This story was reported and written by KNOM reporter Ava White.
Nome celebrated its second annual Mizuktata event, previously celebrated as “Lemonade Day,” on Saturday, June 17.
Mizuktata means “Let’s drink juice,” in Inupiaq.
Mizuktata is a day where children get the opportunity to make homemade goods, be entrepreneurs and learn first-hand business skills. Reba Lean says she looks forward to Mizuktata every year.
“I love it because I think it started as teaching children a little bit about entrepreneurship,” Lean said. “But, it turned into a really big celebration of everyone’s talents in town. There’s lemonade stands that we look forward to every year. And they have the best goodies, so everyone gets really excited about this day.”
Mothers Krystal Hensley and Renee Joyce rebranded “Lemonade Day” last year after the state announced it was not going to fund the event.
“Let’s drink juice” was translated to “Mizuktata” by Yaayuk Alvanna-Stimpfle.
Last year, more than thirty booths were registered, and more than eighty children participated. This year, more than thirty booths were registered by Friday. Booths sold various baked goods, drink options and even jewelry.
After waiting in line for salmonberry and blueberry glazed doughnuts, Lean says she knew which location she would visit next.
“I love the ‘Nomade’ blueberry lemonade stand,” Lean said. “They have the best donuts that Kim Knutson’s family makes. I love the Richards’ family’s petting zoo downtown. There’s a ton of good ones.”
Children participating in Mizuktata have been planning their booths for weeks. One young entrepreneur, Kaylie, was raising money to send herself to volleyball camp. She says her favorite part of the event is getting to run her own business. She added that the hardest part was when a lot of people come to get food and it starts to form a line.
Joyce and Hensley wrote to local businesses and organizations who donated prizes for this year’s event. The two said this event is purely run by volunteers and would be impossible without them.
They wanted to specially thank the two “lemon head” volunteers, Alice Bioff for making maps of the stands, and Rachel Finney for creating advertisement posters and maps.
Image at top: A Mizuktata booth on West Third Avenue. Photo by Ava White/KNOM