About 75 Sterling residents gathered Saturday for the unveiling of a new "Welcome to Sterling" sign greeting motorists along the Sterling Highway heading down from Anchorage.
Designed by Guf Sherman Signs of Soldotna, the colorful billboard sign features blooming fireweed and silhouettes of three moose.
It was erected in front of the Willow Picker's shop and residence near Mile 80 of the highway.
Sherman, who is a Sterling resident, donated the logo design and painted the sign, according to Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey, who moderated a half-hour dedication ceremony at noon.
The sign was welded to metal poles by Mike's Welding and erected among landscape rock and a gravel path.
"This is a great tribute to all the people here," Carey said.
"This sign not only represents the people here now, but also those who came before and those who will come to Sterling in the future," he said.
Following an introduction by Carey, Sterling Boy Scouts posted the American and Alaska flags and led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the national anthem, led by Wayne Debnam and Suzie Nelson.
The Rev. Jim Pearson, pastor of Sterling Lutheran Church, gave an invocation.
On hand for the brief ceremony were Sen. Tom Wagoner and former Sen. Jerry Ward.
Ward credited many Sterling citizens for making the sign a reality, and Wagoner told the group Rep. Mike Chenault was instrumental in getting permission from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to place the sign along the highway.
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