International Folk Fest in its 12th year
Save the date! Friday, April 19 at the Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. for the 12th Annual International Folk Festival. Tickets are $10, and children under 12 are free and must be accompanied by an adult.
This popular event is still going strong – featuring musicians from Juneau and Whitehorse, most of whom will have just performed at the 28th Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau the previous week.
The evening begins with a potluck supper at the church Recreation hall at 5:30 p.m. to feed all those musicians. Local music fans are invited and encouraged to bring a dish and get acquainted with our performers.
Among those who will perform are Rainee Godwin on guitar, singer/songwriter Buddy Tabor, Jim Griswold on harmonica, Martha Scott on mandolin, and Jim Steg on fiddle. From the Whitehorse Folk Society, Deb Jutra with the golden voice; Roy Tucher, guitar; Pete and Beth Beattie just from the trapline; Art Johns, country singer; and possibly a surprise or two. Skagway will contribute a new performer this year – Adam Bricker. Barb Kalen and Debbie Steidel will open the event.
The festival is sponsored by the Skagway Fine Arts Council in Skagway, and in Whitehorse by the Whitehorse Folk Society the next evening at the United Church in Whitehorse . The musicians end the weekend with a big jam session and picnic at the Beattie’s homestead on Shallow Bay.

First-ever Skagway Alaskan Film Fest
The first-ever Skagway’s Alaskan Film Festival is scheduled for April 25-27 each evening at 7 p.m. This year, the festival focuses on early portrayals of Alaska. Not surprisingly, two are about the gold rush.
Tickets are $5 per film or $12 for the series, and are on sale at the Skaguay News Depot. T-shirts will also be available for $12 at the door.
Her’s the line-up: April 25, “Trail of ‘98” will be shown for the first time ever in Skagway. Based on Robert Service’s melodramatic novel of love, fall from grace and redemption, it boasts deep character development and incredible special effects for its time. Directed by Clarence Brown for M-G-M in 1928, this silent film runs 1 hour 27 minutes.
It stars a pair who would go on to fame in Hollywood –Harry Carey and Dolores Del Rio.
April 26, the silent film “The Chechahcos” (sic - that’s how they spelled it) will be shown for the first time publicly in Alaska since preservation work was done in 1999 by the Alaska Film Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from a rare 35mm print.
While not as polished as “Trail of 98” it is the first and last film produced in 1924 by Alaskan Capt. Austin “Cap” E. Lathrop for his Alaska Moving Picture Corp.
One of Lathrop’s first jobs before acquiring a fortune through other ventures, including a chain of movie theaters, was piloting boats with gold seekers on board during the Klondike Gold Rush – he lived the story.
“The Chechahcos” was the first feature-length film to be filmed entirely on location in the state. There are some hilarious dog sled take-offs and a perhaps, ill-advised chase across a glacier. If you pay attention to continuity in films or know your gold rush history, this one will leave you in stitches.
The final evening will feature the talkie “Eskimo,” a 1933 drama starring Hollywood’s first Inupiat Eskimo film star, Ray Mala (Ray Wise). Run time is 1 hour 47 minutes.
Directed by W.S. Van Dyke for M-G-M. Studios, it thought to be the first film where Native language was used extensively and not one Hollywood’s infamous garbled fake languages.
Mala is arrested by the Northwest Mounted Police for the murder of a white trader captain and escapes into the wilderness. It was filmed in Teller, Point Hope, Cape Lisburne, and Herald Island.
Accompanying “Eskimo” will be the exhibit “Filming ‘Eskimo’ on Location: The Michael Philip Collection; 1932-1933,” curated by Jeffrey Sinnott, University of Alaska Anchorage Archives and Manuscripts Department. It will be on display at the Skagway Library.
This festival was made possible by contributions from Turner Movie Classics , Alaska Film Archives at UAF, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, the Skagway Museum, the City of Skagway, Susan Jabal Graphics, and Eagles Aerie #25.