Showing posts with label Festivals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Festivals. Show all posts

July 6, 2008


GRIZ VIDEO HERE!!! Scroll to bottom of post!

We did pretty well in the Free Entertainment department this past week, putting this Going Greener commitment to use.

The Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of the Clans:

(Thanks to free tickets from our friend, Nature Lady-the sewing master) Last weekend we joined our fellow clans in some Celtic celebration at the Scottish Highlands Festival. The highlight of the festival is the games, or traditional athletic "Field Events". These consist of really big muscled men in skirts throwing, heaving, lifting, pulling, tossing, swinging and tugging a variety of large and/or heavy objects. My personal favorite is the caber toss. A caber is a 16-21 foot long wooden pole weighing in around 100 to 150 pounds. In this event a kilt clad guy will pick up the caber from the bottom of it's light end and balance it on his shoulder.

Carefully running forward, he then attempts to throw the caber upwards and end over end to have it fall straight away from his body.

Whoever "turns" the largest caber wins. Other field events include the Stone Throw, Scottish Hammers-swinging and flinging a 50 inch 16-22#hammer, Weights for distance/Weights for heights-more swinging and tossing of heavy stuff, Farmers Walk-an attempt to carry two 168! pound weights a certain distance,

and Tug-o-War. The strength and skill showcased here are quite impressive!

Intertwined throughout the festival grounds one can also find vendors of both Celtic and non-Celtic wares, food, music, dancing, educational centers, kid games,

drumming and piping competitions, and a kickin' Celtic-rock band. Along the way one can mingle within the gathering of the clans-various booths representing different clans and/or offering information on heritage and tracing your Scottish or Irish ancestry. Now that I have traced my own ancestry back to some Irish and Scottish names(McNamara, MacDonald, and Hogue) I look forward to learning more about assembling a family tree and which main clan I belong to. As an adoptee, I am grateful for this festival and really enjoy the feeling of belonging and connecting to a history and people of the past that I have always felt a strong kinship toward.

I've long had an obsession with it. I once read about a man who circumnavigated Ireland in his sea kayak. He wrote of the concept of cellular memory-the idea of having tangible memories of your ancestors kind of "imprinted" in your biology. This is why many experience a sense of coming home or having been there before when traveling to a particular place. I haven't been to Ireland yet but I have had similar feelings when hearing Irish music, seeing pictures, hearing an accent, etc. As a child I dreamt of the Cliffs of Mohr before I ever saw a picture or heard about them. Pretty surreal stuff. I'm definitely pulled THERE.


Theater in the Park- Pantomime:

Thursdays at noon in Peratrovich Park located in Downtown Anchorage one can usually find a large group of parents and kids as well as summer campers eating a picnic lunch and enjoying an hour of Theater in the Park. Throughout the summer there is a mix of Juggling, comedy, improv, and more -always inviting the audience in for interaction and participation. This week's special was pantomime. The first half of the hour consisted of a series of cute and classic skits by a one woman performer. For the second half, the mime "broke face" and using her voice, revealed the basic premise behind pantomime. Pantomime is storytelling without words where one uses their body to tell the story. Teaching children to pantomime encourages imagination, creative thinking and problem solving, and a deep understanding of stories and concepts. Pantomime also gives children a chance to explore their bodies and creative movement. Children are already natural actors and this group was eager to participate in the lesson in pantomime!

Shy at first, Lo was quick to join in the group in following the mime's impromptu movements. Thinking pantomime also comes naturally to children, I was surprised to see that Lo and many of the kids her age had some trouble at first. Using just her body without speech and toys to convey an idea was not a concept she was familiar with. It was interesting to see Lo making that mind/body connection. A child her age can imitate as well as imagine and create a scenario for play, but has difficulty creating pantomime unless given a "script".

After the brief lesson, some children(and a camp counselor!) were given the chance to act out a short skit with the direction and narration of the mime.

Then another group performed the same skit with no narration(and only a little direction!). The kids did a great job and Dea and Lo enjoyed this unique afternoon in the park.

On another green note, Huz has decided that he is going to bake all our bread himself! He was a baker and pastry chef for over 20 years and is THE MASTER of BREADBAKING. Oh. My. God. was this sooooooooooooooo yummy!!!

I'm gonna get fat.....

June 9, 2008


In keeping time with our renewed and revitalized commitment to Green Living, we headed down to a fitting event yesturday. With more than 35,000 miles of coastline and some of the world's most biologically diverse marine waters, Alaska plays an important role in the health of the world's oceans. Each year this is celebrated at the Alaska Oceans Festival.

Held in a park strip in downtown Anchorage, thousands of Alaskans are educated and entertained by over 20 marine and environmentally related organizations, prominent community leaders, guest speakers(Alexandra Cousteau-Jacques's grandaughter) and a variety of entertainers. This fun and informative festival is instrumental in raising public awareness about Alaska marine issues. Plus, it's a bit of a hippy fest! A get together of like minded people who are in the minority in this state. We've attended the last 2 and had a great time there yesturday. Lo got to jump in the Bouncy House, make a sting ray print,
and get her face painted. Neither of the kids was interested in mounting the Bucking Bronco Salmon but I know Dea would have liked to climb REI's climbing wall. It was pretty expensive to do it and I'm proud that she decided to donate the money, instead, to some great wildlife and enviro organizations. We all came home with a bunch of politically or environmentally vocal bumper stickers! I've dedicated one of my car's back side windows to be my personal public billboard.

This one gets a spot on my rear window though.
It really hit home with both me and Huz. I'm tired of being looked down upon as one who is a reprobate, pitiable, or deprived of spiritual rights somehow because I'm a liberal and/or not an adhearent to any one particular religion.

After our stay at the fest we headed on over to the Alaska Zoo for our friend's wedding reception. After finishing dinner in the zoo's greenhouse Dea and I ran down the trails to the bathroom. Actually, I chased her with my camera snapping away. When finished with our business, I chased her back up the trails but stopped in my tracks when I saw the wolves. Unaware, Dea ran giggling on but I walked quietly over to the fence where about 7 beautiful wolves stood considering me. What magnificent animals! It was the first time I had ever been so close. I could have reached over and touched them. Evening in the zoo after it is closed to the public is an amazing time. Quiet, but all the animals are up and alert. I spoke quietly to them about their handsomeness and dignity and how it was a shame they were captive. Many of the zoo's animals are rescued. Some are rehabilitated and released but some are there to stay due to extent of their injuries. But then there are the ones who have been captured and placed in a jail for us all to gawk at. And that is upsetting. I'm waiting and hoping the zoo will go "all rescue". I do see the imporatnce of the education in viewing wildlife but not at the expense of a healthy animal's freedom. A zoo can have a lot to offer... Our working philosophy has been to boycott ours in protest to show our kids that we don't approve of animals in captivity. But I'm thinking of recinding that. There is a lot to be learned by going there and discussing the benefits of rehabing hurt animals as well as discussing the ethics of capturing and jailing animals. I'd rather expose them to real life and have some great dialogue than to censor it.
I was struck by the playfulness and tenderness of those wolves- a couple of them wimpered and kind of semi-bowed at me in that submissive playful way that dogs do, reminding me of my own Malamute. They had such a wise yet puckish look in their eyes. I told them we(Alaskans) were aiming for finally getting our voices heard in August when it is time to vote down the arial wolf hunting that has been established. The last two wolves playfought as they watched me and then turned to trot off together. I left to go and talk to the ravens-they are such wisened and whimsical creatures. But that's for another time. Whoops! I missed the toast to the couple!