The first weekend of August, the City of Thorne Bay celebrates its incorporation as a second-class city – August 2, 1982. This year marked our 37th anniversary. “Thorne Bay Days”, held August 2nd and 3rd, 2019, gave our community an opportunity to come together and celebrate the town’s founding, with good food, great desserts, kayak races, family games, horseshoes, human foos-ball, a co-ed softball game, and a soapbox derby. The weather was PERFECT! People were saying that we couldn’t have ordered better weather, and we wholeheartedly agree.
Friday, August 2nd was the night of the fund-raising “PiG-Nic” dinner. This year, Brian and Roxanne Wilson, of the Thorne Bay AK-49 Café supervised their staff in preparing & serving Smoked Pig, Smoked Brisket, potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans, and rolls. Cindy Edenfield a long-time EMS coordinator, city councilman, and community supporter, made her famous, jalapeno hush-puppies.
Dinner was enjoyed in the parking area between the Thorne Bay AK-49 Café and the Tackle Shack. People visited and ate before venturing across the street to the Church of Thorne Bay where local bakers had submitted their best desserts for the Thorne Bay Bake-Off. The first-place winner, by popular vote, was Cindy Edenfield. She entered a cranberry macadamia pie (yummy). Cindy has earned her bragging rights for the whole year! Coffee was made and served by Mary Youderian, Teresa Lindseth, and Pat Rochester of the Church of Thorne Bay. These ladies donated their time and supervised the voting to find the best dessert maker in Thorne Bay. A big ‘THANK YOU’ to all of the people who helped make our Pig-Nic Dinner and dessert contest memorable.
Saturday, August 3rd, was a GORGEOUS day. Our activities kicked off with a parade, organized by Amy McDonald. Local Thorne Bay citizens participated by riding motorcycles, kids rode their bikes, a couple of people decorated their UTVs and we even had a “float” of a boat being towed by an ATV, lastly there was a decorated car, entered by SEARHC. Parade entries voted “best” in their class were, Best Adult entry – Brandy Prefontaine; Best Youth Entry – boy’s biker gang; Best Float – Korissa & Bubba Oatman; and Most Unusual – Curtis Clowar. Thorne Bay’s volunteer EMS and Fire department were represented with their vehicles – Ambulance & Firetruck. Spectators of all ages lined the parade route and clapped their hands in support and encouragement – and quite a few caught some candy!
Directly after the parade, kayak races were held for both kids and adults. Johnathan Fitzpatrick of SISD led the safety talk for all participants. Tristan Dolan and Kylee Steele were the ‘kid’ race winners. Shimon Krasny and Gracie LaCour were the winners of the ‘adult’ race. A big bonus for the kayak racers who signed up before Noon on August 2, 2019 and who ALSO PARTICIPATED, was a chance to win a kayak. Stacey from SEACC, put the eligible names into a basket, and Jim Nieland (shanghaied into helping) drew the names of the winners. Cutter Killian (child) and Cindy Egelston (adult) were the two lucky participants/WINNERS!
In conjunction with the local events, the POW Runners/Walkers club held their Rocky Mountain Fun Run, offering a 3K or 5K and you could really push yourself with their ‘EXTREME edition’. Thank you, Cass Klee for coordinating the runner’s club fun run with our anniversary events.
After the kayak race and FunRun wrapped up there was more fun to be had. Our ‘Friends of the Library’ had a book sale and this year we had a couple of organizations, new to our celebrations, who were excited to be a part of our day – Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, headed up by Annie Duffield and Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, manned by Meredith Trainor, Executive Director and Stacey Skan, Indigenous Community Liaison. Their participation was very welcome and Thorne Bay got some good information from the friendly ladies that staffed both tables.
Family games included horseshoes, human foosball, a “treasure hunt” for the little kids, Toss-Across, paper airplane throw, a blow-up bowling game (which seemed to be a BIG hit), and our First ever – Soapbox derby. Thorne Bay School made two derby cars as an end of year project. We had kids between 8-14 excited to race downhill and claim their award. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and Tongass Federal Credit Union both provided prizes for the winners.
In the middle of all of the activity, Tongass Federal Credit Union hosted their annual Member Appreciation Day. We would like to thank TFCU for dovetailing the member appreciation BBQ, hot-dogs, chips, salads, sodas & waters, into our annual celebration. The ladies of Tongass also hosted the Toss-Across game.
Our special, annual, sun-drenched celebration ended with a co-ed softball game up at the ballpark. There was a Home-Run Derby before the big game, our local sluggers are Kacey Benson and Tony Esslinger. Anybody who wanted to play, got the chance. A big ‘thank you’ to Korissa Oatman for putting together a fun game, and organizing all of the different players – and different skill levels!
Reminder - MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR NEXT YEAR! Our celebration keeps getting more & more funner!!
Article written by: Dana Allison
Photo Credits: Lisa Roseland and Karen Petersen