Another festival for all ages



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It was gratifying to see so many faces young and old out enjoying the wonderful weather we had for this year’s Bear Paw Festival. That this event is truly for everyone is always one of our favorite parts of the four-day fun fest.

The list of sponsors and volunteers responsible for putting on Bear Paw is too long to list here. Literally hundreds of community members are involved in planning, staging and cleaning up after Bear Paw, which each year attracts tens of thousands of people. Without the support of these dedicated folks — whether is be through time, materials or money — the festival would never have reached its 28th birthday looking so vibrant and healthy.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce deserves a big tip of the hat for putting on another fine festival. For Chamber Special Events Coordinator Merry Braham and executive director Susie Gorski, Bear Paw is a yearlong series of hurdles, headaches and heartburn; that they manage to put on such a smooth-running and professional event with only volunteer support is always a marvel.

The addition of a rodeo this year was a welcome surprise. The event drew huge crowds to Lions Park, where buckin’ broncs and bulls were the main attraction. We commend Rodeo Alaska for putting on one heck of a show, and we hope they become a regular part of the festival lineup.

It just seems like Bear Paw keeps growing, and this year’s incredible festival was proof that our little hometown festival is becoming a big deal here in Alaska. We can’t wait to see what organizers have in store for us next year.

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