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Skagway 2014 Calendar of Events

Our decade-long centennial celebration ended in 2000, but Skagway loves a party, and there are many events planned for 2014 and beyond.

The DAILY ALASKAN celebrates its 10th anniversary with a float in the 1908 Fourth of July parade. Skagway Museum and Archives

March 22, 28th annual Buckwheat Ski Classic - Popular cross-country ski event features races ranging from 5K for kids to 10K, 25K and 50K for adults. Races at Log Cabin, B.C. on highway. Pre- and post-race festivities in Skagway. Mountain Shop, 907-983-2544, or www.buckwheatskiclassic.com.

April 18-19, 28th annual International Folk Festival & Spring Show of Winter Artwork - Annual event begins at 7 p.m. at the acoustically magnificent Presbyterian Church (5th and Main), featuring musicians from Alaska and the Yukon. Opening reception next door in fellowship hall for Spring Show of Winter Artwork. Contact Donna Griffard, Skagway Arts Council, 983-3222 or skagwayartscouncil.blogspot.com

April 26, Clean Sweep. Skagway's annual award-winning clean-up - Contact Skagway Chamber of Commerce, 983-1898, or chamber@aptalaska.net.

April 26, Craft Brew Festival. Second annual event featuring local craft brews is from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Skagway Rec. Center. Hank Karr and the Canucks will be playing. Admission is $25 for drinkers and $10 for non-drinkers. Door prizes will be raffled off throughout the evening. Call Katherine Nelson, 907-983-3202 or k.nelson@skagway.org .

May 9 & 10, Spring Stroll & Be A Tourist for a Day – Skagway merchants and tour operators open their doors for everyone to familiarize themselves with what's being offered this visitor season. Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Travel Industry Association - Golden Circle Chapter. NOTE: SPRING STROLL HAS NOW MOVED TO MAY 23!!!

May 28 - 31, North Words Writers Symposium – Now in its fifth year, Skagway will host some of Alaska’s most notable writers to the NWWS, as well as visiting guest keynote author Simon Winchester, author of The Men Who United the States. The conference theme is, “Exploring the Frontiers of Language.” Skagway Convention & Visitors Bureau, 983-2854 or visit: www.nwwriterss.com.

June 7, Fran Delisle Breast Cancer Awareness Walk-A-Thon – Now in its 19th year, this popular walk from Dyea to Skagway raises money for research, mammograms and other detection tests. Registration begins at Elks at 8:30 a.m. Bus ride out to Dyea leaves at 9:30 a.m. from Elks Lodge, and the walk begins at about 10:30 a.m. from Chilkoot Trail Outpost. A lunch runs from 2-4 p.m. at the Elks. Pledge forms available at several stores in town.

June 14, Fourth annual Skagway Marathon – Runners will start at the ferry terminal and run to the end of West Creek Road in Dyea and back to town for the full marathon. Half marathoners will turn around at Nahku Road. Skagway CVB, 983-2854 or Duff’s Backcountry Outfitters, 983-3562.

June 21 - Elks Summer Solstice Picnic– Annual event at Seventh Pasture ballpark features food, music and games in celebration of the long days, 6 pm to 1 a.m. Elks Lodge 431, 983-2235.

June 26-29, Pat Moore Memorial Gamefish Derby – Try to catch the "king" of our waters, the chinook salmon to win the $2,000 grand prize. Also win prizes for catching pink salmon in categories for locals, summer workers, Yukon residents, women, and children. Proceeds benefit a scholarship in the name of local sportsman Pat Moore, who lost his life to ALS in 2005, as well as the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council and the ALS Association. Tickets are $20 per day or $45 for the weekend. Contact Taiya Inlet Watershed Council, 983-2426, www.taiya.org.

NEW DATES! July 4-6, International Softball Tournament – Annual event features teams from Alaska/Yukon. Seventh Pasture ballpark. Skagway Softball, 983-3021.

