Mark your calendars! The Fifth Annual Juneau Maritime Festival is coming to Marine Park on Saturday, May 10th to celebrate Juneau’s unique maritime history, culture, and commerce. The festival is a favorite in the community and continues to grow larger every year due to enthusiastic support from the maritime industry and a variety of family friendly activities. Last year it was estimated there were over 2,500 festival goers and 60 vendors.

One of the major draws of the festival, the salmon fillet contest, in which quick hands compete for glory and prizes, will be back to entertain crowds. Other popular festival highlights that will be making an appearance again this year include the Smok’n Hot Alaska Salmon dip contest, Wild Alaskan marinade contest, Taku Fisheries Fish Tote Race, and the Cruise Line Tug o’ War.

Kid friendly activities include miniature boat building with a team from Home Depot, a touch tank full of sea creatures provided by DIPAC, underwater robotics with STEM AK, canoe rides, and much more. In addition, the Coast Guard will be teaching water safety with Kids Don’t Float activities and the US Forest Service will premiering a movie in light of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. For adults, live music, freshly grilled salmon, and a beer garden featuring brews from the Alaskan Brewing Company is good enough reason to come out and enjoy the festival.

The Juneau Maritime Festival is a free, nonprofit event thanks to community sponsors according to Brian Holst, a member of the Festival Steering Committee. “There would be no festival without our community sponsors,” said Holst. The festival’s 2014 key sponsors include Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the US Forest Service, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, Taku Fisheries and Smokeries, AEL&P, United Fisherman of Alaska, Southeast Alaska Seiners, Southeast Alaska Gillnetters, Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union, the Alaska Cruise Association, Alaska Brewing Company, AEL&P, Goldbelt, Wells Fargo, and Fred Meyers.

A new complementary element to the festival is making its debut this year. The “Port to Starboard” progressive dinner, set for May 9th at 6pm, has all the ingredients to be a truly upscale night of entertainment and fine dining.  Starting at Salt for appetizers and moving to The Baranof for a seafood dinner including salmon and king crab, the dinner’s final stop is Rockwell for dessert, entertainment, and a silent auction. Tables for ten are going for $2,000 with single tickets selling for $100. The fundraising dinner will be an annual event and proceeds go to funding the Juneau Maritime Festival.  For more information about the dinner or the festival go to, if you are interested in volunteering call (907)523-2337.