SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Still 'Fishy' After All These Years
By Dave Kiffer


December 09, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - Recently, I wrote about Seattle coming up with a new "brand," calling itself the "Metro Natural" place.

I also noted that Ketchikan went through a similar "branding" exercise last year, which gave us "Our Lifestyle, Your Reward."

jpg Dave Kiffer

But a friend asked me a couple of weeks ago whether or not it was time to take another look at whether or not the longtime slogan "The Salmon Capital of the World" really fairly describes "The First City."

"Other places have a lot more salmon," he noted. "Bristol Bay, the Copper River, Pike Place Market."

I had to admit he was right. There are other places that land more salmon than Ketchikan.

Ketchikan probably was never the true "salmon capital" of the world anyway. Maybe we were the salmon "canning" capital once upon a time, but even that "unparallelode gram" is as long gone as the floating fish trap.

But what do you call us now? Every city wants to be known for something. No matter how picayune.

If you don't believe me, then do a little research. Just about every wide spot in the road in America claims some sort of superlative.

For example (and I got these off the Internet so Lector Caveo!):

Albertville, Alabama "The fire hydrant capital of the world"

Going for those low ISO ratings

Haleyville, Alabama "Home of 911"

Did they invent it or do they just need it more?

Tule Lake, California "Horseradish Capital of the World"

Just don't stand too close to the mayor

Fruita, Colorado "Home of Mike the Headless Chicken"

We could be "Home of Herman the Headless Humpy"

Nederland, Colorado "Home of the Frozen Dead Guy"

Google it, it's a good one!

Apopka, Florida "Indoor foliage capital of the world"

All my indoor foliage says "Made in China"

Claxton, Georgia "Fruitcake Capital of the World"

No elaboration necessary

Dalton, Georgia. "Carpet Capital of the World"

Which must mean that.

Warsaw, Indiana "Orthopedic capital of the world"

Is the Carpet Layer capital of the world!

Burlington, Iowa "Backloader Capital of the World"

Does that mean Naukati is only the D-4 Cat capital?

Leominster, Massachusetts "Home of the Plastic Pink Flamingo"

We used to be the "Home of the Plastic Totem Pole"

Gladstone,. Michigan "Pet Casket Capital of the World"

Cause someone's gotta be

Sturgis, Michigan "Curtain Rod Capital of the World"

We could be the Salmon Rod Capital

Bemidji and Brainerd, Minnesota both claim to be the "Home of Paul Bunyan"

Do Bellingham and Tallahasee both claim "Home of Ted Bundy?"

Kansas City, Missouri "Barbeque Capital of the World"

No argument on that one!!

Winnemucca , Nevada "City of Paved Streets"

Is City of Potholes taken?

Santa Rosa "Scuba Capital of New Mexico"

And Wichita is the skiing capital of Kansas

Niagara Falls "Cataract City"

The Falls or the coke bottle bottom eyeglasses everyone wears?

Carborro, North Carolina "Paris of the Piedmont"

Paris, France wants a recount

Beaver, Oklahoma "Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World"

Obviously what happens in Beaver, stays in Beaver

Norman, Oklahoma "Weather Capital of the World"

But do they do anything about it?

Altus, Oklahoma "City with a Future to Share"

But do YOU rally want to share it?

Tulsa, Oklahoma "America's Most Beautiful City"

Just barely edged out Flint, Michigan

Bandon, Oregon "Storm Capital of the World"

Not if Norman, Oklahoma can help it

Halsey, Oregon "Grass Seed Capital of the World"

Are they talking Kentucky Bluegrass or Maui Wowie?

Milton-Freewater, Oregon "Home of Low Cost Utilities"

And Los Gatos, California is the home of low cost Cat Litter?

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has about 30 different nicknames including

"Birmingham of America"

"San Francisco of the East"

"Paris of Appalachia"

Apparently anything is better than being the "Pittsburgh of Pennsylvania"

Gleason, Tennessee "Ball Clay Capital of the World"

And Hamersville, Ohio is the ball peen capital

Commerce, Texas "Capital of the World"

Did H.E. Doubletoothpicks suddenly freeze over?

Corpus Christi, Texas "City of Beautiful Women"

With Farrah Fawcett and Eva Longoria, they just might be onto something

Dallas, Texas "America's Favorite City"

H.E. Doubletoothpicks did freeze over!!

Hereford, Texas "The Town Without A Toothache"

All the better to chew cud by.

Walla Walla, Washington "So Nice They Named It Twice"

Maybe not, maybe not

Ripon, Wisconsin and Jackson, Michigan "Home of the Republican Party"

Oddly, no one claims "Home of the Democratic Party"

Two Rivers, Wisconsin "Home of the Ice Cream Sundae"

It should consolidate with Hereford.

As you can see, it's not such a simple thing to come up with a catchy, relevant, non-dumber-than-a-stump (Birmingham, Alabama: The Pittsburgh of the South!) slogan that can be easily affixed to a community.

So, as fishy as it sounds in these days when hematite is more prevalent that humpies in Our Fair City, "Salmon Capital of the World" is better option than "Ketchikan: Summer Playground of the Alzheimer's Generation" or " Ketchikan: Our Diamonds are Looser Than Yours."

As always, if you have any better suggestions, I'm all ears (Langley, Virginia "City of Big Ears!")

Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Contact Dave at

Dave Kiffer ©2006

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