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

Haines 4th of July Preview


For Independence Day 2013, Haines offers classic town events, plus some new ones. See you at the celebration!


Festival to Feature 7 Hours of Local Music

The third annual Fourth of July Music Fest will support high school students as well as musicians.

Proceeds raised during music fest will go toward developing a scholarship fund. The event last year attracted a crowd of more than 400 and raised about $2,000.

This year’s event includes 11 local acts and runs from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the picnic area behind the tribal house in the Fort Seward parade grounds.

“I had the idea three years ago to create the music fest,” said co-coordinator Jeff Butcher. “I wanted to promote local music, help the community and create an event that didn’t exist here in Haines.”

The lineup features a variety of genres including Motown, rock ‘n roll, swing, funk, country and folk rock.

Performers will include The Irish Lords, Hi-De-Hos, Julia Scott and The Durt Bags, Devine Funk, The Fish Pickers, and Lunchmeat and the Pimentos.

Each band will have an hour to perform, said co-coordinator John Hunt. “They’ll be playing new songs and performers in different bands will be collaborating. Because each band is playing for only one hour, each band will be playing their best tunes.”

Solo acts including Peter MacDonald and Jeff Alvine of Haines and groups including the Men of Note will perform between bands.

“The Music Fest is a great way to bring visitors to town and to support our community,” Hunt said. “It’s a great time and great fun for all ages.”

Hunt this week was looking for as many as a dozen event volunteers, including to work as stage hands. A three-hour volunteer shift gains a volunteer free admission to the event, he said.

Hunt said organizers haven’t determined if the scholarship would be for a music student or how much would be donated. “It depends on how many people come,” he said.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 5 to 15. Picnic food, beer, and wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase.

For more information, phone Hunt at 314-0332.


Native Games Will Debut at Park

For the first time, Haines Fourth of July activities will include events from the Native Youth Olympic Games.

Starting at 1 p.m. at Tlingit Park, competition will be held in the two-feet high kick, the one-foot high kick, Eskimo stick pull and the Alaskan high kick.

The one-foot and two-feet high kick require competitors to jump off the ground and kick an object suspended in the air with either or both feet. In the stick pull, competitors seated on the ground face each other, their outstretched hands grasping the same stick. The winner is the competitor who pulls the other off the ground.

The Alaskan high kick requires competitors to hold their left hand to the floor, and to kick a suspended object while holding their left toe with their right hand.

For the past month, the Haines Borough Public Library has been hosting Native games every Tuesday and Thursday to help prepare youths for the competition.

“I really want to raise awareness for the games,” said coordinator Jessie Morgan. “There are (Native Youth Olympic) competitions all over Alaska, but this will be our first.”

There are 10 events in the Native Youth Olympic Games, held each spring in Anchorage.

“There are so many games that we could play,” said Morgan. “But these four have been the most popular among the kids this past month.”

All ages are welcome and it is a free event. Prizes will be awarded.

“I would love if this would become an annual thing,” said Morgan. “Everyone is welcome to come even if they’re not playing. They can still come and cheer people on.”


Classic Car Tour to Set Up at Fort

The Fourth of July celebration will include a visiting antique car show featuring 10 remodeled automobiles, including a 1931 Model A and a 1966 Barracuda.

Hosting the event is the Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska, an Anchorage-based club dedicated to restoration and enjoyment of antique cars. It’s been making summer tours since 1990.

This year’s tour starts in Atlin for Canada Days, proceeds to Whitehorse, and will conclude in Haines on the Fourth of July.

“We’ve always stopped or driven by Haines on our tours,” said co-coordinator Tamea Isham. “But this will be our first time attending an event.”

The free show takes place at the Fort Seward Parade Grounds from 2 to 5 p.m. Twenty-four club members in attendance will answer questions about their cars.

“We love showing people our cars and watching them reminisce on cars that they use to have similar to ours,” said Isham. “It’s fun to share our interest with others and we’ll make sure to show people a good time.”

Automobiles on display will include a 1957 Ford, 1952 Plymouth, 1938 Chrysler, 1966 Barracuda, 1963 Imperial, 1931 Model A, 1966 Mustang, 1931 Ford pickup and a 1931 Ford Coupe.


Pie-Eating Revived

After an absence of a few years, the pie-eating contest will be revived for this year’s Fourth of July celebration.

“We tried to bring it back last year, but it was too late to order the pies,” said coordinator Tanya Carlson. “But it’s something people loved to do in the past and we wanted to make sure to do it this year.”

Olerud’s Market Center donated a total of 60 cream pies with a variety of flavors for the event. There will be four separate contests for ages 5 and under, ages 6 to 10, ages 11 to 16 and ages 17 and older.

