Thursday, January 14, 2016

Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show Ketchikan, AK

The third port-of-call on our Alaska Cruise was Ketchikan.  For the first 5 days of our cruise we had chosen activities that focused on educational topics like Alaskan wildlife, glaciers, Russian and Native Alaskan culture.  For our stop in Ketchikan we decided it was time to have some light-hearted entertainment so we signed up to go see the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show.


The Westerdam was docked near the intersection of Front Street and Mission Street, a short distance from the show, so we enjoyed the sunny morning as we walked a few blocks to the entrance.



After purchasing our ticket, we entered the venue that has been built to look like a logging camp.


As we entered we were greeted by two of the friendly cast of the show including the MC and one of the lumberjack competitors.


We found great seats near the center of the stage. Seating for the audience is heated and under a roof so even on a cold rainy day it would be comfortable and dry.



The show began with our MC, "Shortstack", introducing the teams and explaining the rules of the competition.   Two rival logging camps, one from the US and the other from nearby Canada would be competing against each other in a variety of lumberjack skills.  The audience was divided in half by seating area and each was assigned as the cheering section for one of the teams.  Everyone was urged to be vocal in both supporting their team and jeering their opponent.





Members of the two teams hurled insults at each other while performing traditional logging skills with axes, saws and chainsaws as quickly as possible to win the event.



The athletes were also good actors as they occasionally dramatized their rivalry with fisticuffs to the amusement of the crowd.




The speed climb up the pole was one of the most impressive events.  The log rolling was another favorite, with plenty of opportunity for pranks by both teams which caused roars of cheers, boos and laughter from the audience when one of the competitors fell into the water.


My still photos don't do the show justice, so I found this short video clip that gives a little better idea of what we experienced.




All too quickly the 6o minute show was over.  In addition to being great kid-friendly entertainment, it turned out to be educational as well by illustrating the strength and skills that were required by lumberjacks.   In my next entry, I'll be sharing more of our adventures in Ketchikan including famous Creek Street.

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