Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, Ketchikan

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On our recent Alaskan cruise, we wanted to enjoy as many aspects of the Alaskan experience as possible, but not spend an excessive dollar amount on excursions. The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan provided us with a moderately priced, easy access excursion that entertained the whole family.

While many Alaskan excursion experiences are priced in the hundreds of dollars per person, the Lumberjack Show is moderately prices at under $34 per adult and $17.50 for children. While under normal circumstances that price might seem a little steep for a 1 hour show, when compared to those expensive excursions, it seemed like a pretty good deal.

The conveniently located theater was built to cater to the many cruise ship passengers that flood Ketchikan during the summer season. It is an easy 5 minute walk from the cruise ship docks. The show itself presents a competition between two teams of lumberjacks with each side of the audience cheering for their respective team. The Lumber Jill, who hosts the show, encourages the audience members to make as much noise as they can to support their jacks. If you’ve ever watched any of the timber sports competitions on ESPN, Out Door Life Network or the old lumberjack competitions that used to be on ABC’s Wide Word of Sports, you will recognize the different events right away. The Lumber Jill explains each event to the audience and provides information on the event’s significance in the history of log mining.

The competitors are all champions at some level of the sport: collegiate or professional, all around or event specific. The competition is very real and even a bit dangerous even for these seasoned competitors. One of the Jacks chopped through his shoe during the first event of our show and had to leave the show to get his bleeding toe treated and stitched up. He was replaced by a back-up who finished the show without a hitch.

My favorite events came at the end with the log run and log roll. The first was a speed contest running over the logs. The second was the balancing duel that pitted jack against jack in head to head competition to see who can stay on the log the longest and roll their opponent off first.

We attended the show as a family of four with two kids ages 9 and 10. They really got into the show, especially cheering on their team. Though the audience did have quite a few families, the more senior crowd seemed to enjoy the show as much as the kids. The kids even got to take home free souvenirs from the show – sawed off rounds of wood from the competition that audience members held as score markers.

There is a snack bar and souvenir shop located at the outdoor theater, as well as multiple gift shops located along the short walk to the show arena. Before or after the show, audiences can also enjoy one of Ketchikan’s other famous attractions. Historic Creek Street is just a 5 minute walk away.

All in all, this was a very nice excursion and fun for the whole family and folks of all ages.