For the first time in more than half a century, Fairbanks will have a bonified Independence Day parade. According to organizer and political activist Christine Robbins, her research shows that Independence Day parades in the Golden Heart City ended in the 1960s.
“An article in 2004 mentioned that it had ended because they were protesting Vietnam,” Robbins told the Watchman. “A few tried to do a Veterans’ Parade as a replacement at that time which as we know is no replacement – and at some point, that died out as well.”
Whatever it is, it’s going to be fun because we get to show our community we love America, and patriotism is not dead.
Robbins has lived in Fairbanks for 33 years and has always wondered why the city didn’t celebrate the nation’s independence.
“Why no parade?” she said. “So, my husband and I learned that North Pole’s Independence Day parade was canceled by Councilman Santa Claus and that the Golden Days parade is going to be a reverse parade, so it seemed to be the perfect opportunity to restart an old tradition.”
The parade takes place on Saturday, July 3. It will largely follow pretty the same route as the Golden Days parade from the Carlson Center to Barnette Street. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and ends around 12:30 p.m.
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“In the past, it was a three-day event with activities and the parade and flyovers,” Robbins noted. “It was THE big celebration, and Golden Days was relegated to Pioneer Park (in 1967 it was called Bonanza land).”
She holds out hope that the community will be able to bring back a lively celebration of Independence Day.
“I already had a man tell me that his family had to drive to Nenana to fill that hole in his soul for Independence Day,” Robbins said. “So many are excited and signed up to participate as well. Whatever it is, it’s going to be fun because we get to show our community we love America, and patriotism is not dead.”
The cost to enter a float is $100. For more information, click here or call Robbins at (907) 378-8369.