Eagle River is a community within the Municipality of Anchorage situated on the Eagle River for which it is named, between Fort Richardson and Chugach State Park in the Chugach Mountains. Its ZIP code is 99577. If Eagle River were not part of the Municipality of Anchorage, it would be classified as one of the five largest cities in Alaska

The 2000 census found a population of 22,236 in Eagle River and an additional 8,000 in the settlements northeast of Eagle River: Chugiak, Birchwood, Peters Creek, Thunderbird Falls and Eklutna. About 30,000 people live in the Eagle River and Chugiak areas, on both sides of the Glenn Highway. Many personnel from Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base live in Eagle River, and many of the area's civilian residents commute to Anchorage jobs.

Eagle River is the shopping hub between Anchorage, Palmer, and Wasilla. Major stores are Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer and Carrs Safeway. The last decade has seen two major improvements in local services: shopping and the availability of medical and dental services. The local movie theater reopened in 2006 with six screens. The number of local restaurants available has almost doubled in the past 10 years as well. There are restaurants available that serve Mexican, Italian, Thai, Indian, local Alaskan and American cuisines, as well as national fast-food places: McDonalds, Arbys, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Papa John's Pizza and Carls Jr.. Local coffee shops are very popular places to get together, with Tinkers Rainforest Deli, Jitters and Sleepy Dog being very popular places for study groups to meet.

Chugiak High School is northeast of town. Eagle River High School is the other High School in the region located Southwest of the town. There is a popular monthly advertisement magazine called "The Cache" which is delivered through the local postal service which provides not only ads for local services, but also serves to help families keep track of what sports and extracurricular activities are available for themselves or their children. The Alaska Star is the hometown newspaper for the communities of Eagle River, Chugiak, Eklutna, Peters Creek and Birchwood.

Annual community events include the Highland Games at the end of June and a Fourth of July celebration, both held at Lion's Park, and the Bear Paw Festival which is in July and is celebrated all over Eagle River.

The Bear Paw Festival kicks off on Thursday evening with the Miss Bear Paw pageant held at the Steve Primis Auditorium at Chugiak High School. This scholarship pageant sponsored by the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce also presents awards for Bear Paw Princess, Official Escort, Best Costume with an Alaskan Theme and Miss Congeniality. The Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions Club provides a Community Service Award scholarship as well. Saturday morning there is a 5k foot race, followed by a very well-attended parade; with many events over the weekend, including the Slippery Salmon Derby, Stinky Sneaker competition, Dog & Owner Look-alike, and Iditaduck race. There are carnival games and rides as well as numerous vendors providing food and wares ranging from toys to furniture. A Renaissance anachronistic group does performances several times daily on Saturday and Sunday.

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