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.