The rededication ceremony of Shakes Island and the Chief Shakes Tribal House is scheduled for May 3 and 4 in Wrangell and housing is still needed for the 1,000-plus guests that are expected to attend the festivities.
“This is an historical event that is happening in our neighborhood and it is a huge celebration for Wrangell,” Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Manager Sally Dwyer said. “We are attempting to help our neighbor.”
Dwyer and Marilyn Menish-Meucci of the Petersburg Visitor Center have contacted the Tides Inn and Scandia House to make sure that they would be able to accommodate guests for those evenings.
“This will be a slow time for us here just two weeks before our Little Norway Festival,” Menish-Meucci stated. “They have informed us that they can have 94 beds available.”
In May, for this celebration the daylight hours will be longer and it could be possible for guests to enjoy the day’s events in Wrangell and still make the short ride here to Petersburg to spend the night.
“We have a bus system here that can get the guests to the dock,” Dwyer stated. “We also have Breakaway, Summit and Alaska Waters with several jet boat options to get them to and from Wrangell easily.”
The Petersburg Chamber of Commerce will not make arrangements for guests but can point them in the right direction to make sure all plans are made.
“We just want to help our sister city,” Dwyer stated. “We can put the two parties together and they can then organize and contact the charters and hotels.”
Menish-Meucci explained that they are not trying to horn in on their celebration but they do want to make sure that those who will be there will have a nice stay and want to come back to our area.
“This partnership can benefit all of us,” she said.
While festivities officially run Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4, guests are expected to begin arriving Wednesday or Thursday before the event. This would mean there is a need for lodging beginning May 1 through May 5-6 depending on the Alaska Airlines and Alaska Marine Highway schedules.
For this event, food and a variety of booths will be available beginning May 2 and all canoe events will begin as well.
Friday, May 3, the day will begin with a parade from noon to 2 p.m. followed by a Childrens’ Regalia Contest from 2 to 4 p.m., canoe races from 4 to 6 p.m. with bingo and native dancing ending the evening beginning at 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, a canoe landing will start the day from 9 to 10 a.m. and the rededication of Chief Shake's House will go from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a lunch break from 1 to 3 p.m. then dancing will take place in the gym from 3 to 9 p.m. with dinner being served in shifts during the dancing.
For information regarding events, contact Ken Hoyt at 907-305-0022 or Virginia Oliver at 907-305-0019.