Nichel Kernin and son

Special Events/Community Relations Coordinator: Nichel Kernin

Nichel Kernin holds a Masters of Education, Counselor Education K-12 from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a BA in Sociology from the University of Idaho. She is a lifelong Alaskan, born and raised in the beautiful island community of Sitka. Her education and work experience in schools, food service, retail, AmeriCorps, and much more has brought her to the love of recreation and planning of special events here in Unalaska.

She is in her 8th year as the Assistant Director for the Sitka Jazz Festival, where her love of special events all started. Her love of planning, team coordination, set up, event, and takedown of an event for the community brings great joy.

In addition to her work, she enjoys spending time with her little family - son Parker, partner Chance, and puppy Piper, outside hiking, on the boat, beachcombing, coaching UCSD volleyball, or crafting!

You can reach Nichel at

View of Heart of the Aleutians Festival

Heart of the Aleutians Festival:

The Heart of the Aleutians Festival is our Annual Music festival hosted in mid-August.  It is around this time that many community members are returning from family summer vacations and this event serves as a welcome back/end of summer event.  The focus of this festival has become local arts, especially crafts, baked goods and music.

Each summer we feature a music tent with a great lineup of local bands as well as a vendor tent where festival goers are treated to culinary delights from many of the nationalities represented on the Island.  We also have plenty of games and prizes for the children and feature the department’s lineup of inflatables for all day fun!   

Father Daughter Valentine Dance participants

Father Daughter Valentine Dance:

This event is a dance designed to give father’s a chance to show their daughters just how important they are to them. Fathers and daughters of all ages are welcome to participate.  We feature a great spread of fancy hors d’oeuvres followed by dancing, get to know you games, and (my favorite part of the evening) a share time that allows dads and daughters the chance to share special memories and thoughts about each other.