Wrangell in a snowy cloak.

Tent City Days!

This weekend is Tent City Days in Wrangell. Originally a celebration of the Gold Rush days, there are different and fun events from year to year. Today, among other events, were the Fishermen’s Competition, the Adult Scrapfish Derby, and a demonstration practice by the Garnet Grit Betties Roller Derby Team. There was more, like the Chocolate Lovers Fest, but all of the chocolate for that two hour event sold out in 29 minutes, and I missed it. Well, it has been a little bit gray and rainy lately, so half the town was in need of the chocolate cure. The female half.

There used to be bed races down Main Street as part of Tent City Days. Over the years the number of beds dwindled and the soundness of the remaining two is…questionable. Since fishermen are masters of a variable environment it somehow makes sense that the survival suit competition and bed races were combined. In a way.

Suiting up for bed racing.

Suiting up for bed racing.

Each team has two members. One team member puts on a life jacket and the other puts on a survival suit, aka Gumby suit. Gumby hops aboard and gets pushed down a wet street on a rickety bed with bad wheels. At the turnaround point the team members trade the life jacket and survival suit, and the new Gumby gets to ride in style back to the start/finish line.

Getting there before the wheel falls off.

Getting there before the wheel falls off.

Switching suits. Hey, its a rubbery hoodie-footie with two fingers and a thumb that are too globby to use. It ain't easy.

Switching suits. Hey, its a rubbery hoodie-footie with two fingers and a thumb that are too globby to use. It ain't easy.

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GUYS!

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BOOTS!

The Fishermen's Competition included Buoy Races. No, I can't explain it.

Buoy Racing, Women's Division

Buoy Racing, Women's Division

Buoy Racing, Men's Division.

Buoy Racing, Men's Division.

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Meanwhile, down on the airplane float, the Adult Scrapfish Derby was starting up. This is a handline only competition. No fishing poles, no fancy gear. Texting while fishing is acceptable.

The Adult Scrapfisher’s were catching….crabs.

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The crustacean variety.

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Weighing in a crab at the Adult Scrapfish Derby.

Weighing in a crab at the Adult Scrapfish Derby.

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Innocent little crab? No, no, no. Beady little eyes plotting major finger-pinching. Ornery little crab that didn’t get the memo about catch-weigh-release. The end wasn’t pretty.

Also happening on the dock was the Crab Pot pulling Competition. Throw the pot, let it hit bottom, then pull the pot while coiling the line as you go.

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No crabs were caught during the Crab Pot Pulling Competition.

Kooks Deluxe of the Garnet Grit Betties Roller Derby Team practicing a jump.

Kooks Deluxe of the Garnet Grit Betties Roller Derby Team practicing a jump.

Up at the gym the Garnet Grit Betties Roller Derby Team showed how it's done. With Tim Rooney and Amber Al-Haddad announcing, the Betties warmed up and then demonstrated whips and blocks and toe stops and derby falls. The referees showed us hand signals.

Something was said about a "full contact sport."

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These are just a few of the highlights. Wrangell's Tent City Days has a four day schedule with events for all ages and body types. It is February. Wrangell is a town on an island. We make our own fun.