Home Doll market The Blueberry Festival returns to downtown Ketchikan

The Blueberry Festival returns to downtown Ketchikan


Slug races are a Ketchikan tradition during the annual Blueberry Arts Festival, hosted by the Ketchikan Area Council for the Arts and Humanities. (KRBD photo by Leila Kheiry)

The 47e The annual Blueberry Arts Festival returns to downtown Ketchikan this weekend. The three-day event celebrates all things blueberry. The festival got its name because it coincides with when blueberries ripen.

Arts Council program director Katy Posey said events will kick off on Friday August 5 with the pet and doll parade.

“We really want all those adorable kids, parents, kids, dolls and dogs to get their badges and carriages ready for this parade. It starts at 2 p.m. right outside the police department.

Also Friday is the Best Blueberry Dish contest and gallery openings. The juried art exhibition is split this year between two locations, the Main Street Gallery at 330 Main Street and the Commons Gallery at 2106 Tongass Avenue. There will also be a lumberjack contest at the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show followed by a performance by Woody’s Finest Hour. Admission is by donation and proceeds benefit Special Olympics.

In 2020, the festival was canceled for the first time in its history due to the pandemic. Last year, the festival moved from its traditional location at the State Office Building and adjacent parking lots in the heart of downtown.

And this year, many events will remain outdoors. Arts Council executive director Kathleen Light said most activity takes place on Saturdays downtown on Main, Dock and Mission streets, which will be closed to vehicular traffic.

“All the amazing things start happening really early with the 9 a.m. race. And then the blueberry vendor market opens at 10 a.m. There’s the slug weigh-ins. There’s the slug races. There’s pie to eat. There is a blueberry ball rolling.

There’s also a judging beard and mustache contest on the Salmon Market’s main stage, which will also host music, dance and comedy performances on Saturday.

Although parts of the streets are closed to vehicles, handicapped-accessible parking will be available near Whale Park, and a wheelchair and walker loan station will be at the St. John’s Episcopal Church parking lot. other side of the street.

On Sundays there is a handmade and human-powered boat race at Thomas Basin, a poetry slam at the New York Café and the festival culminates with the Gigglefeet Dance Festival at the Kayhi Auditorium.

Here is a link to the Ketchikan Area Council for the Arts and Humanities website which has all the details. Below is a summarized list of events.



friday august 5

2:00 p.m. – Parade of animals, dolls and masks. Starts at the corner of Grant and Main streets.

3:00 p.m. – Deadline to submit nominations for Best Blueberry Dish to Arts Council, 330 Main Street.

5:00-7:00 p.m. – Blueberry Arts Festival Juried Art Exhibition Opening Reception, Main Street Gallery and Commons Gallery.

7:00 p.m. – The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show competition followed by a performance of Woody’s Finest Hour. Admission is by donation, minimum $5. All profits are donated to Special Olympics.

5:00-8:00 p.m. – In-person registration and pick-up of bibs and shirts for the Blueberry Festival Run/Walk at the Gateway Recreation Center. There will be no in-person registration or package pickup on Saturday.

Saturday August 6

9:00 a.m. – The Blueberry Fun Run/Walk. Kids 1 miles starts at 9am, 5k at 9.30am and 10k at 9.45am. Races start and finish at Bawden Street Brewing Company.

9:30 a.m. – Big Slug Weigh in on the main stage at Blueberry.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Arts, food and games kiosks are open along with the Main Street Gallery.

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Children’s wind-up airplane distance contest at the Alaska Airlines booth.

10:30 a.m. – Slug races on the main stage.

11:30 a.m. – Pie contest on the main stage. All ages are welcome.

12 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Music and performances on the Mainstage. A variety of local talent will perform.

2:00 p.m. – The Beard and Mustache Contest on the Mainstage.

3:00 p.m. – The Great Blueberry Ball Roll begins at the corner of Pioneer Alley and Main Street.

Sunday August 7

1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. – Registration for the Handmade Blueberry Boat Race (Thomas Basin)

2:00 p.m. – Start of the Blueberry Handmade, Human-Powered Boat Race (Thomas Basin)

3:30 to 5 p.m. – The Blueberry Arts Festival Poetry Slam at the New York Café.

7:00 p.m. – Doors open at the Kayhi Auditorium for the Gigglefeet Dance Festival. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.