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: How many dollars in taxes has Alaska received since marijuana was legalized in 2014?
Answer: While Alaska legalized commercial sale and production of cannabis in 2014, the first legal marijuana was sold more than two years later 2016. At the end of last year, the Alaska Department of Revenue said it had collected nearly $20 million in tax revenue since marijuana was first legalized. Since cultivators are taxed by the ounce, this number translates to over 30,000 pounds of marijuana.
8/8-8/10: JUMP short film festival in Juneau. Free to attend, and all films have an Alaska or Juneau connection. Read more about the films here.
8/9: Summer block party in Juneau, sponsored by the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council. There will be family games, local food trucks, and lots of fun for everyone. Starts at 5:30 pm.
8/9: Drive up the Parks Highway and visit the Willow Farmers Market. Runs from 2 pm – 7 pm at Mile 69.
8/9: Weekly Interior Alaska GOP luncheon at Denny’s in Fairbanks. This week’s guest is Senator Click Bishop, representing District C. Lunch starts at 11:30 am, and all are welcome.
8/10: The 64th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby begins, with almost $20,000 in prizes. Last year’s first place winner was a 16.73 lbs. The derby will run until August 18. Read more here.
8/10: Farm Fest 2019 in Kenai. Sponsored by Ridgeway Farms in Soldotna, this annual event features live music, a petting zoo, hay rides, and fun for the whole family. Admission is free, and the festival starts at noon. Read more here.
8/10: It’s Alaska Wild Salmon Day, Alaska’s newest recurring holiday since 2016. There are events going on all around the state, so it’s best to check this link for a celebration near you. The one thing they all have in common? Admission is free.
8/10: Annual Alaska Walk for Down Syndrome in Anchorage. Starts at 1 pm at the Anchorage Park Strip. Further details here.
8/10: Gazebo Nights summer concert at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. Enjoy live music and a beautiful Fairbanks sunset. Admission is free.
8/10: Partners Real Estate annual backyard BBQ bash in Eagle River. Admission is free, so come enjoy free food, family fun, and dozens of local vendors. Read more at the Facebook link here.
8/10: Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival at the Soldotna Sports Center. Runs from 5 pm – 9 pm. Come enjoy some local brews and even better conversation. More details here.
8/10: The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby will take place. The top three will receive cash prizes, with the top 50 receiving gift bags. Definitely a worthwhile deal. More details about the derby here.
8/10-8/11: Enjoy downtown Anchorage at the Anchorage Market & Festival. This is Alaska’s largest outdoor market, with over 300 vendors in attendance each week. Starts at 10 am.
8/11: Last day of the Tanana Valley State Fair in Fairbanks. Fireworks start at 11 pm. Enjoy the last days of summer and see what local vendors have to offer.
8/11: The most Alaskan run you’ve ever heard of: the 17th annual Running with the Bulls 10K/5K at the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer. All participants will be running past (not from, thankfully) the farm’s 81 resident musk oxen. Read more about the race here.
Alaska History Archive:
August 9, 1915—104 years ago: An official election was held to determine the name of Anchorage. According to alaskahistory.org, the following nine names were on the ballot for voters to choose from: Alaska City, Anchorage, Gateway, Homestead, Lane, Matanuska, Ship Creek, Terminal, and Winalaska. While Alaska City garnered the most votes, the voters were overruled by the U.S. Postal Service, which opted to call the city Anchorage.
August 10, 1728—291 years ago: Russian explorer Vitus Bering (for which the Bering Sea is named), first discovered St. Lawrence Island. This is often considered the first visit to Alaska by Europeans. St. Lawrence island is closer to Russia than Alaska, with the village of Gambell (the island’s largest village) located only 36 miles from the Russian mainland.