If you want to take a break from the grizzly bears and challenging terrain of the Alaska State Parks, spend an afternoon in Delaney Park. Unlike the National Parks in Alaska, Delaney Park is a place for social congregation. It has been compared to New York City's Central Park, but not because of its size and beauty. The similarity lies in the fact that Delaney Park bridges a number of the ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods of Anchorage Alaska, in the same way that Central Park links Harlem and Midtown Manhattan. Delaney Park, also known as the Park Strip, separates downtown Anchorage from South Addition and connects South Addition to Fairview. While the Alaska State Parks display the animal culture, a walk through Delaney Park is an exploration of the human culture of Anchorage.
Despite the fact that most people spend a good portion of their summer vacation visiting the national Parks in Alaska, Delaney Park gets its fair share of visitors. Delaney Park is one of Anchorage's most well loved public places. This is due to both its location as well as its history. Since the 1920s, Delaney Park has been used as an airstrip, a firebreak, a golf course, a home to military housing, and a place to light a bonfire in celebration of statehood. It was also one of the first parts of Anchorage to be designated for recreational purposes. The Park Strip is large enough to have soccer fields, tennis courts, an ice hockey rink, a small gym and lots of space to sit on a blanket and listen to a concert.
Unlike the National Parks in Alaska, Delaney Park is easily accessible. For this reason, it often serves as a venue for major events and festivals.
One such event is the Alaska Oceans Festival, which is held each year in June. The major focus of the festival is to raise public awareness about the importance of healthy oceans. The Festival also serves as a celebration of Alaska's many marine resources, which you find in the National Parks in Alaska. The event features a variety of musicians, speakers, artists, and ocean conservation groups. Food vendors, a beer garden, the Seafood Olympics, a foot race, and the "Bucking Salmon" are some of the attractions that make the Alaska Oceans Festival one of Anchorage’s favorite summer events.
If your Alaska visit involves a trip to the Alaska State Parks, it might be well worth your time to stop in Delaney Park and take in the culture of Anchorage.