Independence Day and Qatnut in rural Alaska is the biggest celebration of the year that lasts multiple days. Kotzebue has a traditional trade fair with a parade, contests, events, activities, Dance groups, the list goes on and on.
Seward has a Mt. Marathon Race where they have had up to 30,000 people attend. Anchorage has a parade and picnic fare. Wasilla has a pie eating contest. Every village has their traditions, but they still take the time to pay tribute to their culture.
From the blanket toss...
to traditional dances, Qatnut celebrates all of Alaska's cultural traditions. Qatnut translates into "bringing people together" and was originally held at camp Sisaulik. Inupiaq tribes from the Kotzebue Sound, Shishmaref, Point Hope and Wales celebrate it every year.
Events like the Kotzebue Qatnut Trade Fair, and the larger, deeper, ageless, and unbreakable bonds that they represent; tradition, culture, sharing, friendship, and mutual respect can overcome decades and even centuries of separation and dislocation. As these relationships continue to grow ever deeper and meaningful to the contemporary residents, the community of Kotzebue will continue their effort at sustaining these emerging linkages while paying homage to ancient relationships and values.