MAT-SU — The theme for this year’s Wasilla Fourth of July Parade may be “Honor the Past, Imagine the Future,” but it could easily be “bigger is better.”
That’s because the popular Independence Day event has outgrown itself, requiring parade organizers to remap the parade route to accommodate an increase in crowd size and parade entries. Sponsored by the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce, the parade begins at 11 a.m., July 4, moving south on Lucille Street from its staging area on Nelson Avenue west of Lucille.
From there, the parade will travel south on Lucille and turn left onto Herning Avenue, march past Wasilla City Hall and Main Street and turn left onto Boundary Street, then swing another left onto Swanson Avenue. The parade continues west to its end at Tommy Moe Drive.
The new route moves the judging area in front of city hall. Bleachers for spectators also are available across the street at Nunley Park.
Those marching in the parade should check in and begin staging at 9 a.m. under the Wonderland Pavilion on Nelson Street.
Those working up an appetite participating in or watching the parade can walk over to the honor garden at Iditapark for the annual Community and Mayor’s Picnic, which begins following the parade. The picnic includes free hot dogs and soda, games, a BMX skate and scoot competition, face painting, scavenger hunt, watermelon eating contest and more fun.
Prior to the July 4 festivities, the city of Wasilla has commissioned a professional fireworks show to begin at 11:30 p.m., July 3 at Iditapark.
If you are planning your own private fireworks blowout, to do it legally you must either be a city of Houston resident, or visiting friends in Houston. That’s the only place in the Mat-Su Borough where it’s legal to buy, sell, or light fireworks on private property.
The borough and cities of Wasilla and Palmer all prohibit the use of fireworks with the exception of designated hours on New Year’s Eve.
And while celebrating the Fourth of July with a bang is legal in Houston, it’s illegal if you’re intoxicated. Law enforcement responding to noise or other complaints observing impaired use of fireworks can issue a ticket for up to $300.
Get your adrenaline pumping at run
For those looking for a morning pick-me-up on the Fourth of July, try the Freedom 4-Miler and Kids’ 1-K Run from 9 a.m. to noon at the Willow Community Center, Mile 69, Parks Highway. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with an adult entry fee of $20. Kids ages 12 and younger and participants of all ages in the youth event run free.
The Freedom 4-Miler also includes a community parade and barbecue potluck following the race. For more information, contact Andrea Hambach at email@example.com or (907) 495-2205, or visit willowraceseries.com.