A banner supporting Olympic swimmer Lydia Jacoby hangs outside of First National Bank Alaska in her hometown of Seward on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

A banner supporting Olympic swimmer Lydia Jacoby hangs outside of First National Bank Alaska in her hometown of Seward on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Local briefs: Jacoby may swim again, ‘Little Mermaid’ and a final rodeo

Jacoby may race in relay medleys

The Seward Tsunami Swim Club has announced more watch parties to see the now-famous gold medalist alumna, Lydia Jacoby, potentially race in the 400 medley relay.

Jacoby, a lifelong Seward resident, raced to the 100-meter breaststroke victory at the Tokyo Games on Monday, delivering an unexpected upset against both the Olympic record holder, South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, and the world record holder and two-time gold medalist from Team USA, Lilly King, to win the gold.

Two of Jacoby’s swim coaches, Meghan O’Leary and Solomon D’Amico, said the rosters of medley relay racers are kept confidential for strategic purposes. That means to find out if Jacoby was chosen by Team USA coaches to swim in the medley, people have to tune in.

It was confirmed that Jacoby did not race on Thursday morning at 3:27 a.m. local time in the mixed medley relay semifinals, but she could still race in the women’s semifinals, and mixed and women’s finals.

The watch parties at the Dale R. Lindsey Railroad terminal in Seward, which went viral after Jacoby’s gold medal race on Monday, will continue this weekend.

On Friday the women’s medley relay semifinals begins at 3:57 a.m. local time, and the mixed medley relay finals will be later that evening at 6:43 p.m.

On Saturday, the women’s medley relay finals will begin at 6:15 p.m.

The watch party events begin at the terminal around 30 minutes before the races start.

Triumvirate presents the Little Mermaid

The Triumvirate Theatre, in conjunction with the Central Peninsula Hospital and the City of Soldotna, is performing Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” starting this Saturday.

Joe Rizzo, the president of the theater, said it feels great to be back onstage.

“It’s really great to be back in show business,” he said.

Saturday’s performance will not only include the actors, but also a live orchestra.

“The production’s not a small play,” he said.

Rizzo said “The Little Mermaid” drew him in because of its popularity among people of all ages, but also because of its adaptability to outdoor venues. The production doesn’t require extensive lighting effects.

“Outdoor theater has its challenges,” he said. “I don’t think anyone’s ever done it on the Kenai Peninsula.”

The cast auditioned for their parts at the end of May, and have been working on the musical throughout the summer, Rizzo said, noting that the costume design is a must-see.

The Triumvirate Theatre has launched multiple fundraising campaigns since the Nikiski playhouse was destroyed in a fire last winter. These Saturday performances are free of charge, and paid for by a grant from the City of Soldotna.

Rizzo said the folks at the theater want to move past the fire and keep performing.

“We do not want to be the ‘our theater burned down’ theater,” he said.

The free performance begins at 4 p.m. in Soldotna Creek Park on Saturday and includes a catered meal by Joe Spady. The second show will be next Saturday, Aug. 7, at 4 p.m.

Last rodeo of the season kicks off Friday

The Soldotna Equestrian Association is hosting a three-day rodeo event this weekend, the last of the season for the association.

Samantha Lopez, the secretary of the association, said the riders will be busy with events for the breast cancer benefit rodeo this weekend.

“This one is definitely near and dear to our hearts,” she said. “Whatever we can do to help someone in the community.”

At the rodeo, named “tough enough to wear pink,” athletes will compete in roping, pole bending, barrel racing, chute dogging, double mugging and more.

The rodeo begins on Friday with free admission at 7 p.m. for barrel racing and pole bending. On Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. the junior rodeo will showcase youth events, also with free admission.

Saturday evening at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. will be the main events. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and kids.

Lopez said there will be vendors, 4H booths and a craft fair at the rodeo grounds on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna.

— Camille Botello

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