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Kodiak Maritime Museum
Banner photos courtesy Kodiak Historical Society Slifer Collection, 70-167-17-2 Learn Collection, 386-66
Historic Photos of Kodiak
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5th Annual Harbor Lights Festival

Saturday, December 16, from 5-9 p.m.

F/V Stella by Pam ForemanKodiak Maritime Museum will host the 5th Annual Kodiak Harbor Lights Festival on Saturday, December 16, from 5-9 p.m. The event features Kodiak’s fishing, sport, and personal vessels strung with holiday lights; and welcomes the community into the heart of Alaska’s largest fishing fleet. Prizes donated by local merchants will be awarded to the three best decorated boats.

The public is encouraged to enjoy the decorated boats with friends and neighbors in both the town-side St. Paul Harbor and at St. Herman’s Harbor on Near Island, and to cast ballots afterwards for “Best Decorated Boat” at the Harbor Convention Center. The event is held regardless of weather, so Kodiak Maritime Museum encourages folks to dress appropriately.

Volunteers will serve cookies and light refreshments at the Convention Center, and conduct Best Decorated Boat balloting. Live holiday music is also planned, and this year’s line-up includes St. Innocents Academy Choir, Isle Bells, and the Kodiak Marimba Band.

The event began as a successor to a long running, but sometimes cancelled, holiday boat parade featuring brightly decorated vessels steaming down the Near Island Channel. December darkness, combined with Kodiak’s notoriously inclement winter weather however, often made it hard for skippers to safely operate their vessels, and after the parade was called off one too many times and participation dwindled, the event was abandoned in the early 2000s.

In 2013, Kodiak Maritime Museum, with support from the Mayor of Kodiak, revitalized the notion of decorated boats as the Harbor Lights Festival, and encouraged boat owners and crew to keep their festively lit up boats moored safely in the harbor. This has made it easier and safer for skippers and crews to participate, and also allows the community to get up close to the vessels, and to mingle with fishermen and the larger community in a festive ambience.

Grants from the Kodiak Community Foundation and the City of Kodiak have made the event possible in the past, with gift certificates for the top three decorated boats provided by Sutliff’s True Value Hardware and refreshments contributed by Costsavers. Every year, dozens of volunteers serve coffee, hot chocolate and cookies.

If you’d like to help with Harbor Lights this year, or for more information, please contact Kodiak Maritime Museum at 486-0384, or Find updates on the event on our Facebook page and at our website,

Comfish 2016

Thursday, March 31 3-4:30 pm, Kodiak Inn Best Western
Comfish Forum: Kodiak Cannery History
- The 1981 Cannery Worker Murders
- Kodiak's West Side Canneries
- Alitak Cannery

Join KMM at Comfish 2016, March 31- April 2 at the Kodiak Convention Center.
Stop by our booth to learn about our programs, renew your membership, and socialize with your friends and neighbors!

Fishermen Out Loud!

Saturday, April 26th, 7 p.m.
Harbor Convention Center

Featuring original poems, prose and stories from five seasoned fisher poets, Fishermen Out Loud is Kodiak’s public expression of an ancient tradition – going down to the sea in ships to pull a living from the ocean, and coming back to tell the tale. Presented in partnership with the Kodiak Arts Council.

Buy tickets here:


KMM Past Events

2014 Annual Meeting
Friday, February 7, 7:00 p.m.

Harbor Lights Festival

Business Meeting, followed by an
exclusive screening of “Adaq: King of Alaska’s Seas”

Lowell Thomas, Jr.’s 1960 color film about Lowell Wakefield and the early days of the King Crab Fishery.

Cameos by Guy Powell, Buddy and Annie Squartsoff, Danny Wakefield, and others from Afognak Village, Kodiak, and Port Wakefield.

Door Prizes:

  • Galley Gourmet Harbor Dinner Cruise for two,
  • 2 tickets to Fishermen Out Loud on April 26
  • KMM Harbor Tours, Kodiak Brewery Growlers, & More

Refreshments will be served.

