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ALASKA THIS MONTH By Tasha Anderson

TRAVEL

Chickenstock

Chickenstock is not to be missed. © Mike Busby / Courtesy of Chickenstock

H

ow many people can say they did the Chicken Dance in Chicken, Alaska, at Chickenstock?” asks Josea Busby, Chickenstock Music Festival event coordinator. Well, last year approximately seven hundred people, and Busby says she anticipates nearly one thousand guests this year as Chickenstock continues to grow. Busby, while attending a bluegrass concert in 2007, fell in love with the genre. She spoke with some of the bluegrass musicians, pitching the idea for a bluegrass music festival in Chicken. “I don’t think they thought I was serious until after we all arrived home from Nome and I started bugging them every chance I got,” she says. It paid off, as the event that had one band for one night in its first year has grown into a two-day event with fifteen groups performing. This year’s honored guest is Carl Hoffman, “who was recently recognized by the Alaska State Legislature as ‘Father of Alaskan Bluegrass’ and has been involved with Chickenstock since its inception,” Busby says. In addition to live music there’s balloon tying, unicycles, stilts, juggling, and other live entertainment. One tradition that has evolved at Chickenstock is the official Chicken Dance, “led by four human sized chickens, one human sized egg, and one human sized deviled egg,” she says, with four “Chickenettes” singing the words to the song on stage. “It is so much fun and we really try to get everyone up for the Chicken Dance— kids, moms, dads, teens, grandmas, grandpas, etc.” Mike and Lou Busby, who own and operate Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost, donate their grounds for the event each year. Because of that, the event is able to offer free dry camping with a two-day pass purchase ($45). Chickenstock is June 12 and 13 this year. “Our musicians, event flock, and festival attendees all mingle as if it were an annual family get together; the weekend is good clean friendly family fun,” Busby says. facebook.com/pages/Chickenstock-MusicFestival/354189617933639 R www.akbizmag.com

August 2014 | Alaska Business Monthly

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