One thing I love about Fur Rondy is all the clothing and accessories not seen anywhere else in the world. Colorful kuspuks and exquisitely designed fur coats are everywhere. Attire is visually spectacular, yet practical for the climate. Here are a few highlights from this past Fur Rondy weekend in Anchorage.
It was an evening of rainforest revelry, a night of wool and sequins, chiffon and XtraTufs. It was the long-awaited Alaska Inaugural Gala - and boy, was it a sight!
Downtown Juneau's Centennial Hall was a packed house on January 10, and it felt like half of Juneau turned out for the festivities. And Juneau has never looked so good. The town rolled out her red carpet for our new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and their families - and the community danced the night away!
Check out my video below of the first few minutes of the Gala - complete with a rousing intro by the Yees Ku Oo' dancers of Juneau and some wonderful words from Governor Bill Walker. At the 7:45 minute mark, you'll see Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott (of Tlingit heritage) join the group on the dance floor - a symbolic moment showing pride in his Native culture and solidarity with the Juneau community.
Hats off to our new leadership team!
The Decor and the Music
Selfies with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor
I collect many things: feathers, fortune cookie messages, hotel room key cards from my travels, whimsical earrings. But now I can say I also collect art, more specifically fine art photography from Daniel Buck's Wilderness Peaks Gallery, right here in Juneau, Alaska.
Two years ago, I splurged and bought myself "Serenity" (pictured at the end of this blog post), a splendid sunset scene photographed at Lena Cove. The photographer, who happens to be a good friend I met when I first moved to Alaska, recently moved his gallery to a terrific new space located at 263 South Franklin Street in downtown Juneau, across the street from the Red Dog Saloon.
Just in time for December's First Friday Gallery Walk, Daniel hosted a Grand Re-Opening, and boy was it packed! I knew this would be the case, so I waltzed down to the gallery earlier that afternoon, to check out the new space before all the crowds started gathering.
Lo and behold, I cast my eyes on “Melt Creek.” It wasn’t hard to notice. At 32” x 48” and printed high definition on aluminum metal, it stood out. But what really caught my eye was the turquoise blue of the water. Icy turquoise is my favorite shade of blue (really, my fave out of the whole color spectrum), so I knew I had to have it. Fortunately, I had first dibs on the art since I arrived so early - a blessing because, according to Daniel and his staff, there were about 70 people that evening who wanted to buy it off the wall, and a few budding fights over it, too!
"Melt Creek" was taken on a 10-day whitewater rafting expedition down the Tatshenshini (say that three times fast) and Alsek Rivers, which flow 130-miles through the largest internationally protected wilderness area in the world. I can't wait to go there myself one day and see this inspiring spot. Until then, I'll just have marvel this stunning glacial landscape from the warmth of my living room.
Before the crack of dawn on an unseasonably dry July morning, over fifteen hundred Juneauites visited the Mendenhall Glacier for the chance to appear on national television. NBC’s The TODAY Show – in their first LIVE broadcast from Alaska – featured a cadre of tourism highlights during their filming in Alaska’s Capital City.
What started with Roll Tide hecklers progressed with a little girl and her penguin making their way through the crowd. The behind-the-scenes action didn't stop there. Our obligatory selfie happened not once, twice, but three times with the ever-gracious AND gorgeous Natalie Morales. The rain held off, daylight peaked, and the morning’s festivities wrapped up with NBC’s anchor-extraordinaire petting our fur hats and playing a guessing game of “What kind of fur is it?” (Note: Mom and I were wearing fur seal and fox fur hats, respectively. Natalie guessed, "Bear??")
The Crowd and the Signs
The Lady in Yellow
But First, Lemme Take a #Selfie
Dressing the Part with Cozy Kuspuks and Fur Hats
Here's a big shout out to the ever-talented Karena Perry of KM Perry Photos for taking these shots of me and my Momma. Mom is wearing a traditional kuspuk made by Nita Y. Rearden, and I am wearing my favorite kuspuk made by my Mom in 2013.