Front Street plays host to Fourth of July celebrations
If tumbleweed had been rolling down Front Street in Nome at 3:30 Monday afternoon a passerby might have thought they were in an old time Western ghost town.
he hundreds of Fourth of July citizens that had filled the street from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. had long since fled to the Nome Volunteer Fire Hall for free ice cream. Patriotic music and marches eerily blared to empty streets. The white lines marking the starting and finishing lines of the various races still stood brightly in the sunshine. Broken yolks from the egg carry lay strewn and abandoned for a half block.
Hours before, a large crowd lined the street for the parade. The youngest watchers darted from side to side as the gathered the treats thrown from the many floats and parade walkers. A see of light blue t-shirt clad readers representing the library’s summer reading program waved heartily as the passed. Skaters from the Ski and Hockey teams weaved back and forth in the street. The line of miner’s four-wheelers seemed to vanish into the bright southern sun.
The crowd reconfigured itself after the parade, forming a box-shaped area in front of City Hall for presentations. City Clerk Bryant Hammond began with a moment of silence for the ongoing rescue operation on the Council Road. That was followed by a dance from the Nome-St. Lawrence Island Drummers and Dancers. Sandra Medearis presented the Nome Rotary Clubs Citizen’s of the Year awards to Ron and Kathy Horner, and Lance Johnson.
The colors were set in place by the Nome Girl Scouts. Scout member Sierra Tucker led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Jill Nederhood sang the National Anthem, which was followed by Sarah Hanson Hofstetter’s rendition of the Alaska Flag Song. Pastor Aaron Cooper gave the invocation and Mayor Richard Beneville gave the convocation.
Many people volunteered their time during the street games. Spencer Cook, Shauntel Bruner and Derek McCarty acted as judges for games that needed them. Katy Spoden, Marguerite LaRiviere and Jill Nederhood collected tickets from race winner and recorded their names.
Leo Rasumssen presided over the games, which included foot and bike races, a wheelbarrow race, three-legged races, a stilt race, a shoe race and an egg-carry race.