July 4th celebrations abound on southern Kenai Peninsula

From the East Coast to the end of the road — Sterling Highway, that is — America’s birthday party is picking up momentum as Friday marks the United States’ 238th birthday. The celebration has already begun on the last 40 mile stretch of the road, with the emphasis on July 4th, but continuing through the weekend.

Anchor Point

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10221 has stepped up to sponsor Anchor Point’s Independence Day parade this year. The line-up begins at Silver King Campground at 12:30 p.m. and the excitement begins at 1 p.m.

“It’s a matter of community pride and national pride,” said Jim Dress, senior vice commander for VFW Post 10221, of sponsoring the parade.

The VFW keeps the party going with a barbecue later in the day, another barbecue and horseshoe tournament on Saturday and a fish fry on Sunday. 



Friday’s a full day of partying in Homer.

Stop by Spenard Builders Supply parking lot and view the antique vehicles on display. On the town side of East End Road construction, there’s the 31st annual Fourth of July carnival at American Legion Post 16. The cooperative effort between the Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and the junior Auxiliary offers games to fit a kid’s budget. There’s food, too: hot dogs and hamburgers. 

A barbecue gets underway at noon the Homer Elks Lodge. Games and a raffle help support the Elks’ scholarship program, and there’s live music beginning at 5:30 p.m. 

Youngsters are invited to stop by the NOMAR parking lot between 2-5 p.m. and decorate their bicycles for the evening parade. Decorations are free.

“There had been parades during the 1970s, but … somewhere along the line the parade idea had been totally dropped,” said owner Kate Mitchell, who came up with a way to kick-start the activities after she and husband Ben purchased the Pioneer Avenue location in 1993. “We started just trying to get the kids to decorate their bikes with their folks and be in a parade, learn what it means to be American, wave the flag and be proud.”

Nonprofits also are invited to set up a booth in the NOMAR parking lot during the day. For information, call 235-8363.

Line-up for the parade begins in the Homer High School parking lot at 5 p.m. Registration forms are available online or at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, organizer of the event. The parade along Pioneer Avenue begins at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is “from sea to shining sea,” offering entrants a way to express their patriotic perspective, said Diane Matchett, visitor center manager. 

The parade includes color guards from the American Legion and the U.S. Coast Guard. Riding in Doug Meeker’s Mustang convertible will be this year’s grand marshal, Daisy Lee Bitter. 

“Homer just celebrated 50 years of being incorporated, so why not use one of our most well-known pioneers?” said Debbie Speakman, the chamber’s director of member relations. “If you want to know something about Homer’s history, just ask Daisy Lee.”

Parade judges are provided by the event sponsor, Wells Fargo, and will be on the Bay Realty balcony, along with emcee Tom Stroozas. Wells Fargo also is providing prizes for best group, children’s group, individual, bicycle, animal, use of theme, best of show and judges’ favorite.

Pier One Theatre offers a way to wrap up the day with a 7:30 p.m. performance of “The Odd Couple.” It also shows Saturday and Sunday.

The Homer Scottish Highland Games are scheduled for Saturday. Sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Scottish Club-Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, the games are held at Karen Hornaday Park.



Slap on a cowboy hat, pull on your boots and head to the rodeo arena at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds this weekend. 

The Rodeo Queen and Little Miss Rodeo Pageant is Friday, with the contestants giving a speech and answering questions about their knowledge of horses and rodeos, according to pageant organizer Katy Campbell. 

Also on Friday are barrel races put on by the 907 Barrel Racing Club of Wasilla.

“They’re the best in the state,” rodeo organizer Shirley Cox said of the club.

Anyone wanting to participate in the Saturday and Sunday rodeo can register Friday from 6-9 p.m. or no later that 9 a.m. Saturday. Contact Cox at 541-561-2143.

The rodeo begins at 2 p.m. both days, with bronc and bull riding, roping, barrel racing, calf scramble, calf and junior bull riding and ribbon roping events. 

Immediately preceding the grand entry on Saturday, the new queen and little miss will be announced. Queen candidates are Alissa Cole and Melissa Clark. Little Miss Rodeo candidates are Candace Campbell, Serena Fankhauser and Myah Monicken.

Rodeo admission is $5 age 12 and younger, $8 adults. Buy admission tickets from one of the queen or little miss candidates before the rodeo and get a chance at a door prize. The queen contestant selling the most tickets wins a saddle with matching bridle and breast collar; the little miss contestant selling the most tickets gets a new halter and lead.



Anyone who has been to Seldovia on July 4th knows that community puts on a terrific celebration. This year’s festivities begin with a pancake breakfast at the fire hall at 8 a.m. on Friday. Don’t eat too much, though, if you plan to run in the 5K Salmon Shuffle at 9 a.m. 

