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Alaska's 50th birthday bash begins with free Wynonna Judd concert

eTN  Jun 24, 2008

Country music star Wynonna Judd will be center stage for Alaska's grand celebration of its own stardom - the 50th anniversary of statehood, when its star was added to the U.S. flag.

The Friday, June 27 free public concert falls near the June 30, 1958 anniversary when Congress approved statehood for Alaska, and will be broadcast worldwide. Coined "Operation Gratitude," the show will honor Alaska's military and the state of Alaska.

The concert will be carried live on the Internet at 9:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time/12:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time by AT&T at The site will carry an archived broadcast of the concert for 30 days. Broadcast of the concert to a worldwide audience will occur within a couple of weeks on the American Forces Network and the Pentagon Channel.

Judd's concert will be held at Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base, located just outside Anchorage. Naomi Judd and the Palmetto State Quartet will also be on hand.

Only a week after the summer solstice, when Alaskans enjoy near-constant daylight, the concert will be well lit, to say the least.

Statehood was made official on January 3, 1959, when President Eisenhower's signature ushered in Alaska as the 49th state.

The concert kicks off the Anchorage statewide celebration of Alaska's 50th anniversary of statehood and a "We're In" weekend of free events in Anchorage sponsored by the Anchorage Statehood Celebration Committee. "We're In" weekend will include a reenactment of the pinning of the 49th star on a U.S. flag strung from a downtown building. Two individuals who were a part of the Alaska Constitutional Convention will take part in the ceremony. Alaska's constitution is considered by many historians to be one of the best in the nation. A complete schedule is available online at

Alaska's 50th birthday bash begins with free Wynonna Judd concert

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