Barrow really does up the 4th of July. In part this is because Eben Hopson Day, which celebrates Eben Hopson and the founding of the North Slope Borough, falls on July 2. This year, it was essentially a 3 1/2 day weekend, with games and activities every day. Not only did people have the 5th off in lieu of the 4th, but most places let people off work early on the 2nd.
There were all sorts of races and games, a big parade, and the Pretty Baby and Miss Top of the World contests. The contests (run by age group) usually have money prizes, and are hotly contested. Lots of local groups fund-raise by selling food, candy, and so forth, and you really don’t need to cook. This year the Arctic Education Foundation booth had brought up 13 (!) tubs of Baskin-Robbins ice cream, which was a huge hit. I went 3 days in a row.
One thing it doesn’t include is a fireworks display. Why not? Not because people here don’t like fireworks. The New Year’s Eve display is broadcast not only across the North Slope but on WGN from Chicago. Long story… We don’t have 4th of July fireworks because the sun won’t go down until August 2nd, and it’s just too light to appreciate them. Of course kids have little noise-making ones, snaps & “M-80s” and somebody did try something with colored smoke trails, but it’s not the same. Most people save their money until New Year’s Eve.
I took a ton of pictures, but not all came out so well (using the iPhone, not the D200), so not all the babies are here :-(. Some pictures for those who weren’t lucky enough to be here in person…
Oh, yeah, for those on the East Coast, our high today was a pleasant 38 (4.4 C) with light winds :-P.