On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Mike Dunleavy hosted the annual holiday open house at the governor’s mansion in Juneau. The event was an opportunity for the community to meet the governor and first lady in their new home, as well as sample a few cookies.
That second part is a big priority for some of the open house’s younger guests.
“We go pretty much every year,” said 11-year-old Dane Hubert, waiting in line on Calhoun Avenue with his younger brother Jaeger and their parents. Asked his favorite kind of cookie, Dane replied, “That’s a hard decision. … There’s a lot of different types of cookies.”
“The M&M one is really good,” Jaeger supplied.
Juneauites — mostly families like the Huberts — lined up outside in the snow starting around 3 p.m. Volunteers ushered guests into the elaborately decorated mansion to shake hands with Dunleavy, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer and their wives, and then on to the dining room where cookies were already piled high. Children’s music groups performed in the living room as guests milled around, admiring gingerbread houses and sipping cider.
This year all 10 varieties of cookies were baked in-house by mansion staff and Creations by Cynthia. Lisa Boman, executive residence manager, said that cookie dough preparation for the holiday meet-and-greet started in late September and wrapped up by the end of October.
“We have a little over 23,000 cookies out there,” she said. “And in order to do that in-house, two people, it was a project.”
In her seven years as residence manager, Boman says they’ve never run out of cookies. Leftovers go to nonprofits in Juneau like the AWARE shelter, the fire and police departments and the Glory Hall.
Gov. Dunleavy’s favorite cookie, if you were wondering?
“Chocolate chip,” he said. “More chocolate than chip — I guess, more chocolate chip than dough.”