(blogging to you today from Atlanta, Georgia)
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and First Lady, Sandy, continued an Alaska tradition on December 11 with opening the Governor’s Mansion to visitors for a festive holiday celebration. The annual open house welcomed more than 3,200 visitors to savor the holiday spirit and enjoy an assortment of cookies, nuts, fruit, and oodles of delectable fudge.
This is one of my favorite events in Juneau and a big reason I enjoy living in the capital city of Alaska. The proximity to state officials is remarkable, and I appreciate this sizable event gives Alaskans the chance to hob-nob with the Governor, First Lady, Lieutenant Governor, and Cabinet members. It is also a neat occasion to see the inside of the home of Alaska’s top public servant. Exploring the impeccably decorated interior and exterior really puts me in the Christmas spirit.
According to the Juneau Empire, this event has been held since 1913, with the exception of a two year hiatus during World War II. I first attended the Governor’s Holiday Open House in 2010, and it has become an annual tradition for me and my friends. It is delightful to stand outside the mansion and socialize with my Juneau neighbors in freezing weather. Being served hot cider and homemade treats by the Governor’s Cabinet members makes the low temperatures, snow, and ice more tolerable.
This year’s event also included 24,000 cookies and 200 pounds of fudge, all locally made. It was charming to see kiddos and adults alike, exiting the home of the Governor while hoarding plates and piles of sweet treats as they trudge back to their homes.
If you’re planning a visit to Alaska in early December, try to schedule a stop in Juneau during the Governor’s Open House. You won’t be disappointed. And you might, just might, get to shake hands with the Guvnah.