That weather came this week and on Wednesday morning, nearly 200 were in attendance to escort the house posts through downtown Wrangell, across the 300 ft. bridge onto Shakes Island, and into the entrance of the brand-spankin-new Tribal House. White had the posts trailered-up and was cruising ever so carefully, a giant wave of singers and dancers in beaded regalia flowing behind his Toyota pickup. The high skies were exactly what Wrangell needed.
With the amount of traffic that 300 ft. of wood will see in May, the sight of a new bridge is nice, but safety for all of those crossing the bridge is the main reason for the upgrade. The money is coming from the Bureau of Indian Affairs travel and transportation program.
Once the house posts entered the room, they were met by another resident of the island. Master Carver Steve Brown, along with carvers Linda Churchill and Susie Kasinger, are putting the finishing touches on the new bear screen, which will again meet visitors and oversee the main entrance of the Tribal House.
Re-dedication is only five weeks away. This town is going to be bustling like it's the 4th of July, with three days of scheduled activities and food booths all over town. More than 700 visitors have RSVP'd. That doesn't include those who are just planning to show up. The potlatch for the last Shakes Island opening attracted more than 1,200 out-of-towners, and that was in 1940.
Schedule of events:
Thursday, May 2nd
Canoe Landing - One People Canoe Society
Friday, May 3rd
1:30-2:30 p.m. Parade
2:30-4:30 p.m. Canoe Activities
4:30-5:40 p.m. Toddler Regalia Contest
7:00 p.m. Bingo or Native Dancing
Saturday, May 4th
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Re-dedication Ceremony
3:00-9:00 p.m. Presentation of Gifts, Dancing, Dinner
Thanks to Apryl Hutchinson and Greg Knight for tagging us in the photos.