Tri-Valley Spelling Bee

Tri-Valley School Spelling Bee finalist Paige Scoles, champion Danika Hamm, pronouncer Malia Walters and finalist Matthew Bohanan. Photo courtesy Martha Tomeo/Tri-Valley School Library

The winning word at the Tri-Valley School Spelling Bee was “cahoots.” Seventh grader Danika Hamm spelled it correctly to become the 2019 Tri-Valley Spelling Bee Champion. Finalists included Paige Scoles and Matthew Bohanan.

The winning spelling came after 27 rounds. As always, the spelling bee is an intense competition.

Individual spellers received a few other awards. Kyler Frazier received the Best Enunciation of Letters award. Sydney Seavey and Rita Jacobs received Poise Awards. Piper Scoles received the Spirit Award and Matthew Bohanan received the Best Sportsmanship Award.

Former Tri-Valley School graduate Malia Walters was the pronouncer of each word. Judges included Paula Newton, Annette Ziegman and Ben Brown.

Black Friday

Denali National Park offers its own version of Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving. It’s called Denali Outside and it’s a free kids event.

Everyone is invited, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the indoor picnic area, next to the Winter Visitor Center, also known as the Murie Science and Learning Center.

You can celebrate Black Friday either inside or outside. Inside, there will be ornament making, hot chocolate and cookies. Outside, anyone can rent snowshoes or ice cleats and take an afternoon hike on winter trails.

Denali Chamber of Commerce sponsors the event.

Healy bazaar

The Holiday Family Bazaar and Fun Night in Healy has returned to its roots and is once again being organized by the Denali Preschool and Learning Center. More than 20 vendors are already lined up for the annual event, which takes place 1-7 p.m. Dec. 6.

Food available for purchase includes tacos, nachos, Navajo tacos, salad/soup and bread. There will be games and crafts for children up to fifth grade. That same age group will also be able to shop by donation. Details available at the bazaar.

‘Christmas on Ice’

The popular “Christmas on Ice,” sponsored by Healy Hockey, will be held Saturday, Dec. 21. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with open skating at the Ice Pit. Santa Claus arrives via Zamboni at 6 p.m. There will be a Healy Hockey Sticks Scrimmage for players up to age 15 at 6:45 p.m. Tacos and all the fixings will be provided. Just bring your gear and a dessert to share.

Coal Queen calendar

Healy Hockey Coal Queens invite amateur photographers to enter a photo contest for an upcoming calendar called “Capturing Alaska.”

Selected images will appear in the 2021 calendar, to be widely distributed in 2020 as a fundraiser for the hockey team.

The grand prize winning photo will be printed on the cover of the calendar and the winning photographer will receive a canvas print of that photo. Twelve additional images will be chosen and printed on individual months of the calendar. Photos will be judged by a panel of experienced photographers.

Entry fee for each photo is $20 and entries must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2020. Winners will be announced at the annual Winterfest Celebration on Feb. 29.

A registration form and photo release must be submitted at the same time. Contact Coal Queens for details at Mail the entry packet to Healy Hockey Association, P.O. Box 296, Healy, AK 99743.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office at 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.


Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.