The prize-winning Beach family at the 2022 Turkey Hunt. From left to right: Front row – Autumn and Charly. Back row – Chloe and Jess (KRBD Staff Photo by Maria Dudzak).

A frosty evening with the mercury at 32 degrees didn’t put a damper on the fun at Ketchikan’s City Park this past weekend. More than two dozen kids went in search of paper turkeys during the community’s annual “Turkey Hunt.”

Despite the cold, spirits were high and participants were excited to get started. Some 28 children birth to age 12 participated in the event along with their families and friends. New to the turkey hunt was little Lysander Heffley and his parents James and Miranda. The family moved to Ketchikan earlier this year.

“I am really excited mostly because Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays and we want to see our baby just involved early and out doing things and making memories,”

From left: Miranda, James and Lysander Heffley at the 2022 Parks and Recreation Turkey Hunt (KRBD staff photo by Maria Dudzak)

At 10 months old, this was Lysander’s first turkey hunt.

“Yes. But he’s dressed for the part with his little turkey pants and a little turkey tie,” Miranda Heffley said.

Jess Beach and her kids Chloe, Charly and Autumn were also new to the turkey hunt.

Eleven-year old Chloe shared her strategy.

“I was thinking like maybe I could just use a flashlight and if something looks different on the trees or something, I could look there,” Chloe said.

Seven-year old Charly had a similar plan.

“If something looks like different I’ll just look even closer and see if it’s a part of the turkey,” Charly said. “Because I have my brain and I know a really good strategy to hunt for turkeys.”

Eryn Brooks of Parks and Recreation explained the rules.

“Please go slow across the walkways and the bridges. Every participant can grab eight turkeys. When you are done grabbing your eight turkeys, bring them back to the table and we will exchange it for a goodie bag. Once everybody is back on this side of the park, we will draw for the raffle prizes,” Brooks said.

Then families combed the park seeking small, laminated paper turkeys.

It didn’t take long – just 10 minutes after the event kicked off, the kids turned their turkeys in for goodie bags. Then came the drawings: Lysander Heffley, Grady O’Bryan, Robbie Jenkins and Charly Beach each won their very own real, frozen turkey.

After the awards were handed out, everyone headed home to enjoy their prizes and get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday – and strategize for next year’s hunt.