All are welcome!
486-0384 or
For more information

"Adaq: King of Alaska's Seas," is provided by the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association, (AMIPA), AMIPA's mission is: "to collect, preserve, catalog and provide public access to Alaska's sound and moving image material, and to encourage the ongoing documentation of Alaskans and Alaska events of historical importance; to provide knowledge and assistance to other archives, private collectors, producers, institutions, and the general public; to advocate on behalf of these materials; and to educate the public, government officials and civic leaders on the importance of preserving Alaska's sound and moving image heritage."

December 2013

Harbor Lights Festival

January 2012

Annual Meeting

Freed's PenguinsKMM's 2012 Annual Meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, January 20, in Room 106 at Kodiak College. The meeting will feature a slideshow and talk by Linda Freed and Alan Schmidt on their recent trip to Antarctica. Freed and Schmidt sailed from December 14th, 2011 to January 1st, 2012 aboard the R/V Akademik Sergey Vavilov, a Russian research vessel chartered by Quark Expeditions. The voyage began in Ushuaia, Terra del Fuego, Argentina, and continued to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, the South Orkney Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship returned to Argentina via the Drake Passage.

Highlights of the trip included skiing on the Antarctic Peninsula, encountering vast penguin and seal colonies, and landings at the Falkland Islands and Elephant Island. Elephant Island was made famous by Earnest Shackleton and his men in 1916 when they sailed there in a small boat after losing their ship, the Endurance, in the Antarctic pack ice and failing in their attempt to reach the South Pole.

The Antarctic talk will be preceded by a brief Kodiak Maritime Museum business meeting including an update on the status of the Thelma C project and the museum's building plans, an annual report, and election of board officers. Refreshments will be served and museum memberships can be renewed or purchased at the door. Contact KMM at 486-0384 or for more information.

Tastes and Tales of the Sea VIIISaturday, May 1, 2010

2010 Tastes and Tales Fundraising Dinner

Kodiak Maritime Museum's 8th annual Tastes and Tales of the Sea fundraising event was a great success. More than 125 people came out for the May 1st dinner featuring a Seafarers Menu by Chef Joel Chenet and a talk by Tim Smith, who shared photos and stories of growing up on the F/V Evangel as it traveled around Kodiak Island in the 50s and 60s. Many of the images he shared at the dinner are online at his website here.

Mike Burwell's Fundraising Dinner
Kukak Bay Cannery Musicians, Circa 1925

Saturday, May 9, 2009

2009 Tastes and Tales Fundraising Dinner

Featured Speaker:
Katie Ringsmuth, PhD, President, Alaska Historical Society
"Alaska's Forgotten Shore: Uncovering Katmai Cannery Culture"

Out Loud: Kodiak, Fishing & the SeaSaturday, March 14, 2009
7:30 p.m.

Out Loud: Kodiak, Fishing & the Sea
Out Loud: Kodiak, Fishing, and the Sea, a spoken word event sponsored by the Kodiak Maritime Museum, will be held at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, 2009. Out Loud will feature fisherman and mariners presenting poems, stories and songs about the maritime culture of coastal Alaska. Out Loud is a continuation of the popular Kodiak Out Loud (also known as Kodiak Fisher Poets) spoken word shows which have been presented at the Kodiak Crab Festival since 2000.

Friday, May 16, 2008
Mike Burwell's Fundraising Dinner

The Story of the Princess May
and The Sinking of the Phyllis S.

Due to weather, Mike Burwell's Fundraising Dinner talk has been rescheduled to 7:00 p.m., Friday, May 16, at the Kodiak High School Choral Pod. He will talk about the Princess May grounding on Sentinel Island in 1910, and the Phyllis S. ramming and sinking by a U.S. Navy ship off Kodiak Island in 1942. Admission is free for those who attended the fundraising dinner, with a suggested donation of $5.00 for others.