Arts and craft and food booths open at 10 a.m., line-up for the parade is at the same time and the parade begins at 10:30 a.m. The parade is sponsored by the Seldovia Village Tribe, and the theme is “gifts of the sea.”

Crowned this year’s “Old Crab” is long-time Seldovia resident Darlene Crawford.

“She has been the city mayor, chamber president, secretary and treasurer, treasurer and board chair of the Seldovia Arts Council, secretary and treasurer for the Seldovia Bible Chapel, dispatcher for the Seldovia Volunteer Fire and EMS and was an accountant for Seldovia Native Association for 33 years,” said Laurel Hilts, who is helping organize the city’s Independence Day celebration.

Games throughout the afternoon keep the action going. They include such fun activities as a fish toss, survival suit relay race and canoe jousting in Seldovia Bay.  

Weekend evening entertainment is provided by Steelhead playing at the Linwood Bar and Grill.

The fun continues Saturday with a volleyball tournament fundraiser supporting the high school volleyball team. Also on the busy holiday schedule is Wild Shore Festival of Music, an interactive concern and workshops sponsored by the Seldovia Arts Council. 

While off the road system, Seldovia can be reached by air with local flight companies. It also can be reached by sea, with the Kachemak Voyager making three round trips daily, Rainbow Tours making two and Central Charter making one.

With a little planning, it’s possible to enjoy festivities in all the southern peninsula communities.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com. 


Anchor Point

July 4

12:30 p.m. Line-up for parade, Silver King Campground

1 p.m. Parade, Silver King Campground to Slide Hole Campground

3 p.m. Barbecue, VFW Post 10221, Milo Fritz Avenue

July 5

1 p.m. Horseshoe tournament, VFW Post 10221, Milo Fritz Avenue

3 p.m. Barbecue, VFW Post 10221, Milo Fritz Avenue

July 6

4 p.m. Fish fry, VFW Post 10221, Milo Fritz Avenue



July 4

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Antique on Wheels Show, Spenard Builders Supply parking lot

Noon-3 p.m.: 31st annual 4th of July Carnival, American Legion Post 16, 2.5 East End Road

Noon: Barbecue, scholarship raffle and games, live music beginning at 5:30 p.m.,
Homer Elks Lodge 2127

2-5 p.m. Free bicycle decorating for parade, nonprofit booths and Northwind Home Collection sidewalk sale; NOMAR parking lot

5 p.m. Parade line-up, Homer High School parking lot

6.m. Fourth of July Parade sponsored by Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, Homer High School parking lot and down Pioneer Avenue

7:30 p.m. “The Odd Couple,” Pier One Theatre

July 5

10 a.m. Homer Scottish Highland Games, sponsored by Kachemak Bay Scottish Club-Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, Karen Hornaday Park

1-6 p.m. Jewelry show and reception for Wasilla jewelry maker Dawn Horner,
Art Shop Gallery

7:30 p.m. “The Odd Couple,” Pier One Theatre

July 6

1-3 p.m. Fifth Annual Mud Games at the Wallow, Cottonwood Horse Park

7:30 p.m. “The Odd Couple,” Pier One Theatre



July 4

4 p.m., Rodeo Queen and Little Miss Rodeo pageant, Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds

6-9 p.m.: Rodeo sign-up, call Shirley Cox, 541-561-2143

7 p.m.: Barrel races by
907 Barrel Racing Club of Wasilla, Kenai Peninsula Fair rodeo arena

July 5

9 a.m.: Deadline for rodeo sign-up

2 p.m.: Ninilchik Rodeo, admission 12 and younger $5, adults $8

July 6

2 p.m.: Ninilchik Rodeo, admission 12 and younger $5, adults $8



July 3

5-7 p.m. Registration and bib pick-up for Salmon Shuffle, at harbor

July 4

7:30-8:45 a.m. Registration and bib pick-up for Salmon Shuffle, $20 entry fee, in front of Harbormaster’s Office

8 a.m., Pancake breakfast, fire hall, serving until 10:30 a.m.

9 a.m., Salmon Shuffle 5K Run begins at harbor

9 a.m., Library book sale,
until 3 p.m.

10 a.m. Food booths open across from Visitor Center

10 a.m. Arts and craft fair opens between Harbormaster’s Office and Lollipop Park

10 a.m. Parade line-up at gas station

10:30 a.m. Fourth of July parade on Main Street, theme “gifts of the sea”

11 a.m. Grandstand flag-raising, parade prizes, Old Crab awards

12:30 p.m. Kids’ games and sawdust pile, lawn next to the Linwood, across the street from post office

1:30 p.m. Sourdough Games for big kids and adults on Main Street

2:30 p.m. Water sports at boat launching ramp

3:30 p.m. Rubber Ducky Race, view from launching ramp

9 p.m. Music by Steelhead at the Linwood Bar and Grill, until midnight

July 5

Noon-3 p.m. Wild Shore Festival of New music interactive concert and workshops