Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cruise to Alaska for 50th Birthday Celebration

Alaska’s celebration of 50 years of statehood

It's the morning of January 3, 2009, and the temperature in Anchorage, Alaska ranged from a low of -14.4 °F to a high temperature of -4.7 °F. That did not stop the native Alaskans from celebrating a historic event - the 50th Anniversary of Statehood. The celebration actually began the night before with the 50th Anniversary Gala at the new Dena’ina Convention Center. National and International dignitaries attended this historic event for a sit-down dinner and entertainment which included dance, symphony, and opera.

January 3rd saw the downtown area of Anchorage taken over for a huge birthday bash. A procession of Alaska’s diverse people kicked it off with performances at three separate venues. And, of course, there was a fireworks show.

50 is a landmark birthday to celebrate, and Alaskans plan to do it in style. Alaska’s 50th birthday will be celebrated all year long so there's plenty of time to join in the festivities which will be held around the state.

We were in Alaska in September, 2008, for our National Conference. Celebrity Cruises was our host for our 8 Night Alaska Northbound cruise. You can see the Alaska 50 banner on the lightpost in Juneau.

The cruising season in Alaska is from May - September. The cruises usually book up fast, but there are still cabins available. I always recommend extending your stay in Alaska to include some time on land. A cruisetour is the best way to really experience Alaska if you can spare the time.

Road to Alaska Statehood

The road to statehood began on May 28, 1958 when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill proposing that Alaska become the 49th state of the union. The bill was passed by the Senate in June of that year. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill making it official on January 3, 1959.

For more information about Alaska consult the following websites:
In a future column I'll describe our most recent Alaska cruise on Celebrity Mercury.

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