Young lemonade vendors show business skills

In late June, children lined Nome’s streets with booths to sell homemade juice, baked goods, and homemade goods. The second annual Mizuktata event had more than thirty booths participating, the result of several weeks of planning.

“I love it because I think it started as teaching children a little bit about entrepreneurship,” says participant Reba Lean. “But, it turned into a really big celebration of everyone’s talents in town. There are lemonade stands that we look forward to every year. And they have the best goodies, so everyone gets really excited about this day.”

Popular stands included salmonberry-and blueberry-glazed doughnuts, a blueberry-infused lemonade titled “Nomade”, and a petting zoo.

One young entrepreneur, Kaylie, spent the day 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 keeping up with foot traffic when a lot of people came to get food at once and a line would form.

After the state announced last year that it would no longer fund Lemonade Day, two local mothers felt youth should continue to have the opportunity to learn hands-on business skills. With the help of Elder and Iñupiaq teacher Yaayuk Alvanna-Stimpfle, they renamed the event “Mizuktata,” which is Iñupiaq for “Let’s drink juice.”

Image at top: A Mizuktata booth on West Third Avenue. Photo by Ava White/KNOM.

Image at the bottom: A girl watches the annual Midnight Sun parade on Front Street in Nome. Other festival events included a mock bank robbery, a plunge in the Bering Sea, and Mizuktata. Local families filled the streets for the celebration. Photo by Ava White/KNOM.