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Kotzebue Alaska Celebrates Independence Day by Ella Derbyshire

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Ella Derbyshire Ella Derbyshire
Explore score
0.10 Gigapixels
Date added
Jul 05, 2008
Date taken
Jul 03, 2008

Nikon D80's


In Kotzebue we really enjoy the 4th of July. By now most of the snow is gone. The water is free of ice, and it's very refreshing if you decide to go for a brief swim.

We start with a 9am parade, which features floats made by local businesses and organizations. We show off our firetruck and the ambulance and the search and rescue vehicles. When the parade is over, people of all ages gather in this field for a day full of activities.

This panorama was shot around 3pm. Over to the left, there is a lip sync contest in progress. By the shore, booths are selling steaks and burgers, Chinese food, cotton candy, funnel cakes, snow-cones and other goodies. Kids with painted faces are jumping in the brightly-colored bouncers on the right.

What makes Kotzebue on the 4th of July different from other cities on Independence Day? Well, we have a muktuk eating contest. We have the Miss Arctic Circle contest where young ladies wear traditional Inupiat clothes. With the temperature in the 80's, they were especially warm in their fur coats, hats, mittens and mukluks. Many of them wore coats that were far older than they were. We watch water-skipping, where snowmobiles race across the open water.

Our celebration is different in another very important way. With the midnight sun, we don't have fireworks on July 4th. There might be some firecrackers popping off around town, but the aerial displays so common elsewhere are not a part of our July 4th celebration.

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