Celebrating independence

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The biggest celebration of the year is only four days away and Juneau's buzzing with preparations. This year's events take on a special importance due to Alaska's 50th anniversary.

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Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File

On July 3, there will be a Concert in the Park and a Community BBQ, put on by Juneau's 50th anniversary celebration committee, Capital City Celebrations and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. The Diamonds will also perform at Centennial Hall and, of course, there's fireworks at midnight.

On July 4, there will be a 49-star flag raising at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum honoring the original flag raising ceremony on July 5, 1959.

Then the parades will start, first in Juneau at noon and then in Douglas at 3 p.m.

While the Juneau parade entry deadline was friday, Jean Sztuk, director of Juneau Fourth of July Parade Committee, encourages latecomers to join the celebration.

"We will find them a place. We never turn anybody away, ever," she said.

A $10 late fee, however, will be due on top of of the entry fee.

And Douglas' Savikko Park will see a multitude of events throughout the day.

So don't miss a thing at this weekend's celebration of America's independence and Alaska's statehood.

Friday, July 3


Commemorative 50th Anniversary of Statehood Barbeque, 5:30 p.m., Marine Park. FREE Hotdogs and hamburgers (while supplies last), sponsored by CCC, JACC, and Sysco, JDHS Track Team will BBQ, they will move the barbeque to JACC building if there is inclement weather.

Concerts in the Park, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Marine Park. 5:30-6 p.m. Firepower, 6 - 7p.m. Tidewater, 7-8:30 p.m. Fleet Street.

The Diamonds, 8:30-11:45 p.m., Centennial Hall. Tickets $20 at Hearthside.

Fireworks, midnight, downtown.


Soapbox Challenge Registration and Practice Runs, 5:30 -9 p.m., St. Ann's Avenue. Three divisions are sorted by age: Ages 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10. Bring your own soapbox car or contact the Douglas 4th of July Committee to inquire about borrowing a car for the race. Contact Robert Jones at 364-3134 for pre-registration and further info.

Douglas Volunteer Fire District Softball Game, 7 p.m., Savikko Park Field #4. Contact Ray Roberts at 723-0943.

Watermelon Eating Contest, at Sandy Beach after the Fire/Rescue Softball Game.

Saturday, July 4


Flag raising ceremony, 9 a.m., Juneau-Douglas City Museum, cake and punch at 10:30 a.m. Master of Ceremonies, Senator Dennis Egan. Performances by tlingit dance troupe, filipino dance troupe, Juneau middle school poets, US Air Force Brass Quintet. Winner of statehood quilt raffle will be announced.

Free capitol tours with anniversary gifts, 9 a.m. till noon, Capitol building.

Juneau 4th of July Parade, noon, downtown Juneau. Route: Eighth and Egan Dr., down Egan Dr., left on Main St., right on Front St., right on S. Franklin St., right on Marine Way, back to Tenth and Egan Dr. Those who missed the deadline for entries can pick up a form at the Juneau Visitor's Center in Centennial Hall or the Mendenhall Library - or bring it to the parade. Details: Jean 790-4444.


Annual Sandcastle Challenge, Sandy Beach, Registration at 11 a.m., Award time is 4 p.m. Contact Gerald at 586-3552.

Deep Pit Beef Barbeque Dinner, noon - 5 p.m., Douglas Methodist Church. Costs $12 adult, $8 children 5 to 11, free for children under 4. Sandwiches and chips $6.

Douglas 2 Mile Fun Run - Juneau to Douglas, Register from 1:30 -2:20 p.m. on July 4th. Race starts at 2:30 p.m. at rotary side of bridge. Finish at Douglas Fire Hall. No pre-registration. No entry fee. Commemorative Ribbons to all runners. Contact Paul at 364-3265.

Thunder Mountain Riders 4-H Club Pony Rides, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., Savikko Park Field #1. Cost: $5.00 per ride. Horse demonstration at beginning of each hour.

Hot Dog Sale, 2 p.m. in front of the Douglas Fire Hall.

Society for Creative Anachronism, 2:30 p.m., Savikko Park Field #5. Medieval fighting and dancing. Contact Karl 789-2871.

Douglas 4th of July Parade, 3 p.m.. Route: 3rd Street from Gastineau School to Summers Street. No pre-registration or entry fee required.

Field Sports, 4 p.m., Savikko Park Field #2. Field events for all ages including 10 to 60 yard dashes, 3-legged races, and sack races. In each event and division, winners will receive: 1st place - $5, 2nd place - $4, 3rd place - $1. All participants in the field sports will receive $1.

Soapbox Challenge Races, 4 p.m., St. Ann's Avenue. Divisions are ages 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10. Contact Robert Jones at 364-3134 for pre-registration.

Dog Frisbee Contest, 4:30 p.m., Savikko Park Field #3. $5.00 donation registration fee. All dogs must be licensed. Contact 789-0260.

Dedication of Pioneer Pavilion, 5 p.m., Savikko Park Field #4.

Make and Break Hose Race, 5 p.m., Douglas Fire Hall. Old-Time Firemen's Hose Race.

Drawing for a 4-Wheeler ATV, 5 p.m., Pioneer Pavillion. Juneau/Douglas Shriner's Fundraiser.

Dancing, Music and other Entertainment, 5pm.- 9:30 p.m., Savikko Park Field #2. Bands: Elmendorf Air Force Band, One Aisle Over, Lifted Embrace, Missed By A Long Shot, Moses Kane.

Caterpiller Jump, Time TBA. Savikko Park Field #3. $3 Donation.

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