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Fireworks and festivals: Here’s what’s happening across Alaska for Fourth of July, 2018

  • Author: Yoshina Okamoto
  • Updated: July 3
  • Published June 28

Fireworks light the sky after the annual Alaska Baseball League doubleheader on July 4, 2017, at Mulcahy Stadium. (Rugile Kaladyte / ADN archive)

Anchorage

Anchorage July Fourth Celebration

Wednesday, Delaney Park Strip

The annual Fourth of July Celebration turns Downtown Anchorage red, white and blue for the day. Come out to the Delaney Park Strip (Ninth Avenue between L and E streets) for a pancake breakfast (8 a.m.), a grand parade featuring local businesses and organizations (11 a.m.) and a festival filled with local arts and food vendors. Make sure you don't miss the Harvard Club's annual reading of the Declaration of Independence at 1 p.m., where presenters dress head-to-toe in Revolution-era period costumes. End your day watching fireworks light up the sky after the annual baseball game between rival teams, the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and the Anchorage Bucs, at Mulcahy Stadium (498 E. 16th Ave.). (anchoragefairsandfestivals.org)

YWCA Alaska's Diversity and Inclusion Dialogues

Tuesday, YWCA Alaska

If you're looking for a more introspective holiday celebration, this one is for you. From noon to 2 p.m., the YWCA Alaska (324 E. Fifth Ave.) is hosting an open discussion about the balance between patriotism and activism, systemic racism and how to foster more inclusion within our communities. (ywcaak.com)

Chugiak/Eagle River

Fireworks and Parade

Tuesday and Wednesday

Hosted by the Eagle River Lions Club at their community park (18344 Eagle River Road), the community gathers together from 6 p.m. to midnight Tuesday for a night of festivities, vendors, entertainment, and, of course, midnight fireworks. On Wednesday, July 4, bring your bags of candy for the Chugiak Community Parade beginning at 2 p.m. at Latimer Fire Station and ending at Chugiak Elementary.

Wasilla

2018 Fourth of July Parade and Summerfest

Wednesday, Downtown Wasilla

Wasilla's Fourth of July celebrations are in part with their annual Wasilla Summerfest, so enjoy a jam-packed weekend of fun starting with the annual community parade at 11 a.m. Wednesday in downtown Wasilla. Afterward, head to Iditapark lawn (594 W. Nelson Ave.) for the mayor's picnic from 1-3 p.m. There will be live music, a hot dog eating contest, and other games and activities. After the picnic head to the Menard Sports Center (1001 S. Clapp St.) from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. for carnival rides. At 11 p.m., fireworks will light up at the sky near Wonderland Park (594 W. Nelson Ave.). (cityofwasilla.com)

Glacier View

Glacier View Fourth of July

Wednesday, Glacier View River Retreat

An hour-and-a-half away from Wasilla lies Glacier View, a small town with an epic Fourth of July celebration. Head to Glacier View River Retreat (35068 W. Glenn Highway) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a day filled with launching cars, an eclectic parade, zipline rides, treats fresh off the grill and more. (Search "Glacier View Fourth of July" on Facebook for details)

An SUV becomes airborne after being launched off a cliff in the Glacier View area during the community’s Fourth of July celebration. (Patrick Penoyar)

Girdwood

Hot dog eating contest

Wednesday, Girdwood Picnic Club

Spend the holiday in the most American way possible: feasting on hot dogs. Make your way to the Girdwood Picnic Club at 4 p.m. (194 Hightower Road) to see how many bratwursts you can eat in five minutes: The winner receives a $100 gift card. Come in a costume to get a leg up on the rest of the competition. $10 entry fee. (Search "4th of July Hotdog Eating Contest" on Facebook)

Just a couple days later Girdwood will host Forest Fair — with food, live music and handcrafted items from Alaska artists from Friday to Sunday, July 6-8. (girdwoodforestfair.com)

The first wave of men start the 90th Mount Marathon race on July 4, 2017 in Seward. (Loren Holmes / ADN archive)

Seward

Independence Day Celebration and Mount Marathon

Tuesday and Wednesday, Seward

Every Independence Day, thousands of Alaskans make their way down the Seward Highway to see one of the most epic footraces of the year, Mount Marathon. Arrive the night before the big race to enjoy a carnival-like atmosphere complete with street food, live music and midnight, waterfront fireworks on Adams and Washington streets. In the morning, treat yourself to a sweet breakfast at the annual Methodist Pie Sale on Fourth Avenue at 9 a.m. After that, the event everyone's been waiting for kicks off with the Mount Marathon junior race in downtown Seward at 9 a.m., followed by the men's race at 11 a.m. and the women's race at 2 p.m. (seward.com)

Fireworks Cruise

Tuesday, Seward Ocean Excursions

Want to get a better view of those fireworks? Hop on a cruise with Seward Ocean Excursions (Seward Small Boat Harbor Slip M-3) at 11 p.m. Tuesday and float around the bay as you get a front-row seat to the midnight show.

Kenai

Kenai's July 4th Parade & Festivities

Wednesday, Kenai

Travel south of Anchorage for a parade (11 a.m.) running from Fidalgo Ave. to Main Street Loop and a fest (noon-4 p.m.) featuring arts and food vendors, a beer garden courtesy of Kassik's Brewery, a hometown heroes display and live music by Troubadour North. (kenaichamber.chambermaster.com/events)

Homer

Fourth of July Parade and Carnival

Check out the annual community barbecue and carnival with food, fun, games and homemade pie from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at Mile 2.5 East End Road.

The Fourth of July parade will begin on Pioneer Avenue at 6 p.m. Wednesday. This year's theme is "Celebrating Homer's Volunteers." "Homer Bucks," or currency that can only be spent at local Homer businesses, will be awarded for: best children's group, best of bikes and trikes, best with animals, best of antique cars, trucks, machinery, best use of theme, and best of show. Pioneer Avenue.(homeralaska.org)

Ester

4th of July Parade and Potluck Pig Roast

Wednesday, Ester Community Park

The Ester Community Association is holding their annual parade (starting at the corner of Ester Loop and Main Street) and pig roast picnic for their Independence Day celebration. This year, they're testing out a Cuban-style roaster that promises succulent pork for the crowd. (Search "Ester 4th of July Parade and Potluck Pig Roast" on Facebook for details)

Fairbanks

25th Annual Community BBQ & Music Fest

Wednesday, Pioneer Park

This celebration at Pioneer Park (2300 Airport Way) includes free food, entertainment, door prizes and fun for the whole family. (explorefairbanks.com)

Tok

Fourth of July Celebration

Wednesday, Alaska Highway

For the 75th anniversary of the Alaska Highway, Tok is throwing an all-out holiday bash complete with food, booths, contests, displays and their classic parade down the historic roadway. To get to the parade and community event, take the Tok Cutoff (Mile 1314, Alaska Highway) straight into town. The celebration will kick off with a parade at noon. (Call Tok Chamber of Commerce, 907-883-5775)

Juneau

Fourth of July celebration

The party in the state capital will begin at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, on Gastineau Channel. At 11 a.m. enjoy the parade that takes over downtown Juneau. This year's theme is "Volunteers. Fabric of Our Community." (juneau4thofjuly.net)

Douglas

Community Picnic and Parade

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the party kicks off with a community picnic, watermelon eating  and a sand dollar hunt from 6-8 p.m. Sandy Beach.

The party continues Wednesday with a community parade down Third Street at 2 p.m. Afterward, come out for a race at 3 p.m. featuring youngsters and their finest soapbox car creations as they zoom down St. Anne's Avenue. (douglas4thofjuly.com)

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