The coolest thing happened tonight at the Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s Heart of Anchorage awards, which celebrate the people, businesses, and nonprofits committed to excellence in downtown.
Before I share the coolest thing, these are some of the other cool things that happened at the event:
- Mayor Berkowitz described downtown as “the neighborhood that belongs to all of us” which I really love.
- I got to hang with my favorites from the United Way Downtown Scavenger Hunt planning committee and the downtown partnership.
- The crowd was rowdy and raucous and tons of fun.
- All the downtown restaurants prepared delicious morsels to share with the crowd (and I tried a new cider that tasted like apple pie in a bottle).
- The scavenger hunt team and the critters from Visit Anchorage were both in the Spirit of Anchorage category and despite neither of group winning, we had a super intense Sharks v. Jets style snap off, which was its own kind of reward.
- There are SO many incredible people doing great work to make downtown clean, safe, and vital; check out all the nominees here.
The coolest thing though, was when all of the nominees stood to be toasted and a singer from the Anchorage Opera launched into an Italian drinking song. And then another singer from across the room joined in. Then one from the balcony. And another from behind a column. Then another and another and another and until the entire museum atrium was ringing with song. It was like being in the middle of a glorious flash mob, and as my friend said, “Now I’m feeling all the feels!” Those Anchorage opera singers sure are talented…and I will remember that song for the rest of my life. Surprise and delight is always the best way to win a crowd.
To close with another quote from the mayor (he really did give a darn good speech), “I believe in downtown. I believe in Anchorage.” And I believe that with so many great people shaping it, Anchorage really will become the #1 city to live, work, and play.
*Photo by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership