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May 19 will be a remarkable day in Ketchikan. Seven cruise ships are expected to bring 13,226 passengers to the First City, beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. That's more than 2,000 above the highest cruise passenger day a year ago.

Margaret Mae Bolton, 83, died April 15, 2017, in Ketchikan.
Courtney Marie Marshall, 36, died April 11, 2017, in Seattle.
Marcario Rado, 58, died April 10, 2017, in Ketchikan.

Ketchikan is blessed with the best kids in the world. With the help of their parents and friends, they show up everyplace and take part in everything the community has to offer.

Recent case in point: This past weekend’s Wearable Art show at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. This year’s offering, with the theme “Re-invent,” was the 27th. The affair has grown into a glittering extravaganza that is well organized, well rehearsed, well executed and well attended. The excitement was palpable from the opening, performed by Ketchikan Theatre Ballet dancers, to the all-acts finale parade down the runway.

The pieces were intricate and imaginative, as usual. The music was perfect; the lights were right on; the sound was clear and crisp. And the audience was engaged.

What was striking, again this year, was the high percentage of youth participation. We have come to expect youngsters to take part and indeed, this year as others featured some, now seniors in high school, who have been in every Wearable Art show since third grade. Their stage presence is very simply astonishing.

Each of the 42 “acts” was self-contained. The detail work on some was beyond amazing. Artists, models, emcees and volunteers — many volunteers — worked to make each perfect. And, to the eyes of an appreciative Saturday-night sellout crowd, each was.

Contemplating the amount of work that must go into such an event year after year, we can only say thank you to the Ketchikan Arts and Humanities Council, which presents the event. We thank them not only for their work and unwillingness to settle for anything less than spectacular as the years progress, but for their year-round assurance to every member of this community (visitors, too) that there is a place for each of us in making and sharing art — from the smallest to child to our eldest citizen. We are all welcome to hop in with both feet and, thanks to such groups as KAAHC, we know that, right down to our toes.

What a town.