• Second Annual Sitka Seafood Festival celebrates our local bounty from the sea

The second annual Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, at Harrigan Centennial Hall and Crescent Harbor.

The festival opens at 6 p.m. on Friday with the opening banquet dinner at Harrigan Centennial Hall. This event features a formal  atmosphere  with  various  local  chefs  collaborating,  each showcasing  a  separate  course. It also  introduces  our  guest  chefs —  Louisa  Chu,  chef  and writer  from  Chicago,  and  our  returning  guest  chef  Robert Kinneen  from  Anchorage.  There will be a live  music  performance  by  Ray  Troll  and  the  Rat  Fish  Wranglers  during  dinner,  as  well as  a  silent  auction  and  other entertainment. Tickets  are available  at  Old  Harbor  Books  for  $50.

The fun continues on Saturday, with a full schedule of events at Harrigan Centennial  Hall,  Crescent  Harbor  Shelter  and  back  parking  area. Events include:

  • 11 AM: Maritime-themed  parade
  • Vendor  booths  including  food,  educational  and  entertainment  booths,  kids  games  and prizes,  knot  tying  classes,  beer  garden,  live  music  by  many  local  bands,  or  anyone interested  in  showcasing  seafood/maritime-related  items  (for more  info,  contact Christi Wuerker at 738-9047)
  • Kids  and  adult  art  workshop  with  Ray  Troll  (limited  number of openings,  to  sign  up,  call  Alicia Olson at 928-607-4845)
  • GingerLee, Aerial  silk  dancer  performances by Jenn Perry
  • USCG  Aids  to  Navigation  Team  vessel  tours
  • Local  New Archangel Russian  dance  and  Naa  Kahídi  Tlingít dance  performances
  • US Coast  Guard  helicopter  rescue  demonstration
  • Cooking  demonstration  by  guest  chef  Louisa  Chu
  • Fish-filleting  demos  on  the  hour,  every  hour  starting  at  noon,  as  well  as  rockfish  identifying contests
  • Fish-head-tossing  contest,  tote  races,  crab  races  and  fish-head-bobbing  contests
  • 5-6PM:  Fish  Poetry  at  Kettleson  Memorial Library (More  info:  Jeff  Budd at  the  Greater  Sitka  Arts  Council)
  • 8-11PM:  Live  music  and  dance  with  Ray  Troll  and  the  Ratfish  Wranglers  opening  and  the headliner  band  Wicked  Tinkers  (Tickets  $20  at  Old  Harbor  Books:  more  info  available through  Sitka  Folk)

To learn more, go to  http://www.sitkaseafoodfestival.org/,  or  contact  Alicia  Olson at  928- 607-4845 or by e-mail  at sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com.

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• Time changes for Saturday’s planting party at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm

St. Peter's Fellowship Farm sign

St. Peter's Fellowship Farm sign

The time has changed to 1-3 p.m. for the planting party on Saturday, May 14, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm. The times also have changed for the next two planting parties, from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 and 28.

St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm provides vegetables, herbs and fruit for the Sitka Farmers Markets, which start in July (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 16, 30, Aug. 13, 27 and Sept. 10 at ANB Hall). It is located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street.

In addition to helping get the communal garden ready to grow veggies this summer, volunteers can meet Laura Schmidt, who is the lead gardener for St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm this year and will coordinate most of the work parties and May planting parties. Laura said the work and planting parties will be kid-friendly and there will be several activities to keep the kids busy.

People who picked up seed starter kits at Let’s Grow Sitka in March should check the date they are scheduled to bring their started seeds in for planting. If you can’t bring them in on that date, please contact Laura Schmidt (623-7003) or Lisa Sadleir-Hart (747-5985) to make arrangements for someone else to bring them in on the scheduled date.

• Cooperative Extension Service hosts free class on planting trees, shrubs and transplants on May 4

Bob Gorman of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will lead a free class on planting trees, shrubs and transplants from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, in Room 106 of the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus.

Cooperative Extension publications related to the topic will be available. Subjects covered include selecting the right plant for the right place; site preparation; water drainage; soil amending; purchasing, transporting and storing plant materials; handling plants; and post-planting care.

There is no charge for the class which is open to all interested people. The class is offered as a public service by UAS Sitka and Cooperative Extension. For more information, contact UAF Cooperative Extension Service Resource Development Agent Bob Gorman at 747-9413 or by e-mail at rfgorman@alaska.edu.