Leadonna Castillo crosses the finish line during the Final Soapbox Challenge Tuesday afternoon down St. Ann’s Avenue in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Leadonna Castillo crosses the finish line during the Final Soapbox Challenge Tuesday afternoon down St. Ann’s Avenue in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Hot dogs, box cars and pie mark the Fourth of July in Douglas

Island fun.

Hundreds of residents packed into downtown Douglas on Tuesday afternoon to catch a glimpse of the parade floats — and hopefully some candy too — that partook in the annual Fourth of July parade on the island.

This year marks another Fourth of July where downtown Douglas played home to a variety of activities celebrating America’s Independence Day. Events like a sandcastle-building competition, barbecue and hot dog fundraisers, and the Douglas Parade were brought together with the help of the Douglas 4th of July Committee.

Young residents ride their patriotically decorated bikes/trikes/scooters Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Young residents ride their patriotically decorated bikes/trikes/scooters Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

The weather on Tuesday was seemingly ideal for residents of Juneau and Douglas, as it was about 60 degrees with clouds keeping the heat at bay and no rain to be found. Before, during and after the parade, lines of residents gathered in front of Douglas Fire Hall for hotdogs and hamburgers, and Douglas Community United Methodist Church pies and barbecue.

According to Kim Poole, pastor of Douglas Community United Methodist Church, the church’s staple barbecue sandwiches sold out before the parade even started. However, this year was the first time the church offered pies which seemed to be a huge hit and satisfy those who missed out on the sandwiches. All 40 pies baked for the event were homemade.

Pieces of homemade pies line tables in front of Douglas Community United Methodist Church for its annual fundraiser Tuesday afternoon before the start of the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Pieces of homemade pies line tables in front of Douglas Community United Methodist Church for its annual fundraiser Tuesday afternoon before the start of the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

The popularity of the barbecue sandwiches seemed to correlate similarly with the hotdogs and hamburgers being sold to raise funds for the Douglas Volunteer Fire District, according to Meg Thordarson, a volunteer firefighter and EMT who was in charge of the event.

“It feels a lot busier than last year, maybe it’s because of the good weather,” she said. “It’s great to see the community come together and support us.”

Ray Roberts, a retired volunteer firefighter, flips hot dogs and hamburgers in front of Douglas Fire Hall Tuesday afternoon. The sale is a fundraiser for the Douglas Volunteer Fire District. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Ray Roberts, a retired volunteer firefighter, flips hot dogs and hamburgers in front of Douglas Fire Hall Tuesday afternoon. The sale is a fundraiser for the Douglas Volunteer Fire District. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

She said last year’s sale raised about $3,000, which was used to send crew members to conferences and training along with other events. Thordarson said she hopes this year raises more as it is a major aid to the Douglas Volunteer Fire District each year.

The parade kicked off at about 2 p.m. Among the floats — including the Juneau Douglas Ice Association team, Juneau-Douglas Shrine Club and Douglas Volunteer Fire District — was longtime Douglas resident Ed Schoenfeld, the grand marshal who walked alongside his family members.

Bob Heflin, a Juneau-Douglas Shrine Club member, hands out candy on his mini motorcycle Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Bob Heflin, a Juneau-Douglas Shrine Club member, hands out candy on his mini motorcycle Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Though he is well-known for his many contributions to the community as a musician, crime researcher, social media host, community volunteer, vice president of the Douglas Advisory Board and retired journalist — Schoenfeld said he was still surprised that he was chosen to be this year’s grand marshal.

Douglas Parade grand marshal Ed Schoenfeld smiles Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Douglas Parade grand marshal Ed Schoenfeld smiles Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

“I was like, ‘Who me?’” he said after the parade, laughing.

However, despite his slight imposter syndrome, Schoenfeld said the recognition was an honor and a signal that he had achieved “the pinnacle of life.”

“It’s been a lifelong dream — it’s an honor and a lot of fun,” he said.

Even after the parade finished, the party in Douglas was just beginning. Scattered across the downtown Douglas area and Savikko Park were food stands, musical events and activities for the hundreds of residents who remained on the island despite the cloudy afternoon sky above.

Ottavio Snyder rolls full steam ahead in his Hogwarts-themed soapbox car during the Final Soapbox Challenge Tuesday afternoon down St. Ann’s Avenue in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Ottavio Snyder rolls full steam ahead in his Hogwarts-themed soapbox car during the Final Soapbox Challenge Tuesday afternoon down St. Ann’s Avenue in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

One of the activities was the annual Sandcastle Challenge put on by the Southeast Alaska Section of the American Institute of Architects on Sandy Beach. Among the “castles” scattered on the beach included a not-so-castle-like sand rollerblade, a mermaid and a Winnie the Pooh sculpture.

Iris Tarby puts her architectural skills to the test to finish her rollerblade-themed sandcastle during the annual sandcastle challenge at Sandy Beach on Tuesday afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Iris Tarby puts her architectural skills to the test to finish her rollerblade-themed sandcastle during the annual sandcastle challenge at Sandy Beach on Tuesday afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Dozens of residents gather on Sandy Beach for the annual sandcastle challenge Tuesday afternoon in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Dozens of residents gather on Sandy Beach for the annual sandcastle challenge Tuesday afternoon in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

According to the event coordinator and principal architect Zane Jones, about 11 people signed up to participate despite the difficulty of the high tide. Kara Sepel, a judge for the event, said though it was her first time judging the competition, she was confident that she would see “loads of creativity” from the participants.

Results from the competition will be shared with the Empire in the days following the event, Jones said.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

The Juneau Douglas Ice Association team members walk alongside a Zamboni Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Douglas Ice Association team members walk alongside a Zamboni Tuesday afternoon during the annual Fourth of July parade in Douglas. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

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