Volunteers reset a gravel pile during the men’s hand mucking event of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Volunteers reset a gravel pile during the men’s hand mucking event of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Sun and fun greet return of Gold Rush Days

Good weather and good turnouts welcomed the first day of the event.

Hundreds of Juneau residents and guests turned out for the 30th annual Juneau Gold Rush Days at Savikko Park beginning on Saturday.

The event, which harks back to major Juneau industries during the Gold Rush era, had been canceled due to the pandemic two years in a row, saw a great turnout, said Rochelle Lindley, Coeur Alaska’s manager for community and government affairs and a volunteer at the event,

“The weather could not have been better, though it is a little breezy in the registration tent,” Lindley laughed. “I know this is one of Juneau’s favorite community events. It’s great to be able to celebrate today.”

[Ex-Juneau cutter Liberty helps tow boat to safe harbor]

Members of the public could eat food and take part in competitions based on mining activities on Saturday and logging events on Sunday. Guests also enjoyed activities new to the event.

A competitor slings gravel during men’s hand mucking event of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

A competitor slings gravel during men’s hand mucking event of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“The new thing we’re doing this year is the beer garden and the live music,” Lindley said. “We figured it’s the 30th anniversary of Gold Rush Days and we wanted to do something special.”

Employees from the Hecla Greens Creek, Kensington and Dawson mines participated in the event, Lindley said. Dawson Mine is located on Prince of Wales Island.

Crowds watch a competitor sling gravel during men’s hand mucking event of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Crowds watch a competitor sling gravel during men’s hand mucking event of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“(Dawson) had some people come up to compete,” Lindley said. “There’s a lot of moving pieces that goes into Gold Rush Days.”

Alongside participating and spectating in the mining and logging events, there were children’s activities, food vendors, and representatives from local organizations.

Crowds enjoyed food, drinks and other services from vendors at Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Crowds enjoyed food, drinks and other services from vendors at Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“I like the events,” said first-time attendee Spencer Goodwin. “The bouncy houses are my favorite.”

Sen. Jesse Kiehl, who had a booth as part of his reelection campaign, said it was great to see the event return.

“It’s been a great turnout, a fabulous turnout,” Kiehl said. “(There’s been a) pretty steady flow of people— people with questions, people with ideas.

Mining equipment. children’s distractions and more were part of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Mining equipment. children’s distractions and more were part of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Kiehl said he was glad to get to interact with people as he goes up for election in the fall.

“That’s good, right?” Kiehl said. “Getting folks tuned in and ready to vote”

Kiehl said the weather was suspiciously good.

“The most surprising thing is it’s Gold Rush Days and the rain’s not been blowing sideways into the tent,” Kiehl joked. “The crowd is good. The weather is good. It’s everything you want in a comeback year.”

Timber setups await the Sunday logging events as part of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Timber setups await the Sunday logging events as part of Juneau Gold Rush Days in Savikko Park on June 18, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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