Crab Fest begins Thursday and vendors are already setting up downtown, ready to bring back classics like the Bruin burger, Kodiak’s legendary deep-fried burger, and hand-dipped ice cream bars covered in chocolate and nuts. The rule of the game is this: you pack on the carbs and then you run them off again at the bevy of marathons and athletic events available on Sunday.
There’s the 6th Annual Ididarock triathlon, the 41-mile Pasagshak-to-Kodiak Bike, and a half-marathon which Kodiak Chamber of Commerce community relations director and crab fest manager, Stephanie DeLaGarza, says is new this year.
“And what’s really great about this is that it’s a group of people that put this together, and what a lot of people don’t know about the events, they’re not hosted by the chamber, they’re hosted by individuals and organizations in the community that put these together. So, if you want to host an event, if you want to see something at Crab Fest, by all means we’d love for you to put something together, and that’s exactly what this group did.”
She says the Kodiak Veterans Outreach is hosting the half-marathon, which begins at 10 a.m. Sunday at mile marker 13 on Chiniak Highway and ends at the red light in town.
One returning event is for the kids, and many adults may remember it too. DeLeGarza says the Lions Club organizes the Sawdust Pile on the Mall, and says the first day they throw a thousand dollars of loose change into the sawdust.
“They hit a buzzer and the kids run out and try to scrounge up as much change as they can, and then on Sunday they add an extra $500 in loose change and the kids go out again and the kids, just, they love it. They have a good time. I was talking to one of the guys from the Lions Club and they said every kid that’s born and raised in Kodiak always had a little sawdust in their shoes.”
That’ll be at 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday in the Sun’aq Tribal Hall parking lot. If you’re not up to watching the mad scramble for cash, there are a lot of other activities to do and see. DeLaGarza describes a packed schedule, one that’s more crowded than ever.
“We have the event lists all the way back to the ’70s at the chamber and, when you look at the event list, then we had maybe 20 events, and now our event list, we have over 50 separate events each day that are actual events.”
Head downtown to St. Paul Harbor Thursday at noon for the festivities. Crab Fest continues until Monday, and you can find more information on the Chamber of Commerce website.
Edit 5/25: A previous version called Stephanie DeLaGarza Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant. She is actually the community relations director and crab fest manager.