Young fans of singer Pitbull show off their posters and shades handed out at the performer’s Kodiak apperance Monday. Brianna Gibbs/KMXT photo
A month after an online campaign started an effort to send Miami singer Pitbull to Kodiak, Mr. Worldwide finally touched down on the island Monday morning. KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs has more.
— (Pitbull 1 :12 "Pitbull! Here he is! (Crowds cheering).")
It was Mr. Worldwide’s first visit to Kodiak, and an impromptu one at that. In early July, the artist, whose real name is Armando Perez, said he would visit the Walmart with the most Facebook likes. When all was said and done, Kodiak Walmart’s 72,000 likes took home the win and brought Pitbull to Alaska’s emerald isle.
— (Pitbull 2 :25 "Thanks to Walmart, thanks to sheets, and thanks to Dave Thorpe. You know, to him it was a big joke to send me out here. But to be honest, it’s great. We were in Cleveland last night, it was about a nine hour flight to get out here. We’ve got to right back not to Atlanta to be on tour. But it’s always good to be around good people in an untouched environment and to be honest it’s very, very, very beautiful here. And I definitely want to come back. ")
Boston Phoenix columnist David Thorpe, the man arguably responsible for Pitbull’s visit to Kodiak, also made an appearance. Thorpe had started an online campaign to "exile Pitbull" to the most remote Walmart in the world. In a turn of events, Pitbull embraced the idea, and even invited Thorpe to join him on his trip. It was Pitbull who stepped up and offered to pay for his ticket, allowing the two to finally meet.
— (Pitbull 4 :18 "Yea I met him and he said that if I keep BSing then we’re going to be going to the moon together. I agree, I’m going to meet him on the moon. I consider that a promise. So Pitbull and I will definitely be going to space in 2013, and you can count on it. Or else I am a liar.")
In response to Thorpe’s impressive social media campaign, he said the result was actually quite surprising.
— (Pitbull 3 :10 "You can’t just do a social media thing and think it’s going to go the way you think it’s going to go. I think that’s what anybody should learn from this. I would consider him my best friend.")
Because of the tight schedule, Pitbull didn’t give a concert, but stuck around long enough to meet with Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson and Senator Gary Stevens.
— (Pitbull 4 :39 "Hey Kodiak! Hey Pitbull. How you doing? I’m doing real. This is Senator Stevens, I’m Pat Branson and we’re here to welcome you. Bienvenidos. Muchas gracias. Denada. It’s not often that I get to present the key to the city to someone, but it’s exciting that I’m presenting the city of Kodiak key to Pitbull. Wow, thank you so much. Thank you so much, you’re gonna put on the shades? There you go, boom. Look at you. Styling and profiling. Thank you again for coming and sheets for sponsoring this event and we hope you get out and if you don’t we have a lot of local entertainers to entertain you. I see a lot of beautiful local entertainers. Laughs.")
In addition to receiving the key to the city, Pitbull was entertained by local Alutiiq and Polynesian dancers and other community groups. He also presided over a presentation of donations from the Walmart Foundation to local charities. The foundation gave $25,000 to Kodiak’s senior center and $10,000 to the local food bank.
It was a quick visit, but Mr. 305 said he would be returning to the 907 soon, and that he wouldn’t forget Kodiak.
— (Pitbull 5 :08 "They were asking me if I was going to mention Kodiak, Alaska in a record. I said absolutely we’re going to mention Kodiak in a record. Cheers.")
In Kodiak, I’m Brianna Gibbs.