July 3, Street Dance & Fireworks Show – A street dance on Broadway is planned to kick off the Independence Day festivities, culminating in a spectacular Fireworks Show in the harbor (if windy it may be moved to a later date). Chamber of Commerce, 983-1898, chamber@aptalaska.net

July 4, Skagway’s annual Independence Day Celebration & Ducky Derby – 2014 Theme: "Traveling through the Generations" - Since 1898 Skagway has celebrated the nation’s birthday in grand style: old-fashioned family fun with a parade that goes up and down Broadway, kids and adult races, egg toss, railroad spike driving contest, tug of war, arm wrestling, horseshoes, slow bike race, and the annual Ducky Derby – 1,000 little plastic duckies pass through two culverts, under railroad tracks, always in danger of getting stuck along the way. Skagway Chamber of Commerce, 983-1898, chamber@aptalaska.net or see schedule in the June 25 Skagway News.

August 30-31, Skagway Harvest Show – Details TBA - Semi-monthly summer Harvest Fairs on Saturdays at the Eagles culminates with a big show at the end of August. Details forthcoming.

September5-6, Klondike Trail of ‘98 Road Relay – A 110-mile, 10-member relay race, beginning in Skagway at midnight, and ending in Whitehorse on the following afternoon. Crazy, eh? Yeah, but it sure is fun. Contact Sport Yukon, (867) 668-4236, www.klondikeroadrelay.com.


Fall-Winter-Spring Events
December 2014, Yuletide Celebration – Skagway lights up for the month-long Christmas season with many open houses, a tree-lighting ceremony, caroling, the popular Santa Train, a beautiful Yuletide Ball, and other programs. A great time to be in Skagway.

March 2015 - Backcountry Bash & Ball, Buckwheat Ski Classic - Skagway celebrates the best month of winter with two fun-filled weekends. The Bash & Ball combines backcountry and kite skiing on the pass with films and music in town. Then toward the end of the month is the popular Buckwheat Ski Classic, a cross-country ski event features races ranging from 5K for kids to 10K, 25K and 50K for adults, at Log Cabin, B.C. on the highway, with festivities in Skagway. The Mountain Shop, 983-2544, and the Log Cabin Ski Society, www.buckwheatskiclassic.com.

April 2015 - International Folk Festival, Spring Show of Winter Artwork, Clean Sweep, Skagway Craft Brew Festival, Clean Sweep. Folkies from Yukon/Alaska converge for a night in the acoustically magical Presbyterian Church. The event is combined with an art show in the adjoining Fellowship Hall. At the end of the month is the town’s annual clean-up for tourist season and a craft brew festival at the Rec. Center. Skagway Arts Council, 983-3302. For an updated list of year-round arts events in our community, visit www.skagwayartscouncil.blogspot.com. Clean Sweep is organized by the Chamber, and the Craft Brewfest by the Skagway Rec. Center, 983-2679. For updates on events all year long, see www.skagwaynews.com.

Skagwayans mustered for a town photo outside the restored McCabe Bldg. on the city's 100th birthday in June 2000. The historic granite structure houses the Skagway Museum and Archives, as well as city offices and the state court. Skagway News photo by Dimitra Lavrakas

Skagway Abounds With Many Things To Do

MUSEUMS & EXHIBITS

Arctic Brotherhood Hall. This Broadway landmark, with its unique, recently restored driftwood face makes it Alaska’s most photographed building. It houses the Skagway Convention & Visitor Bureau’s Visitor Center. For more information, go to www.skagway.com

Corrington Museum of Alaskan History. This museum located at 5th and Broadway tells the history of Alaska from pre-historic times to the present. More than 40 engraved walrus tusks and other exhibits detail events that shaped the evolution of the 49th state.

Klondike Gold Dredge. Five minutes from downtown, located along the river about a quarter-mile after crossing the bridge, this new attraction features a reassembled gold dredge that worked the Sixtymile District near Dawson City. It first arrived in the north in Skagway in 1941 and was transported on the railroad and steamers to the Klondike. It was transported back to its home port of Skagway in 1999-2000.

