Independence Day in Alaska

Jul 6, 2012 | 0 comments

Fourth of July is a big day in Nome. As a federal holiday, our office was closed so we all got the day off and spent it enjoying the town festivities. Just like the Midnight Sun Festival a few weeks ago, yesterday featured a parade downtown — only this one was quite a bit longer and even more patriotic, and the whole town gathered afterwards for street games. 
‘Merica all the way

“Staying Afloat” float

I don’t know what this is.

A convoy of practically every four-wheeler in town

I don’t know what this is either, but I want it. 

One of the most interesting things to me was seeing the Discovery Channel there, filming Bering Sea Gold! The guy in the picture above is one of the gold miners featured on the show, and during the Nome 4th of July program he got up and donated $20,000 from Discovery Channel to a town project. Huge media stunt, but I guess it was good in that it’s doing a little something to benefit the town.

The film crew was everywhere

So I guess in a few months when the next season airs, look for me in the background in the 4th of July episode! I’ll probably be in there looking cold and ridiculous somewhere. 🙂

The iconic Iditarod sign

Bicycle race

After the parade and the short program with presentations by local scouting groups, the National and Alaskan anthems, and the Discovery donation, the street games kicked off with bicycle races for all ages, followed by foot races, 3-legged races, and the other classic small-town festivities.

I didn’t stay for all of it, but instead joined my housemates and a couple of our acquaintances from town to go salmon fishing at the mouth of the Nome River. Since I still don’t have a fishing license, I just watched, and walked the beach, enjoying the afternoon sun that had finally burned off the lingering cloud cover. It was the warmest it’s been since I’ve been here, but unfortunately the temps dropped back down again today with a dark drizzly sky. Our group caught 3 pink salmon total, and brought them back to eat later.

Overall it was a great day, and a fun mid-week break — and probably one of the most interesting Independence Days I’ll ever have!


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