Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Scratched events may return next year

 


Two Fourth of July classic events were scratched this year, but may return next year, organizers say.

The Mad River Raft Race, a homemade boat race down the Chilkoot River that dates to the 1960s, was canceled due to high water. It was scratched about a day before its scheduled start 3 p.m. July 1.

On the Fourth, event organizers Erwin Hertz and Kevin Shove and two others manned two rafts and staged an abbreviated version of the race for a “photo op” of the event for a book Hertz is writing, Shove said.

Liability concerns and some close scrapes are making organizers consider taking the event off the Chamber of Commerce schedule of organized events. Shove said the race may continue in future years as an unscheduled and unsanctioned outing among friends.

The pie-eating event, a timed competition resulting in messy faces and embarrassing photos, was cancelled for lack of an organizer, said Chamber of Commerce manager Jamie Knudsen.

“I searched and searched and didn’t find anybody for it,” Knudsen said. “It’s kind of a bummer, but it’s one of those events that hasn’t happened every year.”

Visitor’s Center staff stopped organizing the event in 2009. The high school student council ran the event several years but was unable to this year, Knudsen said. Pies used are donated by stores as well as homemade, she said.