Stories & Life
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Happy Independence Day!

Like most little Alaskan bush communities, we celebrate the Fourth of July with great gusto. We’ve got creative floats in a community parade (and since our parade line is rather small, all the floats circle around and parade through downtown a second time); we get jiggy with tacky red-white-and-blue apparel/decor; and, of course, since this is Alaska, we drink a fifth to celebrate the Fourth. So, we’ve got plenty of the traditional flag waving enthusiasm, but McCarthy has a disproportionate amount of free-spirited, open-minded folk, and there’s enough of a hippie influence out here that being patriotic doesn’t mean being a hater — quite the opposite, in fact.

As a general rule, residents of McCarthy town tend to avoid the kind of toxic arguments that characterize most political discourse in America, but recent years have seen a bit of creative activism. We had a spontaneous, uncoordinated PRIDE theme last year, in response to Trump’s belligerent rhetoric during his first year in office, and this year a few folks decided to use the Independence Day Parade to draw attention to the plight of immigrant border children separated from their families.

So I feel a touch optimistic, in the aftermath of our Independence Day celebration.

Ice Cream McCarthy Fourth of July parade

Manager of the General Store (aka the ice cream shop), decked out for the parade as (what else?) an ice cream man

Border Justice 2018 McCarthy Fourth of July parade

Walking through the parade, to bring awareness to the issue of Border Justice

McCarthy Alaska Fourth of July Parade Immigration Border Justice

Booth set up to write postcards to Alaskan Senators re: Border Justice for children

Fourth of July McCarthy Alaska 2018 parade

McCarthy River Tours float. “Ride the Wave”

This entry was posted in: Stories & Life


Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy; I pass the winters in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. I'm working on a memoir-based nonfiction book on the American Dream. I blog, quite frequently, and I also have a novel in process, set in Alaska.


Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate, in an open-ended sort of way, so please share your...whatever it is that's on your mind: thoughts, ideas, greetings, angst/irritation, inspiration, confusion, query, rant, salutation, data/research, meme, epigram, exposition or epiphany -- because I'm all about the synergy and solidarity. ~ JE

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