It was the tale of two Alaskas in Southcentral on Saturday, and two different types of Alaskans sorting themselves out into festivals as different as they were entertaining.
While downtown Anchorage — very much Joe Biden country — was taken over by rainbows, drag queens, and men in ill-fitting tutus, the Mat-Su Valley was the site of kilt-wearing he-men having a tug-of-war competition and women participating in Celtic feats of strength.
The pride parade, a celebration of gay lifestyle, returned to Anchorage after having shied away from celebrating for the past three years due to fears over Covid.
In the parade were Rep. Jennie Armstrong of downtown Anchorage, Rep. Andrew Gray of East Anchorage, and Sen. Forrest Dunbar of East Anchorage, who wore a Bud Light necktie for the occasion.
Meanwhile, while Dunbar hoisted a rainbow flag as he traipsed through Anchorage, in the Mat-Su, the Scottish Highland Games were the place for hoisting big logs into the air.
At the Alaska State Fairgrounds, the field of play included the tug-o-war, caber toss (log throwing), and the sheaf (bale of hay) tossing competitions, all under a Chamber of Commerce sky. The festival included Scottish bagpipes, heavy athletics, Celtic dance, drumming, kilted mile, scotch tasting, tea tent, salmon tossing, tug-of-war, vendors, historical demonstrations, ax throwing, and children’s events, all of which continued on Sunday in a family-friendly environment.