Nomeites come out for 5th annual Lemonade Day
Nome likes traditions, and the annual Lemonade Day event has established itself among happenings that bring the community out and about for food, fun and, of course, lemonade.
Last Saturday nearly 50 lemonade stands sprouted around Nome, with even more in village communities, to take part in the business opportunity whose motto is, “Creating new entrepreneurs for Alaska . . . one stand at a time.” Lemonade Day is a nationwide event designed to teach kids about owning their own small business. Kawerak’s Business Planning Specialist, Alice Bioff, has coordinated the event in Nome since 2012. “The kids learn good skills, like how to handle money, how to interact with customers, and to work toward a goal,” said Bioff.
Prior to the event each year, sponsors hold a workshop to help prepare kids and parents for a successful stand. This year Wells Fargo offered the workshop in Nome, and was the pick-up and drop-off point for the bus that looped through town visiting stands. “We rely a lot on community support and partners,” Bioff said. “Locally, Wells Fargo, Nome Community Center, Nome Chamber of Commerce and the city of Nome were great partners.” Bioff also expressed gratitude to local businesses and to Bering Air for shipping out Lemonade Day supplies, as well as to the many volunteer coordinators in surrounding communities. “They do an amazing job getting the word out and getting folks registered,” said Bioff, “We really rely of the good graces of the communities.”
Interest in Lemonade Day continues to grow, and this year you would have visited 48 stands if you made it to all the little entrepreneurs between Front Street and the edge of Icy View. And participants sold a variety of goods: everything from brownies to bunny boots. There were dog treats, chai lattes, slow-cooked-smokey-pulled-pork sandwiches, sparkly jewelry, woven baskets, popcorn balls and, oh, chocolate lemonade. There were also community favorites like homemade chili, fry bread, and maple bars.
At the end of the day, participants were invited to the “Splash It Up” party at Old St. Joe’s, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Nome Community Center. Both AC Company and Hanson’s Safeway Store donated bikes for a drawing. As for the business results, Bioff said the numbers are still coming in. Each stand reports information including their goal, their earnings, and their supply costs. “This was just a great event,” Bioff said. “Everyone was out and about visiting the stands, and the kids really enjoyed it.”