Talkeetna Historical Society's Moose Dropping History
In July 1972, a bunch of the boys were whoopin' it up in the Fairview Inn Saloon. They began
to discuss needing a contest in beautiful downtown Talkeetna that would put their town on
the map. One said, "the Angels gold camp in California has the frog jumping contest. Some town
in Montana has the Buffalo chip tossing contest. We should have something similar". A lengthy
conversation began and they came up with a moose nugget tossing contest.
The next morning, Pete Dana produced a 4 X 8 piece of plywood, all painted with many numbers
on it. Ace Ebling was assigned the dirty job of picking up moose nuggets. After a lot of searching,
he finally filled up an empty beer box full of them. Ace baked them in an oven then sprayed them
with varnish. The object of the game was to toss the moose nuggets on the board and try to have
them land on a number. Once the numbers were totaled up, that was your score. The highest
score received cash or merchandise prizes.
As time went by, the VFW Post started to drop numbered moose nuggets from a helium balloon.
The first two balloon drops were at the Talkeetna ball diamond between innings. When some of
the players started to complain, the moose drop was moved to the parking lot of the VFW. In
1997, 1000 nuggets were being dropped. All of the nuggets are numbered. Raffle Tickets are
issued. The nugget dropped closest to the center of the target receives a cash prize. There are
also prizes for those landing 2nd and 3rd closest as well as a prize to the nugget landing farthest
away from the target. Proceeds benefit the VFW and the Talkeetna Historical Society.
A Mountain Mother contest was added to the Moose Dropping festivities in 1991. The only
requirement was that the contestant had to be a mom...married or not. Starting with a "baby"
in a backpack, feats included: walk a log in hip waders, carrying two buckets of water;"shoot"
a balloon moose with a bow and arrow; "catch" a fish; chop up firewood; change the baby and
wash out the diaper; make a "pie" and call in the kids. Winners get useful things, like an
appointment at the local beauty shop for a haircut, manicure, and massage; a nice dinner out,
and gift certificates from the local shops.
In 2006, The Moose on the Loose Auction was added. Plywood cut-outs of moose from 2 foot to
life size are painted and decorated in various themes by local shops, artists, and anyone interested
in entering. After being on display throughout Talkeetna for all to admire, the moose are donated
by their "creators" to be auctioned off to the highest bidders. Proceeds from the moose auction
benefit The Chamber of Commerce, Denali Arts Council's Artist Guild and the Talkeetna Historical
for more information.)