The contest will take place at 1 p.m. in front of the Visitor Center. Contestants are prohibited from using their hands. The first contestant to finish their pie serving is declared winner.


Ripinsky Run: Walk Course Before You Go

The Mount Ripinsky Run is perhaps the most grueling wake-up call on a Haines Fourth of July.

Runners start at 8 a.m. in front of the American Legion Hall on Second Avenue and climb the town’s landmark mountain to 1,100 feet, turn around and race back to the start. The distance is only about three miles, but the terrain includes steep, narrow and rocky sections.

“Know the trail. That’s the bottom line,” said Erwin Hertz who has ran the race dozens of times. “If you know the trail you’ll know where your foot goes, you’ll know where you can sprint and you’ll know the safest way to race.”

Race coordinator Paul Swift calls the race “a great Haines tradition” officially started in 1967, but “people have been racing up that mountain long before that.”

Runners should wear shoes or boots with good traction and ankle support, and hiking the trail beforehand to gain familiarity helps, Swift said.

Twenty-five racers participated last year, and organizers are estimating similar numbers this year.

Chandler Kemp holds the men’s record, 24:28, and J.J. Lende holds the women’s record, 32:34. Both were set during last year’s race.

Lende, who has completed the race about 10 times, said she isn’t sure if she’ll be back to Haines in time to defend her title this year. She had some advice for serious competitors.

Pace yourself on the road portion of the run, before the trail, she said. “A lot of people sprint to the trailhead, and by the time they get there, they have no energy to climb.”

Runners wear gloves for the descent, Lende said. Dry pine needles several inches thick cause racers to slide off the trail, and wet weather can also cause slippery conditions. Gloves allow runners to grab brush and tree limbs to stabilize themselves on the steep descent, she said.

“It’s always like a miracle when you don’t get hurt,” she said.

There is a $5 entry fee. Each runner will receive a T-shirt. There are cash prizes for division winners.


Musicians Sought for Parade Marching Band

There’s more to do than watch fireworks and bury your face in pie at this year’s Fourth of July celebration in Haines.

Sue Waterhouse, who draped Main Street in U.S. flags on Independence Day last year, is recruiting musicians for a marching band to play in the annual holiday parade. Waterhouse said she has a lead on real marching band uniforms and marching music. “This will be fun. We’ll find something we can all have fun with and see where it goes. You don’t have to be an experienced musician to join this band. The important thing is the marching.”

Interested musicians and marchers will meet for a rehearsal 6 p.m. Monday at the Chilkat Valley News office at Third Avenue and Main Street.

The Mad River Raft Race has fallen off the schedule as a sanctioned Fourth of July event. Liability concerns, brown bear traffic and high river flows have officially done in the decades-long event that sent a flotilla of homemade rafts surfing the rapids between Chilkoot Lake and Lutak Bridge.

But old traditions die hard. Some longtime participants and friends still gather to make the trip informally. There’s no entry fee and no prizes. Look for them at the lake around 3 p.m. on Independence Day.

Trap shooting returns to the holiday roster this year, with games including cutthroat, walk-up and buddy shoot. The number of participants who show up will determine the types of games played, but co-organizer Shane Horton said he expects competition in men’s, women’s and youth categories.

“We’re going to do our best to split people up based on their skill level in shooting,” Horton said. “We will also have loaner guns available for beginners or people without shotguns.”

Competing costs $6 per game for members of the Mud Bay Shooting Range or $7.50 for nonmembers. Winners get half the pot for each game. The trap shoot starts 4 p.m. at the Sportsman’s Range at Mud Bay Road.

Other perennial contests of Haines’ Independence Day celebration include the nail-pounding contest, fire hose battle, mud volleyball, foot races of all kinds and the kiddie money toss. They’re all held in the vicinity of Tlingit Park.

A three-club golf tournament will be held at Valley of the Eagles golf links. It begins 3:30 p.m.


Golf Event to Aid Ailing Toddler

Friends are organizing a fundraiser to support Jema Bentley, the 4-year-old daughter of Jaime Stanford Bentley and Jeff Bentley.

Jema recently underwent brain surgery and is currently receiving treatment at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. Friend Melissa Ganey says Jema is “definitely a fighter” who is also battling heart failure and seizures.

Stan Jones and Kathy Pardee-Jones are donating proceeds from the Valley of the Eagles golf course on Saturday, July 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including from the driving range.

“Even if you’re not a golfer, we want people to come out and support Jema,” Ganey said. She also encouraged people to send cards and drawings to brighten Jema’s hospital room. Mail can be sent to: Mail code DC10S, 3183 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Rd., Portland, OR 97239.


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