eagle River Bear Paw Festival.

Another group that had trouble getting a permit from the Municipality is a gathering of Christians will come together at the Delaney Park Strip on Friday — the very place where the mayor was speaking on June 6 at an event that had several hundred people at it.

The “Civil Righteousness: Unified Prayer for Racial Healing in Alaska” group said they were finally able to get a permit for their event, planned for Friday at 6 pm, after they promised no more than 500 would attend.

Civil Righteousness: Unified Prayer For Racial Healing in Alaska


  1. Just have the event, what is the little dictator gonna do? Declare Eagle River an autonomous zone from Los Anchorage.

  2. I’ve sent an email to the Mayor’s office. I encourage everyone to do the same. He’s way overstepping his bounds. Again.

  3. Should have seen the throng at the JuneTeenth celebration yesterday at the Northway Mall.
    I thing Bear Paw should ‘Just Do It.”

  4. We went to the Memorial Day event on the park strip. It was not a sanctioned event so I guess it was demonstration. Eagle River could have a demonstration also.

    • Agree. Treat this precisely like the NC race track did a couple weeks ago. Declare the event a protest against injustice and racism and you will have your official get out of jail card in hand. Have a good time. Cheers –

  5. Hope Eagle Exit is still alive, like to know how it’s going, what else has to be done.
    Have the fair anyway, call it a temporary autonomous zone.
    Make a fine front-page picture… couple hundred vehicles lined up to get in, finding places to park, Anchorage’s finest ordering them to leave.
    And with sincere respect, Mr. Mayor, damn the masks…. ain’t happening, so why not join us at Bear Paw and have some fun?

    • As of May 27th, EaglExit is back up and running full steam. This squashing of the Bear Paw festival is just another reason in a long line of reasons for ER to break away from the muni. The sooner we separate the better.

  6. Democrats, if they didn’t have a double standard, they wouldn’t have any standards at all. How bout we have a week long “Bear Lives Matter” event in Eagle River? we can have all the same festivities and vendors… but everyone would need to agree to walk around acting self righteous, virtue signal, wear black and maybe knock a garbage can over occasionally .

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