WASILLA — The city of Wasilla is gearing up to celebrate Independence Day with a multitude of summertime activities, including their iconic Fourth of July parade through the downtown area.

For more than 20 years, Wasilla has remained as the go-to destination for Fourth of July festivities and the only city in the Valley with a Fourth of July parade.

“It’s a community attitude and a community atmosphere,” Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle said.

More inside

Firework bans have been implemented across the state in response to the high temperatures and recent wildfires. Wasilla’s traditional firework show had been postponed but not cancelled, according to Cottle.

“I’ve already bought the fireworks so we will have fireworks. It just won’t be now,” Cottle said.

Cottle said this has happened before. They’ve had to postpone due to factors like wind in the past. He said they will have the show within the next three months.

The city of Wasilla is already midway in their annual Summerfest celebrations with numerous events and activities at the Menard Sports Center.

“It’s a family event,” Cottle said.

Since June 28, there have been carnival rides, games, food vendors and other family oriented activities out in the Menard parking lot. Admission and parking is free. Summerfest will continue until Sunday, wrapping up the Fourth of July weekend.

The annual car show hosted by the 49th State Street Rodders will go all weekend at the sports center. It runs from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.

There is a new Summerfest event this year, the city’s first Barbeque Throw-Down, pitting pit masters against one another to find out who has the best grill skills in the Valley. The contest runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the sports center.

There’s a $50 entry with 10 BBQ competitor slots available. For more information, call 907-315-4670 or email 49thstatebbq@gmail.com

Rodeo Alaska is returning to the sports center for Summerfest, starting with their Jr. Rodeo on Friday at 6 p.m. (gates open at 4 p.m.). The rodeo will continue through the weekend, starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday (gates open at 4 p.m.) and at 2 p.m. on Sunday (gates open at 12 p.m.).

Rodeo tickets can be purchased at Fred Meyer in Wasilla and Eagle River. For more information, see www.rodeoalaska.com

The Fourth of July parade is this Thursday. The parade starts at 11 a.m. A series of colorful floats will make their way from Wasilla High School, down the hill and through downtown Wasilla. The parade concludes at the Iditapark with the annual Mayor’s Picnic starting at 1 p.m.

During the Mayor’s Picnic, there will be free hot dogs, chips, water, and soda available. There will be live music performed by the local band, Those Guys. Competitive eaters can show off their steel pallets in the annual hot dog contest.

Meanwhile, from 3 to 9 p.m., people can venture over the sports center to enjoy the Summerfest activities.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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