It’s set to be a sunny Monday for this Fourth of July in the Juneau-Douglas area and there is no shortage of festivities.
“We are expecting a big turnout,” said Maggie Swanson, the board chair of the Douglas 4th of July committee. The committee has been working work to make this fourth of July one to remember she said. The events range from a watermelon eating contest, soapbox car racing and even a sandcastle contest with expert judges.
“It’s a community event and it’s nice to have people come over and celebrate the fourth,” Swanson said. “Everything is for families and kids and I’m excited for people coming and watching them have a good time and enjoying the day.”
Here’s a schedule of events planned for this holiday weekend.
Not all events are affiliated with the Douglas 4th of July Committee.
Saturday, July 2
When: 1-3 p.m.
Where: Douglas Community Library Parking Garage
Bring your favorite bike, trike, scooter or wheelchair to the Douglas Community Library Parking Garage to decorate it in preparation to celebrate the parade in style. Decoration supplies will be provided by the Douglas Public Library and the Douglas 4th of July committee who sponsored the event.
Marc Brown & The Blues Crew Concert
When: 5 p.m.
Where: Sealaska Heritage Institute’s new art campus
Fairbanks musicians Marc Brown & The Blues Crew are set to play this Fourth of July weekend at Sealaska Heritage Institute’s new art campus. The band will hit the stage at 5 p.m. and the event is free to the community.
Sunday, July 3
Fireworks over Gastineau Channel
When: 11:59 p.m.
Where: Display over Gastineau Channel
Start off the Fourth of July with a bang and catch the fireworks show over the Gatineau Channel starting at midnight. Though having the fireworks show the night of July 3 might seem odd to some, it’s been a tradition dating back to the 1800s said Swanson. When the Douglas Treadwell Mine was still in operation, the mine only shut down on Christmas and the Fourth of July. So, in order to make sure miners also had the chance to enjoy the fireworks too, the show was moved a day earlier at midnight.
Community Picnic and watermelon eating contest
When: 6-8 p.m.
Where: Sandy Beach Shelter No.1, Douglas
If you’re hungry, head over to Sandy Beach to participate in a Watermelon eating contest that will be held at the start of the community picnic. The picnic, hosted by the Douglas Volunteer Fire District and watermelons provided by Foodland IGA, will provide food and drinks throughout the night. A sand dollar search starting at 7:00 p.m. will finish off the event’s activities.
Soapbox Car Show and Race
When: 5-8 p.m.
Where: St. Ann’s Ave., Douglas
Think you got what it take’s to win the race? The annual Soapbox Car show and race trials are back and preregistration is already underway. Children ages 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10 years olds can take to the streets and see if their car will come out on top.
We’re doing a ton of stuff,” David Eckerson, who will be working the event and is a board member of the Douglas 4th of July committee. “I love the races themselves because it’s so high energy and excited and to see the families together is really cool.”
The Juneau Huskies football team will also help run the event.
Monday, July 4
When: 2-6 p.m.
Where: Douglas Boat Harbor Parking Lot
When: 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. leaving every 30 minutes
Where: Sayéik: Gastineau Community School and the Juneau Federal Building
If you don’t want to deal with traffic, no problem — a free shuttle will be available to-and-from the Sayéik: Gastineau Community School and the Juneau Federal Building every 30 minutes. The shuttle is provided by First Student who is the sponsor of the rides.
Glenn Frick Memorial Mile
When: Approx. 10:25 a.m.
Where: Egan Drive at Gold Creek Vridge
Tie up your laces and join in the annual 1- mile race led by the Southeast Road Runners. The race will begin at Egan Drive at Gold Creek Bridge and will be led by three bicycles following the parade route.
When: 11 a.m.
Where: Starts at the Department of Labor Building on West Eighth Street
The Juneau fourth of July Parade is back and this year’s theme is the “Spirit of Community!” and is a tribute to the late Juneau local Jean Sztuk who spent many years at the Juneau Festival Association and puts on the parade every year. Starting at the Dept. of Labor building, the Juneau Parade will travel around Juneau turning from Egan Drive and West 8th St., down Main Street, turning right on Front Street before turning onto Franklin Street and ending heading back down Egan Drive. with Dr. Amy Dressel and Brian Weed leading the floats as this year’s grand marshals.
When: 1:30 p.m. Assembly Time, 2 p.m. Parade Starts
Where: Sayéik: Gastineau Community School, Douglas
The parade will start at the Sayéik: Gastineau Community School and run down and into the downtown area. The parade will feature classic participants like the Juneau Marching Band, the Juneau-Douglas Shrine Club and a section for kids to join in the parade. The parade will also feature Juneau resident and award-winning USA Paralympic Skier Joe Tompkins as this year’s Grand Marshal leading the parade.
Field Events and the Society for Creative Anachronism
When: 3 p.m. field events, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. SCA performances
Where: Savikko Park Field 3 and 4
Head to Savikko park where kids as young as two can race with other community members. The event is put on by Joe Betts, the Douglas 4th of July committee and with help from the Juneau Huskies football team. Also at the park will be the Society for Creative Anachronism, a Medieval and Renaissance reenactment group, that will be performing throughout the day.
When: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or until food runs out)
Where: Douglas Community United Methodist Church
The Douglas Community United Methodist Church will put on its annual fundraiser barbecue where community members can go and grab a sack lunch throughout the day or until the food runs out. The lunch sack includes a barbecue sandwich, chips and water.
Hot Dogs for sale
Where: Douglas Fire Hall
Buy a hot dog on your way to the parade to help fundraise for the Douglas Volunteer Fire District.
When: Sandy Beach, Douglas
Where: Noon – 3:30 p.m
Test your building skills at Sandy Beach and have your sandcastle judged by professional architects from the Southeast Alaska Section of the American Institute of Architects who sponsors the competition.
Final Soapbox Challenge
When: 3 p.m.
Where: St. Anne’s Avenue, Douglas
After testing your soapbox car at the prior event, come to the final race for a chance to win big with a variety of awards to be handed out by the Douglas 4th of July Committee.
The Olde Time Firemen’s Hose Race
When: 3:30 p.m.
Where: In Front of Douglas Hall
With the temperatures estimated to be in the mid 70s, cool off and stand in the splash zone at “Make & Break,” the event is the Olde Time Firemen’s Hose Race put on by the Douglas Volunteer Fire District. It’s a race to see which of the two teams of volunteer firefighters can connect two water hoses before the other team drenches them. Sometimes in the process the crowd gets drenched, too.
“It’s a blast, they have to spray the other team right, and so the crowd gets drenched as well — but if it’s nice out it’s a good thing,” Swanson said.
Bands on the Beach
When: 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Where: The Pioneer Pavilion in Savikko park
Local bands Super Jam Bros, Garden of Agony and Maniac 3 are set to hit the stage at the Pioneer Pavilion to round out the day of festivities. The concert, put on by Alaska Music, will start at 3:30 p.m. with each band performing an hour-long set.
Michael W. Smith benefit concert
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive.
Gospel Music Hall of Famer Michael W. Smith is performing a concert that will benefit Love INC. Tickets are $20 at Juneau Arts and Culture Center and Hearthside Books.