Sun shines down on Nome’s Independence Day celebrations
Although the weather forecast called for rain, the sun shoved the clouds aside and smiled on the Fourth of July celebrations in Nome, celebrating the 247th birthday of America. The day started bright and early shortly after 8 a.m. with the 47th running of the Anvil Mountain foot race. As the last runners trickled in, the parade went underway. A Nome police cruiser led the parade, with standard bearers and the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary followed. A float decked out in red, white and blue carried the local Girl Scout troop; Ivory Okleasik, who was injured in a serious snowmachine accident during the Nome-Golovin race, waved as she was riding a Second Chance mobile track vehicle. Nome Volunteer Fire Department trucks and engines honked and sounded their sirens, as volunteers tossed out candy which rained down on a big crowd of kids and parade-goers. Master Dan and his Taekwon Do students formed a dragon that moved like a snake down Front Street.
After the parade, the Girl Scouts were leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance in both Inupiaq and English. Miriam Trujillo performed the National Anthem and Jackie Reader sang the Alaska Flagsong.
Lew Tobin, on behalf of the Rotary Club, presented Clark and Keith Reddaway with the Citizens of the Year award.
The PA system unfortunately gave out and the invocation, given by Our Savior Lutheran Church Pastor Amanda van Vliet Snyder and other short speeches were inaudible.
And then the games began.
From toddlers to older folks, Nomeites participated in a variety of races including tricycle, bike and foot races; wheelbarrow, three-legged and egg races, a shoe scramble and the famously messy pie eating contest.
For the obligatory final, the Nome Volunteer Fire Department invited to ice cream social at Fire Hall and the crowd obliged.
Just as the last few cleared Front Street, a mild rain shower came down, albeit, not enough to clear the broken eggs from the asphalt in front of City Hall.