People are coming from far and wide to be a part of the Bristol Bay Fish Expo that kicks off one week from today in Naknek – home to 10 processing companies and over 1,000 fishing boats.

The two day event is a fundraiser for Little Angels Childcare Academy and more than 50 exhibitors have signed on so far.

The Expo floor features a packed line-up — a Friday night highlight is a local fashion show followed by the biggest money maker – live and silent auctions with professional auctioneer Dan Newman of  Alaska Premier Auctions and Appraisals LLC,.

Grundens new Deck Boss boots. At gear shops now!

Grundens has donated a boat load of gear, says Expo co-organizer Katie Copps-Wilson. Other auction items include eight hours of welding, five hours of professional design and much more.

“We have some really cool items donated. Such as breakfast with governor Walker. He has donated an hour of his time to have breakfast with someone, so you can bid on that. The commercial fishermen from Bristol Bay have donated a trip with Rick Halford who will fly you around the Pebble Mine site.”

On Saturday night the Expo concludes with a debate by candidates for Alaska governor, moderated by KTVA’s Rhonda McBride.

Candidates Walker, Dunleavy and Hawkins will be there.  Mike Chenault has reportedly dropped out of the race and today’s filing deadline could draw more well-known hopefuls. Copps-Wilson says any late comers will be invited to participate.

“This debate is so important for us in rural Alaska in regard to educating our next governor what we go through every day and our issues. We will check after the filing deadline and see who’s registered and send them an invitation.”

The governor candidates debate will be broadcast live on KDLG and KAKN.

Alaskans are invited to submit questions for the candidates on line (, or at Expo prior to the debate.

“We want to make sure that we address what’s on the minds of people in the community and the state of Alaska.”

Debate questions will focus on issues in rural Alaska.

“Some of the topics that are important to us as a community in rural Alaska are things we deal with like substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues, economics – also the candidates will be debating in Bristol Bay, the heart of the world’s largest sockeye salmon run and as we all know,  at the forefront of this is the Pebble Mine issue and there will definitely be a conversation about where the candidates stand on Pebble Mine.”

Questions and donations can be submitted online at

All events are free but visitor registration is encouraged.

Last year’s Expo raised nearly $15,000 for Little Angels Childcare Academy and this year’s tally will likely be even higher.