• Deadline nears for getting food and other entries to the Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines

The deadline for getting your local entries ready for the Southeast Alaska State Fair is this week if you want to take advantage of free shipping from Sitka.

Jeanette Berry, the Sitka town representative for the fair, needs to have all non-perishable entries packed and delivered to the Alaska Marine Lines office in Sitka by the afternoon of Thursday, July 8, so they can be loaded onto the Tuesday, July 13, barge to Haines. She can provide assistance and free shipping on the entries that will be barged to Haines. Perishable items will be flown to Haines, but free shipping may not available on those items (Jeanette is researching to see what shipping rates might be for perishable items).

The Southeast Alaska State Fair takes place from July 29 through Aug. 1 at the Haines Fairgrounds, just outside Haines. The fair provides a regional showcase for agricultural and domestic arts, creative arts and crafts, and the opportunity for educational, cross-cultural and social exchange.

There are exhibits for a wide variety of food items, from big veggies to jams and jellies, even homemade beer and wine. There are hundreds of categories to enter, so click this link and download the 59-page exhibitor’s guide book for information about what types of items can be entered and how the entries should be prepared.

To learn more about how Jeanette can help you ship your entries to Haines, call her at 747-3222 (home) or 1-360-271-8197 (cell). It’s not too late to share your talents with other residents of Southeast Alaska.

2010 Southeast Alaska State Fair exhibitor’s guide book (PDF file)

• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet on Saturday, April 17

The next meeting of the Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee is 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 17, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

During the April 10 meeting, the committee voted Lily Herwald in as secretary and Phyllis Hackett as bookkeeper. The committee also decided to book “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes,” a four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe that is performing at the Southeast Alaska State Fair on July 29-Aug. 1 in Haines, the weekend before the Sitka Seafood Festival (Aug. 6-7). A headline music group also is being booked.

Committee members will be canvassing local businesses for donations to cover the costs of hosting the inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival, and the deadline for donations is May 9 (Mother’s Day). A donation/sponsorship letter has been approved and committee members soon will distribute it to local businesses. Donations will be accepted after May 9, but that’s the deadline to be included in the event promotional materials, which uses a tier system based on the amount of the donation. Donation/sponsorship checks need to be written to the “Sitka Conservation Society” with a memo of “Sitka Seafood Festival” or “SCS/SSF” (the Sitka Conservation Society is letting us share their 501(c)(3) permit until we can get our own next year).

Also, committee members are seeking prizes for a raffle and raffle prize commitments are needed by Wednesday, April 14, to either Alicia Peavey (alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845) or Linda Olson (747-6985 or Baranof Elementary School). The raffle will feature 800 tickets at $5 each, with the drawing to take place on May 9 (Mother’s Day). Donations of merchandise, including locally caught seafood or gourmet meals of Sitka seafood, are greatly appreciated.

During the April 5 meeting, the steering committee decided to hold the inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7. The tentative plan is to have an opening dinner on Friday night with a guest chef and the possibility of live music. The main events will be on Saturday, with vendors set up all day, contests, a parade, cooking demos, music and educational activities. The headliner music guest will play a concert/dance on Saturday night.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845.

Sitka Seafood Festival minutes from the April 10, 2010, meeting

Sitka Seafood Festival committee breakdown and job tasks (updated)

Sitka Seafood Festival business donation assignments (who asks) (updated)