Ketchikan’s annual Blueberry Arts Festival returned this weekend. The annual fair celebrates art, community and all things blueberry.
There are some fan-favorite events — the famous slug races, the handmade human-powered boat race, the beard and mustache contest — but the heart of the festival is the vendor market. This year, there were more than 150 booths spread across downtown Ketchikan. KRBD’s Eric Stone spoke with some vendors. Click or tap below to listen.
“On display, I have “Tyler’s Heron,” which is a memorial piece for my nephew,” Henderson said. “I’m originally from, born and raised in Metlakatla, the only Native reservation in Alaska, and I moved to Ketchikan about 10 years ago, so this is home for me — Southeast Alaska. Last year was incredible. And I’m very happy to be here.”
“It’s the tradition of Ketchikan, having everyone get together and seeing all the different vendors and all the art, whatever it is that they create, it’s amazing,” Whitesides said. “It brings the community together. It’s a great place for everyone to walk around and see everything and see all the talented people we have in our community.”
“The goal’s always been the same, and it’s about to materialize: A good street newspaper that’s informative, lets people know what’s going on with the homeless, and the goal is create jobs for homeless people to work for the street newspaper — $12, $13, $15 an hour to fold newspapers,” Buchman said. “Hopefully, one day, the paper will have a building where they can have employee housing as well. It’s a real pleasure honor to be here. It’s my first Blueberry. I’ve done many markets, and many booths here in town and in Juneau, and I classify this in two and a half years during the paper, this is my busiest day.”