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:
Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of mankind’s first steps on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission barreled away from earth on July 16, 1969 and Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong set foot on lunar soil four days later on July 20. Michael Collins, the command pilot, kept the module in the moon’s orbit while his fellow crew members explored the lunar surface.
Were you in Alaska in 1969, and did you follow the Apollo 11 mission on television? If not, what are your memories of the moon landing fifty years ago? Share your memories in the comments.
7/19: First Friday Summer Block Party in Juneau. This weekly event begins at 5:30 pm at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center and features live music, food vendors, and fun for the whole family. This week’s party will include a Disability Pride celebration.
7/19: Join U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan for a reelection fundraiser in Fairbanks at 5:30 pm. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Senator Sullivan will be on the ballot for a second term as U.S. Senator in November of next year.
7/19: Alaska Public Media’s executive committee will meet at 8:30 am in Anchorage. These meetings are open to the public, visit this link for more information.
7/19: Kenai Chapter Golf Tournament hosted by the Alaska Support Industry Alliance. Tee time is 9 am, read more here.
7/19: Friday Fling at the downtown pavilion in Palmer. These weekly community gatherings include food, games, and family fun and are free to attend. Begins at 10 am.
7/19: Interior Alaska GOP weekly luncheon in Fairbanks. Lunch is at 11:30 am at Denny’s and the guest of honor this week is Fairbanks City Council candidate Aaron Gibson. These weekly lunches are a great opportunity to get to know fellow conservative-leaning Alaskans.
7/19: Interested in bear viewing? The public comment period for the proposed O’Malley River Bear Viewing Program in Kodiak will close this afternoon. The federally managed program would allow a limited number of permit holders and guided to enter the area to view Kodiak’s resident brown bears. Click here if you are interested in sharing your input on the project.
7/19: Do you have a teaching degree? There will be a teacher placement job fair in Anchorage hosted by Alaska Teacher Placement. Read more at the Facebook link here.
7/19: Guns and Hoses annual fundraiser for the Nikiski Children’s Fund at 6 pm. Come watch local law enforcement play a friendly game of softball against the Nikiski Fire Department’s finest. The game will take place in Kenai. Come support a good cause, more information here.
7/19: Alaska VA Town Hall with U.S. VA Secretary Wilkie and Senator Dan Sullivan in Fairbanks at 12:30 pm. All veterans and their families are welcome. More information at this link.
7/19: Senator Lisa Murkowski will give a legislative update regarding energy, natural resources, and federal policy on Alaska at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. This update is hosted by Commonwealth North, and registration is required. Further details here.
7/19: 50th anniversary of the moon landing celebration at the Eagle River Nature Center starting at 7 pm. Great for both kids and adults who want to learn more about our amazing astronomical history. Read more here.
7/20: Annual Golden Days Parade in downtown Fairbanks, hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. Parade begins at 10 am, but you’ll want to arrive early to get good seats. There will also be a street fair downtown all day long featuring dozens of local food and craft vendors. Don’t miss this beloved Fairbanks tradition. Read more about Golden Days here.
7/20: 14th annual Trapper Creek Fireweed Festival starting at 11 am. Join the small Alaskan community of Trapper Creek for this annual fundraiser. Enjoy live music, local food vendors, and interesting local art. Free to attend. Facebook link here.
7/20: Annual Backyard BBQ Concert in Ketchikan. Come enjoy live music, plenty of good food, and even a cooler race. Festivities begin at 6 pm, and tickets are sold in advance and at the door. Read more here.
7/20: 120th birthday celebration for the Tanana Valley Railroad will take place at the Pioneer Park railroad museum in Fairbanks. The event is free to attend and begins at 2 pm. Come enjoy a costumed reenactment of the original Golden Spike ceremony in 1899 and fun games for the whole family.
7/20: Garden City Market in Skagway at 3 pm. Enjoy this monthly event complete with local food vendors, crafts, and farm fresh produce. Read more here.
7/20: Disability Pride celebration in Anchorage at Cuddy Park in midtown. The celebration is hosted by the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and will feature vendor booths and several free performances. Starts at 11 am, read more here.
7/20: 3rd annual Ester Fest celebration in Ester, featuring several local bands and food trucks. Join the eccentric community of Ester in this annual but relatively new tradition. Music begins at 2 pm and tickets are sold upon entry. Read more here.
7/20: Harley-Davidson Live Ride fundraiser for Beacon Hill. The ride begins at Anchorage Harley-Davidson at 9 am and ends around 10 am in Wasilla. Well known 94-year-old motorcycle matriarch Gloria Struck will be in attendance. More details at this link.
7/21: Demolition Derby at the Mitchell Raceway in Fairbanks starting at 2 pm. Read more here.
7/21: And if you have the energy for more entertainment come weekend’s end: the Anchorage chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) will be holding a “coffee chat” at the Writer’s Block Café in Anchorage at 1 pm. They welcome questions and visitors to “see what we are about”.
7/20-7/21: Alaska BBQ Championship at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds in Fairbanks. This statewide competition will feature dozens of Alaskan pit masters vying for first prize and BBQ bragging rights. There is an entry fee at the door and discounts are offered for active and retired military. More info at this link.
7/17-7/20: The World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO) will take place at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Dating back to 1961, this annual event features many traditional Native games such as the seal hop, the ear pull, and the one-foot high kick. Read more here.
7/19-7/20: Are you an alum of UAF? The annual alumni reunion known as the Nanook Rendezvous will take place this weekend. There will be campus tours, a welcome picnic, and an event at Golden Days. Free to attend, read more here.
7/19-7/20: Moon Week at the State Library in Juneau. There will be activities for kids and a video and presentation about the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Kids admission is free with the paid admission of one adult. Read more at this link.
7/20-7/21: Sterling Gun Show at the Sterling Senior Center. Begins each day at 10 am with an entry fee of $5 for adults (kids are free). Read more here.
7/20-7/21: Anchorage Market & Festival in downtown Anchorage starting at 10 am. Alaska’s largest outdoor market is home to hundreds of local food and craft vendors. Pay them a visit this summer.
Alaska History Archive:
July 21, 2017—2 years ago: Stubbs, Talkeetna’s beloved feline mayor passed away at the age of 20. Having first been rescued as a kitten by Talkeetna resident Lauri Stec in 1997, Stubbs’ reputation around town (and the country) quickly grew. Thirty to forty tourists routinely visited Talkeetna on some days just to see Mayor Stubbs.
July 21, 1922—97 years ago: Jay Hammond, the 4th Governor of Alaska, was born. The U.S. Marine turned bush pilot turned politician oversaw the creation of the Alaska Permanent Fund in 1976 and helped formulate the idea for the Permanent Fund Dividend which was first paid out to Alaskans in 1982. Governor Hammond continued to live in Alaska after leaving office in 1982 and wrote several autobiographies. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 83.