Imogen Resneck, 4, and Jamie Buehner finish up decorating a bike outside the Douglas Public Library on July 3, 2021. Resneck's doll, Robbie, was bound to the bike like an amber-haired figurehead because "she wanted to go to the parade," Resneck said. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Douglas goes (bicycle) pedal to the metal ahead of Fourth of July

Dozens turn out to decorate.

Chiming bicycle bells and children’s laughter rang off the walls of the Douglas Public Library parking garage while adults —with some child supervision and help —worked to give bikes red, white and blue makeovers.

Dozens showed up Saturday afternoon to decorate bicycles —and a few scooters —a day ahead of the annual Douglas Fourth of July parade.

Sidewalk chalk designates the bike decorating area near the Douglas Public Library on July 3. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Sidewalk chalk designates the bike decorating area near the Douglas Public Library on July 3. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Volunteers put attendance at 44 kids, 33 bikes and 28 adults shortly before 2 p.m., and straggler groups of kids and their adults continued to arrive.

“It’s more than we’ve had in the past,” said Miah Lager, member of the Douglas Fourth of July Committee.“I think that’s the weather and people itching to come out and say hi to each other.”

It was 4-year-old Clara Malaueg’s first time participating in the normally annual bike decoration and sidewalk chalk event. Last year, Fourth of July festivities were canceled amid the pandemic, and prior to that Malaueg was too young.

Clara Malueg, 4, scoots around the Douglas Public Library parking garage on Saturday, July 3. While most parents and youths decorated bikes, Mauleg and mom Amy Balagna gave a scooter patriotic flair. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Clara Malueg, 4, scoots around the Douglas Public Library parking garage on Saturday, July 3. While most parents and youths decorated bikes, Mauleg and mom Amy Balagna gave a scooter patriotic flair. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“We’re really excited that it’s all back,” said mom Amy Balagna.

[Meet the marshals: Building bridges and leading the way]

Lager said this year an emphasis was placed on bike safety and many of the decorations provided were reflective.

Kingston Wilson, 7, applies reflective decorations to a bike on July 3. Dozens of youths showed up to decorate their bikes -a day before Douglas held its parade. Wilson said he had not yet made up his mind whether he would ride in the parade, but said he liked the stars decorating his bike. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Kingston Wilson, 7, applies reflective decorations to a bike on July 3. Dozens of youths showed up to decorate their bikes -a day before Douglas held its parade. Wilson said he had not yet made up his mind whether he would ride in the parade, but said he liked the stars decorating his bike. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

However, plenty of other decorations, including pinwheels, streamers and even dolls, didn’t serve as much practical purpose.

Imogen Resneck, 4, was among the children to turn a plaything into bike decor. Resneck’s flag-clutching doll, Robbie, was strapped to the front of her bike.

Why was the doll turned into a figurehead?

“Because she wanted to go to the parade,” Resneck said.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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