Juneau Maritime Festival has bragging rights
May 5, 2015
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – It’s National Maritime Month and Juneau’s got some big bragging rights. They’ll celebrate this weekend. More after this –
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Juneau is one of Alaska’s most diverse maritime ports, but that gets overshadowed by the state capital hubbub.
We look at our community and think of ourselves as the capital city first and foremost, which we are, but we forget that we have these really important elements that make us a big fishing village. Just thinking about the seafood industry alone, there are about 800 residents of Juneau that make their livelihood just from ocean harvests, and that doesn’t count the Coast Guard and NOAA, our marine transportation – just a myriad of professions that are linked to the sea.
Brian Holst is director of the Juneau Economic Development Council, host of this Saturday’s Maritime Festival for the 6th year running. Fishing and processing combined make seafood the town’s largest private employer. Holst calls it the ‘ocean products industry.’
It’s broader than fish and seafood and is something that in terms of economic development opportunities, we are encouraging maximizing the full value of all that is captured from the sea to capture more value.
The Maritime Festival is scheduled at a time when no cruise ships are visiting, Holst says, so it can be truly a community event. It attracts several thousand people to Juneau’s downtown waterfront and begins each year with a very traditional welcoming.
The One People Canoe Society will arrive in two canoes and they do a traditional welcoming ceremony and that kicks off the festival each year.
The Coast Guard will do a helicopter rescue in the channel, there’s a sailing race, and visitors also can tour working vessels from fishing boats to tug boats to yachts. And the wildly popular fish fillet contest by local processing pros is again in the Festival line up.
The Festival is Saturday, May 9 at Marine Park.
And hey – I’ll see you there!
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 105 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.