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Forget Pitbull, Red Green visits Fairbanks for duct tape regatta

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

All of the 'major-celebrity-visits-Alaska' news these days has been dominated by a prank on Pitbull which will send the Floridian rapper to likely Alaska's most remote Walmart location, in Kodiak. Sure Pitbull's famous, but is he 'Red Green famous'?

With all the noise about Pitbull, it may have escaped Alaska's notice that the actor who plays Red Green, the wildly popular public television sitcom character, was in Fairbanks last weekend to judge the duct tape regatta named after him.

The Red Green regatta is a summertime ritual in the Interior city of Fairbanks. Contestants make their most creative water crafts out of boats, household items, rafts and at least one roll of duct tape -- but the more duct tape, the better. Contestants then float down the Chena River, the liquid heart of the Golden Heart City, as those on shore watch to see which vessels will stay afloat.

The regatta is not a race, as the registration form points out. Winners are judged on their vessel’s creativity, the amount of duct tape used, and the integration of the Red Green theme.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports on 2012’s flotilla, stating that this year’s crafts included a cardboard cat, a tank with a water cannon, a dragon and a raft labeled ‘garage sale’ that had an assortment of household goods attached to it.

The guest judge was Steve Smith, a.k.a Red Green himself, the star of the Canadian television show which inspired the event. Every year there are Red Green lookalikes, dressed in his signature red plaid and suspenders with a full beard, but this year copycats were particularly numerous.

The winner for this year was the Jai Alai Unlikely, a cardboard sports car carrying four boys all dressed as Red Green and reciting the television show’s “man’s prayer”: “I am a man. I can change. If I have to. I guess.”

Read more from the News-Miner, here, and check out the slideshow, here.