McCabe Bldg. – Skagway Museum and Archives. Located at the east end of 7th Avenue, this granite building was constructed in 1899-1900 as a Methodist college-preparatory school and was later sold to the federal government in 1901 when legislation provided public schools for Alaska. It served as the U.S. Court House until obtained by the city for a museum and offices in 1956. The U.S. Marshal’s office, the U.S. Commissioner’s office, and the jail occupied the first floor. District Court was held on the second floor in the former chapel of McCabe College. In 2000, the City of Skagway celebrated its centennial at the McCabe Building, which has served as City Hall and Skagway Museum since 1961. After a two-year renovation project, the museum moved back into the first floor and city offices into the second floor. Across Spring Street is Veterans Memorial Park with a World War Two Quonset Hut and a monument dedicated to Skagway servicemen who lost their lives in World War Two and the Korean War. Nearby on trails leading to the McCabe Bldg. are information panels about the old Pullen House, Garden City of Alaska, and Alaska Native culture.

Skagway Public Library, 8th & State. Read about the library’s history from its organization through the Skagway Women’s Club to present day. Old Skagway newspapers available to read. Rotating displays in the glass case in the entryway. Open 1-8 Monday-Friday, 1-5 Saturday and Sunday.

Skagway Sculpture Garden, 8th & Spring. New for 2005, this unique outdoor garden of sculpture and Alaska art has been amassed by private collector Bob White and is now available for display and tours. Featuring the works of Sandy Scott and others.

Yukon Suspension Bridge. Located high above the Tutshi River at Mile 20 Klondike Highway, this new attraction includes a swaying bridge across the chasm and outdoor museum exhibits about this unique area of the world.

Visitors stroll past the park visitor center on Broadway (right). Up the street on the left (first flag pole) is the city visitor center in the historic Arctic Brotherhood Hall, the building covered with nearly 9,000 sticks of driftwood. JB

PUBLIC PARKS & ATTRACTIONS

Skagway Centennial Park. Located at 1st and Broadway, Centennial Park features the city’s Centennial Statue of a Tlingit Packer leading a prospector up the trail in 1897, Rotary Snowplow #1, a time capsule, monuments, orientation signs, a covered waiting area, benches, and native plants.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park - Skagway Historic District. Seven-block corridor along historic Broadway Street contains many restored private and park-owned structures used by businesses. Visit the National Park Service Visitor Center in the old depot at 2nd & Broadway, containing many gold rush exhibits and railroad photos, the Mascot Saloon exhibit about 1898 city life at 3rd & Broadway, and the Moore House at 5th & Spring, the homestead of early settlers William and Bernard Moore.

Pullen Creek Park & Hatcheries. Park between the small boat harbor and the railroad depot is a nice area for picnicking and fishing. King salmon run begins in late May, followed by pinks in August and silvers in September. The creek in recent years became a fish-rearing stream managed by the Skagway School, which runs a hatchery up the railroad tracks. It was named Alaska Vocational Education Program of the Year in 1989. Another hatchery, Burro Creek Farms, has been developed across the bay over the past 20 years. A non-profit hatchery owned and operated by the Richards family, it has raised pink, chum, silver and king salmon.
Footbridge to Yakutania Point & Smuggler’s Cove. Skagway’s beloved footbridge has moved from the west end of 1st Avenue to a new location south of the new airport terminal. The bridge takes you over the Skagway River to this beautiful area of waterfront trails, exercise course, picnic spots and our cherished Pet Cemetery.

Mollie Walsh Park. Located on 7th Ave. behind Miner’s Cache, this small play park is a great area for “letting the kids loose” while you browse. It was named for a woman who befriended miners on the trail at Log Cabin. A bust was placed here by a long lost lover, Packer Jack Newman, after Mollie left with another man and met an untimely death.

