Aoibhinn Reetz executes her creative vision for her bike during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Aoibhinn Reetz executes her creative vision for her bike during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

All the trimmings: Douglas kids ready for holiday

Streamers, flags and reflectors, all in.

Kids and parents gathered in the parking garage of the Douglas Public Library for one of the long-standing traditions for the Fourth of July: bicycle decorating.

Participants adorned bikes, scooters and other forms of transportation with streamers, flags, garland and reflective materials to increase safety, said Miah Lager one of the organizers and a member of the Douglas Fourth of July Committee.

Douglas kids line up with their freshly decorated rides during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Douglas kids line up with their freshly decorated rides during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“This is kind of linked to the Children’s Parade,” Lager said in an interview. “When I was a kid, it was still crepe paper. Now we have more safety stuff.”

[Up with the sun: runners tackle Eaglecrest]

The increased emphasis on safety adornments for bikes, such as reflectors, noisemakers, and glow-in-the-dark decorations, has been present for several years, Lager said. Money for the decorations comes from the committee, Lager said, which helps organize this and other community events.

Sayler Williams, left, poses with her freshly decorated bike as Abby Williams looks on during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Sayler Williams, left, poses with her freshly decorated bike as Abby Williams looks on during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“We try to think creatively,” Lager said. “It’s about being cost-effective to get as many kids decorated as possible.”

Kids and parents circulated through, decorating bikes and drawing on the sidewalks outside in chalk.

“We’ve had a lot of folks come in and roll out,” said David Eckerson, also a member of the committee. “This year we’ve probably had about 75 kids come through so far.”

Holly Johnson, with help from dogs Hazel and Stella, decorates a bike during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Holly Johnson, with help from dogs Hazel and Stella, decorates a bike during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Parents and kids both decorated bikes and scooters, though strollers and even wheelchairs had also been seen, Lager said.

“The fun thing is sometimes a kid comes in with a vision,” Lager said. “Luckily we don’t have to worry about the rain.”

In other cases, parents had a stronger control of the creative direction, Eckerson said.

Olivia McDonnell, left, and Holly Johnson pose with a bike during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Olivia McDonnell, left, and Holly Johnson pose with a bike during the Douglas Fourth of July Committee’s annual Bicycle Decorating session held at the Douglas Public Library on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“You can see some parents living vicariously through their kids,” Eckerson said. “A lot of what we were looking for this year was safety.”

Many of the kids decorating their rides would take part in the Children’s Parade, scheduled for assembly at 1:30 on July 4, starting out at Sayéik: Gastineau Community School, Lager said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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