More information about shipwrecks off Alaska's coast can be found here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008
Tastes & Tales of the Sea VI

Tastes & Tales of the Sea VI
The Kodiak Maritime Museum annual fundraising banquet has become a favorite springtime event in Kodiak. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at Mill Bay Coffee, The Rookery, and from Kodiak Maritime Museum boardmembers.  This year's featured speaker is Alaska shipwreck expert Mike Burwell. Mike will talk about the wreck of the steamer Princess May, which went aground on Sentinel Island in southeast Alaska in August 1910. Mike is also a fine poet whose latest book of poetry, "Cartography of Water," has just been published by Northwest Press.

Out Loud: Kodiak, Fishing & the Sea
Friday, March 21, 2008

Out Loud: Kodiak, Fishing & the Sea
A Out Loud: Kodiak, Fishing, and the Sea, a spoken word event sponsored by the Kodiak Maritime Museum, will be held at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium, 7 p.m. Friday, March 21, 2008. Out Loud will feature fisherman and mariners presenting poems, stories and songs about the maritime culture of coastal Alaska. Out Loud is a continuation of the popular Kodiak Out Loud (also known as Kodiak Fisher Poets) spoken word shows which have been presented at the Kodiak Crab Festival since 2000.

The $5.00 admission fee will be waived for those folks who attend the 5 p.m. Morning Rotary Seafood Dinner at St. Mary’s and bring their ticket stubs.

Also planned is a Morning Mug-up poetry and prose workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, March 22, at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center conference room on Center St. Local poets and writers are encouraged to come in for coffee and a hands-on class featuring several of the writers from the evening event. The workshop will be informal, with discussion and writing exercises aimed at helping local writers find techniques for writing about their own life experiences.

Out Loud Featured Artists:

Moe Bowstern is a longtime Kodiak fisherwoman, Oregon writer and performance artist, Moe has been performing at the Astoria Fisher Poets Gathering for many years and is the editor of “Xtra Tuff,” a magazine about the live and stories of fishermen. She was featured in the documentary film, “The Fisher Poets,” in 2002.

Jon Campbell is a prolific composer of contemporary maritime music based in New England. A multi-instrumentalist and reluctant singer, his songs address issues relevant to inhabitants of any of the four coasts: East, West, Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. He’s also been a Rhode Island State Council of the Arts Folk Artist since 1982.

Dave Densmore. Kodiak born and raised, Dave has been a fisherman since the age of 12 when he went to sea with his father. He’s been writing poetry about fishing and the sea for many years and has been a favorite at both the Kodiak Crab Festival Fisher Poets and the Fisher Poets in Astoria Oregon. He was a featured performer in the 2002 film, “The Fisher Poets.”

Pat Dixon is a former salmon drift gillnet fisherman and longtime storyteller. He’s been reading his stories of the glory days of the Cook Inlet drift fishery at the Astoria Fisher Poets Gathering for years and currently lives, writes, and does photography in Puget Sound.

Erin Fristad has been a Southeast Alaskan fisherwoman for fifteen years and is a regular performer at the Astoria Fisher Poets Gathering. Her poetry focuses on what it’s like being a woman in a male dominated industry and the changes that have overtaken the fishing industry in the last few years. She lives, writes, and teaches creative writing in Port Townsend, Washington.

Joanna Reichhold has worked for six seasons on salmon boats and tenders out of Cordova. She sings, writes poems and stories about the sea and fishing, and performs at festivals across the country. Depending on the time of year, Joanna lives at various places in the coastal temperate rainforest, pacific salmon country, stretching from Cordova, Alaska to Trinidad, California. She is hard at work on her first book of poetry.

Toby Sullivan writes stories and poems about the lives of commercial fishermen, based on more than thirty years of fishing from Kodiak to Attu Island. He organizes the annual Kodiak Fisher Poets readings during the Kodiak Crab Festival and performs every year at the Astoria Fisher Poets Gathering.

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