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Video: Talkeetna Bachelor Auction a rowdy, rousing success

This year's annual Talkeetna Bachelor Auction and Ball brought in a record amount, thanks to 40 bachelors who strutted their stuff on stage to the wild cries of 250 women earlier this month.

The Dec. 6 antics, housed in the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in the Southcentral community of Talkeetna, brought in around $23,000, said coordinator Pam Rannals. “We couldn’t believe it,” Rannals said. “It was a little bit crazy.”

The 2012 auction raised about $14,000 -- also a record number at the time. But “this year was like, oh my God,” Rannals said.

The auction’s theme, “Gangsters of Love,” saw men sporting trench coats, dress pants and hats of varying style, from fedoras to fur.

Around 40 bachelors took to the stage to the ever-increasing cheers from the all-woman audience. “It’s hard to corral 250 women,” Rannals said, but the auction went off without a hitch.

One man stripped down to a jock strap with attached fox tail, and danced up and down the stage to the viral tune “What Does the Fox Say,” while holding a single red rose in his teeth. Another led the crowd in a rendition of “Stand by Me." Both men went for more than $400 apiece.

Bidding became more competitive as the night progressed, with one woman buying up a handful of men all for herself. One bachelor auctioned off near the end of the event was sold for more than $2,000.

Ladies who scored a bachelor won a date and drink with their man. Many men came with “packages,” ranging from cake to free airplane rides. But generally, the packages were not the main attraction.

"There's some prizes but a lot of them rely on their looks, and cunning ability to make women scream,” said Talkeetna Bachelor Society President, Todd Basilone.

Half of the money raised is donated to the Jessica Stevens Community Foundation, which supports health care, education and community programs in the northern Susistna Valley. The other half is split between a wide variety organizations Talkeetna – from playground equipment, to the town’s sober ride program, to the local public radio station KTNA. 

Contact videographer Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com. Contact reporter Laurel Andrews at laurel(at)alaskadispatch.com