Hot dogs and dogs trying to stay cool mingled on the streets of downtown Douglas as community members joined together to celebrate this year’s Fourth of July. Hundreds of people lined the main street leaning over the lines to catch an early glimpse of the floats as the parade made its way down the street.
This year marks another Fourth of July that downtown Douglas was filled to the brim with community members who gathered to partake in the variety of activities put on to celebrate America’s Independence Day. Events like a sandcastle-building competition, barbecue and hot dog fundraisers and, of course, the Douglas Parade were brought together with the help of the Douglas 4th of July committee.
Emerging from the sand, the outline of a humpback whale was in the making courtesy to the Walden family who participated in this year’s annual Sandcastle Challenge put on by the Southeast Alaska Section of the American Institute of Architects on Sandy Beach. The event coordinator and MRV architect Zane Jones said he loves to see what each team brings to the competition each year.
”It’s always really fun, and builds some future architects,” Jones said. The completion has taken place on Sandy Beach for around 10 years, Jones said, and according to the Waldens, this is their family’s fifth year competing. The Waldens have a track record of taking home the winning prize, though they insist they do they challenge more for the fun than anything else.
The Douglas Community United Methodist Church’s annual fundraiser barbecue had tables full of community members who spent their afternoon enjoying the meals. Ashley and Larry Johnston brought their 1-year-old daughter Jocelyn to spend the day downtown and watch the parade.
Hot dog fundraiser
The smell of dozens of hot dogs and burgers filled the air near the Douglas Fire Hall as part of a fundraising event for the Douglas Volunteer Fire District to send crew members to conferences and training along with other events.
Denny and Linda Wahto brought their dog, Finn, with them all the way from the Mendenhall Valley to visit the Douglas Fire Hall ads Denny volunteered there for more than 20 years. Meg Thordarson, a volunteer firefighter and EMT who is in charge of the event said when the event first started years ago, it was only hot dogs, but she said the event has “graduated to also serving hamburgers.”
Ellie See, 6-months-old, couldn’t help but smile as the parade passed by her and her family members April and Angelo. The family drove down from Lemon Creek to enjoy the parade, a tradition they do every year.
Other parade-goers Cindy Walsh, Beth Mckibben and her dog Shelby lined up early to catch a good view of the floats as they passed by.
“It’s so great, I love the Douglas parade — it’s a real Fourth of July parade,” Walsh said.