The Sealaska Heritage Institute’s new arts campus was still under construction on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, but will officially open at noon this Wednesday for the start of Celebration, Sealaska’s biennial festival. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

The Sealaska Heritage Institute’s new arts campus was still under construction on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, but will officially open at noon this Wednesday for the start of Celebration, Sealaska’s biennial festival. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Four days of Celebration are ahead

Some events are free, others ticketed

Four days of festivities for Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Celebration festival kick-off at noon Wednesday with the official opening of the new arts campus in downtown Juneau. The biennial festivities are returning to in-person for the first time in four years and is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the event with this year’s theme, “10,000 Years of Cultural Survival.”

Celebration’s festivities are a mix of free and ticketed events spread out across downtown Juneau. Most events are split between Centennial Hall and the arts campus, but events are also scheduled at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, the Walter Soboleff Building and other downtown locations.

The first event of this year’s Celebration will be the official unveiling of a 360-degree totem pole recently installed at the arts campus. Later Wednesday evening, a grand procession will walk the short distance between Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall and Centennial Hall Wednesday evening starting at 6 p.m., followed by opening ceremonies inside Centennial Hall at 8 p.m.

Thursday through Saturday will begin with morning reflections at Centennial Hall — free to the public with coffee and tea served — before moving to dance performances, which require tickets.

[Pride Month is here, statewide LGBTQ protections aren’t]

On Thursday and Friday, the arts campus will feature an all-day Native Artists Market from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and starting at 2 p.m. on Thursday there will be a traditional games demonstration at the campus, both events are free. The artists market will be open on Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Ticketed events include dance performances at Centennial Hall from 10:45 a.m.-9:40 p.m. both Thursday and Friday and from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, and Celebration’s most adorable event — the toddler regalia review, featuring kids aged 2-5 — starts Friday at 1 p.m.

A parade will march from the downtown branch of the Juneau Public Library to Centennial Hall on Saturday, with a short outdoor ceremony starting at 11 a.m.

Celebration’s last event is the Grand Exit, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall. Tickets are required.

Though not an official part of Celebration, on Tuesday, a canoe will land at the Auke Recreation Picnic Area and traffic will be restricted on Auke Rec Road from 4-8 p.m., according to the U.S. Forest Service. In a release, the Forest Service said a large crowd is expected and through-traffic and parking will be restricted to emergency vehicles. Parking will be available at the University of Alaska Southeast campus with shuttle service to the event, the Forest Service said.

Wednesday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum will feature free demonstrations and lectures from Northwest Coast weavers, coordinated by artists Ellen Carlee and Wooshkindein Da.áat Lily Hope

All of Celebration’s events require proof of vaccination and masking, and guests are asked to bring a copy of their vaccination card.

Several of the events will take place outdoors or have outdoor components, and the National Weather Service is forecasting clouds and chances of rain for later this week.

Tickets are available Monday and Tuesday in the lobby of the Sealaska Heritage Institute from 1-4 p.m. and at Centennial Hall on Wednesday from noon to 9 p.m. General daily admission is $18 and four-day pass is $35. Discounts are available for youth and elders, children six and under are free.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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