Ketchikan Blueberry Arts Festival
07 August 2011 | posted at Ketchikan
Photo: Slug race at the Blueberry Arts Festival. The first slug to make it across the outer circle wins.
We were walking towards town on Stedman Street when we heard the sound of pounding footsteps behind us. We stepped aside just in time to let a group of men and women all wearing blue tutus race by. That was our introduction to the Blueberry Arts Festival of 2011.
I had especially wanted to see the slug races this year as we had missed them when we were here in 2007. We arrived at the parking lot of the Methodist Church where they are held just in time to see a scene of pandemonium. Children and adults swarmed around carrying jars, Tupperware boxes and other assorted containers of slugs. A line formed off to the side where officials from Alaska Fish and Game were weighing in the contestants. Is there a season on slugs? Steve asked an official. “It’s open season on slugs,” answered the official.
At the appointed time, children started putting slugs in the center of three tables. A cheer went up from the audience who were vainly trying to peer over their neighbors to see the race. Steve who had been impatient with me for wanting to stay around for the race, had disappeared. After awhile, I realized the contest was a big sluggish for watching and went off in search of Steve.