ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Native Heritage Center will welcome the public back this weekend for its holiday bazaar after organizers opted out of putting the event on last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We just feel like we’re on a more sturdy foundation to bring this back to the public,” said ANHC Cultural Programs Manager Paul Asicksik. “We’ll get the chance to highlight and showcase vendors and artists, and Alaska Native artists, and the hard work they have put into sharing their culture.”

This year’s bazaar, taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, is free to the public and set to feature more than 30 different Alaska Native artists, Asicksik said.

“We’ve been getting artists that have been calling, even up until the last day, asking, ‘Is it still going to happen? Is it still going to happen?’” he explained. “We’ll be here!

“With the season and the holidays coming up, I think it’s just an excellent way to highlight our Alaska Native artists,” he added.

Community members are welcome to visit on both Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Masks are required, and cashless transactions are being encouraged.

Along with many booths featuring one-of-a-kind work from artists across the state, there will also be other activities at the bazaar, such as family-friendly holiday movies played throughout the day.

“People can walk around inside, to see the artists and vendors and what they’re selling,” Asicksik said, “or they can walk around outside and look at our village sites. We’ll also have family holiday movies playing in our theater if people just want to sit down a few minutes with their families. So it should be a great day.”

On Sunday, individuals and families can work with a professional photographer for a small set of headshots or other photos, either in cultural regalia or whatever may be important to them.

“The regalia is encouraged, but you don’t have to be in your regalia,” Asicksik said. “If you want to bring something cultural, what’s cultural to you, you can be of any ethnic background. If folks walk in the front door, and say, ‘We’re interested in the photo shoot,’ we’ll guide them.”

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is located at 8800 Heritage Center Dr. in Anchorage. It reopened for other events earlier this year, many of which still remain accessible to the public. For more information on the bazaar, the center and other activities there, click here to check out the Alaska Native Heritage Center website.

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