Juneau’s Governor’s Picnic an annual affair

“We’re serving up some good food and good fellowship here in Juneau.”

That’s how Gov. Sean Parnell characterized the fourth annual Juneau Governor’s picnic in Juneau on Friday.

He and First Lady Sandy Parnell started the evening handing out paper plates. Lt. gov. Mead Treadwell and ten commissioners and several deputy commissioners also served food at the Juneau event.

“I think it’s a great way for the community to see their government serve them and to be able to meet their commissioners and the governor and myself,” Mrs. Parnell said. “It’s nice way for us to be able to serve you.”

The capital city governor’s picnic is one of a series of four in Alaska’s major urban centers. This year a rural Alaska picnic was added in Glennallen, which the governor called the first of the “traveling” picnics.

“We held a traveling picnic in Glennallen and we’re going to do one traveling picnic a year in a different rural community,” he said.

The governor’s website asks communities to sign up for a picnic.

The last two for the year will be held in August in Anchorage and the Mat-Su.

About 2,000 people attended the Juneau picnic, according to Cathie Roemmich, director of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, which helped organize the event.

As the line for food got shorter, the Parnell’s slipped out of the serving line and mingled with the crowd.

The governor said it’s not all picnic; Alaskans often have hard questions for him.

“Oh, all the time,” he said. “That’s part of the beauty of being out here like this.”

Governor Sean Parnell, Sandy Parnell and Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell welcome visitors to the picnic.

People line up for grilled salmon, hot dogs, chips and drinks.

Caleb Friend, 5, waits patiently for his balloons.

Gerry Harmon ran a gold-panning table where picnic guests could try their hand at striking gold.

The picnic featured a variety of activities for children.

Governor Sean Parnell hands out plates to picnic guests

Governor Sean Parnell, Sandy Parnell and Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell welcome visitors to the picnic. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

People line up for grilled salmon, hot dogs, chips and drinks. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Caleb Friend, 5, waits patiently for his balloons. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Gerry Harmon ran a gold-panning table where picnic guests could try their hand at striking gold. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

The picnic featured a variety of activities for children. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Governor Sean Parnell hands out plates to picnic guests. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)