Long lines for sixth annual Governor’s Family Picnic

Fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of yesterday’s sixth annual Governor’s Family Picnic, there was already a long line down the sidewalk at Sandy Beach.

By the end of the picnic, 1,599 hot dogs had been served.

There were also salmon, cookies and chips and the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. gave out bags of popcorn. Gov. Sean Parnell, First Lady Sandy Parnell and commissioners served food.

Jan Rice, a retired Juneau School District employee, frequents Parnell’s events.

“Yeah, I’m always there at Christmastime and the parade thing. I try to see him as often as I can,” Rice says.

Raven George, a Fred Meyer employee, brought her young daughter.

“It’s our first time here at the beach, so we wanted to bring her here so she can see the people and feel the sand,” George says.

There were activities for kids including panning for gold, a bear pelt exhibit and a fishing game. Some mascots made appearances, including PFD Otter with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. PFD is short for “personal flotation device.”

But the main attraction every year seems to be the food. Particularly, the grilled salmon.

“Our first year, we had three weeks to get everything planned and the biggest deal for us is the fresh salmon that we get,” says Cathie Roemmich, CEO of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the picnic committee.

Taku Smokeries, Alaska Glacier Seafoods and local fishermen donated about 200 pounds of fish.

Parnell travels to Ketchikan today to hold the last governor’s picnic of the year.

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