PUBLISHED: 4:37 PM on Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Fort Seward Days celebrated in Haines July 5-6
HAINES - The Fourth of July celebration in Haines will continue July 5 and 6 with Journey to Statehood: Fort Seward Days 2008 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Alaska Statehood. U.S. Senator Ted Stevens will attend the celebration, which includes events such as historical tours, reenactments by Haines own John Venables, dancing, kite-flying and more.

July 5 activities

On July 5 from 10 a.m. to noon there will be Fort Seward historic tours led by members of the Chilkat Valley Historical Society. The tours will visit many of the original buildings from the 1904 era, when Fort William Henry Seward was garrisoned. Fort Seward was the first permanent military post in Alaska and continued until 1946, when it was decommissioned and declared surplus property. The surplus property was sold to a group of World War II veterans who established Port Chilkoot in 1947.

  John H. Venables portrays William Henry Seward. He will portray Judge James Wickersham during a historical reenactment in Haines during the July 4th weekend.
Activities continue at 1:30 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony and cannon blast at the parade grounds. National Guard Color Guard will present the Colors. Cannoneer Jim Shook will fire the cannon. Robert Krebs will serve as Bugler. Special speaker for the celebration event will be U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, who has served in the U.S. Senate representing Alaska since 1969.

Tea at Mimi's will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at House #3 on Officers Row. This is one of the former Officers Homes on the hill and is the home of hosts Ted and Mimi Gregg, Fort Seward pioneers of 1947. Special guest Colonel Thomas C. Woodbury will be present in the person of John Venables,

The Chilkat Dancer Storytelling Theater Show will be presented in the Tribal House, and a Salmon Feast will be held at the Tribal House from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The final activity of the day will be the "Hot Fusion Rock 'em" dance with Dave Nanney and Lucky Walker at the Fort Seward Lodge, the former Post Exchange building of the 1904 era.

July 6 activities

The July 6 activities begin with the Commander's Sunday Breakfast at the Hotel Halsingland.

On the parade grounds there will be a kite-flying contest and the Teddy Roosevelt March, a 5K Walk Around the Fort.

There will also be an Alaska History Storytelling show with John Venables in the persona of Judge James Wickersham, "the man who changed Alaska history and destiny."

Daniel Lee Henry will facilitate a forum, "Future of Arts in the Chilkat Valley," at the Chilkat Center for the Arts. This program is sponsored by Alaska Arts Confluence.

The weekend activities will conclude with "a Taste of Haines," salmon caviar and beer tasting at the Fireweed Restaurant.

For further info, contact Annette Smith at 907-766-2708.