Saturday, July 20, 2013

4th of July

Nicole and I didn't have much of a plan when we left Sitka, and Madeline and the cat are still not old enough to be voting members on the boat, so we both agreed we would like to spend another 4th of July in Wrangell.  We had stopped in Wrangell for the 4th in 2009 and really enjoyed ourselves.  Another stop in 2011, not on a holiday, reinforced our liking of this small town.  The town of about 2500 people seems to us to be very family oriented, and now that we are part of the "family folk" we wanted to head back for a visit.  As with most of the towns that we visit, one of our first stops was the library, both for free internet access and to swap out our growing pile of already-read paperbacks.  On our earlier visits we noticed they have a summer reading program at the library for local kids, and again this year we got to look through the prizes available to the more studious kids.  As the kids read books they get to put their name in jars for a specific prize drawing, and there are a lot of prizes to choose from.  Nicole took a picture of one stack of the jars with a bunch of the prizes piled behind, and that is just a portion of what's scattered around the library.
Also along the lines of family friendly, there are lots of 4th of July activites specifically for kids, from a fishing derby and a floating junk "crazy craft" race to ball crawl races for the real little ones.  Unfortunately Madeline was ready for a nap during the race times for her age group so she didn't get a chance to compete, but it was still a lot of fun to watch.
The parade is another highlight of the activities.  I'm not sure if it is the same for parades everywhere these days, but there was so much candy thrown to the kids that they started getting choosy about what they picked up by the end of the parade.  Some of the parade highlights included the native dancers, the local roller derby girls, and a group of river guides doing their own version of a "river dance".
Of course the 4th of July celebration in Wrangell would not be complete without the logging competition.  They embrace their logging heritage and the traditional activities are a lot of fun to watch.  It rained on and off throughout the activities, but I noticed that most people just stuck it out and enjoyed the show.  In Alaska nothing would ever get done if you quit every time it started raining.

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