The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin


Town photo of everyone in Valdez will be part of Gold Rush Days 2018

Plenty of good times to be had next week when the Hoosegow rolls down the streets


Break out your garters and dust off your boas – Gold Rush Days begin next week.

The world-famous celebration will take place in Valdez August 1 -5 and will include a group photo of the whole town – a cherished event which has not happened in Valdez for six years; everyone in Valdez is encouraged to gather for a photo after the parade.

Events for the whole family (and plenty for those who are age 21 and over) are scheduled throughout the celebration line-up, which consists of forty-three total events which can be found online at

The list of events is quite lengthy.

Kate Goudreau, Gold Rush Days president, recommends revelers start at the beginning – with the luncheon at the college next Wednesday, where the Queen of Gold Rush will be crowned.

“This provides a good taste of everything including free food,” she said. “Then jump on the Hoosegow and go to the historic homes from Old Town.”

Hazel Hill will be coronated as Valdez royalty for 2018.

Youngsters are invited to plenty of free events, such as Saturday’s Pet-a-Palooza pet show and the Dive for Gold events.

Some events require pre-registration – such as the ever-popular Wine Walk, where a $30 souvenir glass allows you to drink wine in a few local businesses from 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3. The Whiskey Sit (with cigar smoking) is $100 per ticket but gets you four top-shelf whiskey tastings and a highly rated cigar. And the 100 + 10 Club Dinner With Dark Winter nights: True Stories From Alaska, where a $60 ticket gets you live-storytelling a dinner at the civic center and a drink ticket for the cash bar on Saturday night.

Goudreau also recommended, amongst numerous other events, to go to the open-air market Friday evening, with live music starting at 7 – right after the wine walk.

Goudreau says there are two other must-not-miss events on Saturday: free admission to the museum from noon - 2 p.m. where free lemonade will be served, and the “Quick Draw” from noon - 1 p.m. where artists will have one hour to create an art piece that will be auctioned off to the public after the event.

On Sunday, the parade will take place from 3-4 p.m. with a town picture in front of the Valdez Museum after the parade. Goudreau suggests revelers then to go over to Ruth Pond from 4-5:30 p.m. and participate in the free Sunday Funday Games and then end the night at the civic center with free food and music sponsored by Alyeska.

Goudreau - who has been with Gold Rush Days for a decade - says that what makes the event great is that it is a “culmination of effort by volunteers.”

Don’t forget to swear out arrest warrants for those you want to be arrested for a ride through town on the Hoosegow.

Gold Rush Days is a volunteer-run organization and proceeds from the event are distributed to scholarships and other good works throughout the community, especially for the town’s future – its children.


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