A cleaned up and refurbished Gold Rush Cemetery welcomed visitors for the 2002 season thanks to the Southeast Alaska Guidance Association. Summer crew leaders met in Skagway in May for first-hand experience in a community. Frank Wasmer, with the city Department of Public Works, helped direct the crew members. The crew also cleaned up the Pioneer Cemetery and the Yakutania Point Trail. One man walking his dogs by the cemetery when this picture was taken said, “They sure did a good job for us.” - Dimitra Lavrakas

Gold Rush Cemetery & Reid Falls. Located about 1.5 miles from the Historic District. Head north on State Street until you see the sign just before the bridge. Follow signs a half mile past the railroad shops to the graveyard. A cemetery guidebook can be purchased in town which tells the history of the cemetery and some of the characters buried therein, including desperado Soapy Smith and town hero Frank Reid. The falls, named for Reid, are a short walk up the hill.

Seven Pastures Park. Located just across the Skagway River highway bridge and also reached by the Pat Moore memorial footbridge, this large park features two softball fields, a soccer field, a disc golf course, bike-cross area, picnic grounds, and is the site of an Outdoor Arts Facility that is due to open in 2014.

Skagway Overlook. This turnoff and platform, located at Mile 2 on Dyea Road, affords a wonderful view of the downtown area, waterfront and peaks above Skagway. It was originally built by the U.S. Army during World War Two.

Flying a kite on the Dyea Flats. JB

Dyea Unit - Klondike Gold Rush NHP. The Dyea valley is accessed by an 8-mile mostly gravel road from Skagway. Turnoff is at 2.1 Mile on the highway. Narrow Dyea road is not recommended for long or wide vehicles. It passes a turnoff to Yakutania Point (Mile 3) and swings around Nahku Bay (Mile 5), home of the remains of the bark “Canada” (seen at very low tides), and then winds around the point to the old townsite. Dyea was as large as Skagway during the gold rush, but all that’s left now are a cemetery and the scattered remains of a wharf and buildings. Favorite stops are the Chilkoot Trail head, Dyea flats and Slide Cemetery, where 40 graves bear the date of the Palm Sunday avalanche on the Chilkoot Trail in 1898. Free guided “Dyea Townsite Tours” begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., June-August. Pick up a map at the Dyea Ranger Station and meet at the old townsite parking area. For Chilkoot Trail information and reservations, call 800-661-0486 or visit the Klondike park website: www.nps.gov/klgo/

TWO POPULAR TRAILS

Dewey Lakes Trail System • Walk east on 3rd Avenue by the Westmark Inn until you reach the railroad tracks. Trail begins on the other side of the tracks. Follow signs to Lower Dewey Lake (0.7 miles), Icy Lake (2.5 miles), Upper Reid Falls (3.5 miles), Sturgill’s Landing (4.5 miles), Upper Dewey Lake (3.5 miles), and the Devil’s Punch Bowl (4.2 miles). The trail to Lower Dewey Lake and return is a pleasant hour’s walk, though the switchback trail can be a bit steep in sections, but trails around the lake itself are fairly flat. Continuing north to Icy Lake and Reid Falls or south to Sturgill’s (an old wood camp by the bay) will add 2-3 hours. Camping and picnic sites abound; please pack trash out. The hike to Upper Dewey Lake and Devil’s Punch Bowl is much steeper, great for a day hike or overnight trip. The cabin at Upper Lake is available on a first come-first served basis. Lakes are stocked with trout.

Skyline Trail to AB Mountain • Trail begins at 3 Mile on the Dyea Road and ascends AB Mountain, named for the “AB” that appears in the form of snowmelt every spring. This was seen as an omen by the Arctic Brotherhood, a northern pioneer order which started here. Allow at least five hours roundtrip for this often strenuous hike. Beautiful views of Skagway, Dyea, Lynn Canal, Haines and Chilkat Range.

For detailed information about these and other more remote trails, pick up a Skagway Trail Map/Brochure at the city visitor center when you visit Skagway or check out the Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau website: www.skagway.com

• Historical Features from the 2012 SKAGUAY ALASKAN and recent editions. Watch for our new book Skagway: City of the New Century , a compliation of Skaguay Alaskan and Skagway News historical articles from the past 30-plus years, due out by Fall 2012.

• City of the New Century - Skagway Timeline from 1880s to present day

• Ho for the Klondike Highway! Mile-by mile driving log