The first time Sitka Salmon Shares held a bake, Mayor John Pritchard dubbed Sept. 21 as Wild Alaskan Salmon Day. The second year, the event moved from Lake Story to Galesburg’s Sustainable Business Center and was deemed a zero-waste event.
Now in its third year, the Wild Alaskan Salmon Bake is practically a tradition. Hundreds of people came out to try salmon samples, toss fish heads and learn to bake salmon at the Wild Alaskan Salmon Bake this Saturday.
A crowd of people ambled by the stage where the Henhouse Prowlers, a five-piece bluegrass band who stopped in Galesburg on their way to a night gig in Rockford, Ill., performed. Younger children and college students colored salmon drawings with crayons and glitter glue. Near the end of the event, a crowd gathered around an ice bucket full of salmon heads as teams of two deliberated before the salmon head toss, deciding whether it would be more helpful to get a smaller head, or opt for a bigger one.
Freshmen Kyle Foley and Jeremiah Horton were surprised by the crowd and impressed by the community vibe. The two came with the Prairie Fire basketball team, which prides itself on volunteering in the community. The week before, the team volunteered at the Discovery Depot and the Purple Hanger.
“It’s really good for the freshmen to come out here,” Foley said.
The event appeared to attract an equal amount of Knox students, faculty and staff and members of the Galesburg community. Some people announced in the event’s Facebook page that they’d be coming in from Chicago.
“This is probably one of my favorite events in Galesburg,” senior Shannon Henry said.
Senior and sustainability intern Ned Babbott saw this event as a “dry run” to practice zero-waste events in Galesburg.
“This is something we want to do all the time at Knox. Mitigating waste and solid waste especially is a high, high priority for the sustainability department,” he said.
He was impressed that people seemed to easily understand how to separate composting and recyclable waste.
“I’m thrilled for that,” he said.