Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July in Alaska

The Fourth is always a big holiday here in Alaska. In the gold mining days, the mine closed only for Christmas and the Fourth of July. Every town celebrates with enthusiasm, but Juneau's holiday is my favorite.

I flew down Thursday night and got to my friend Alena's house in time to mix a batch of margaritas and watch the fireworks from her living room. Perfect view out over the harbor.

Then the parades. There are two parades every year, the first in downtown Juneau and a second smaller parade in the center of Douglas - the island across the bridge. Parades included pipers, a Tlinkit Elvis, and a pack of marching pugs and their humans.

This year I've been thinking about how much the Filipino communities in Alaska add to the Fourth. The best float (Anchorage). The best marching band (these eagle-costumed folks in the picture in Juneau). Then, of course, there is the traditional Fourth of July lunch of chicken adobo, steamed buns, and panncit.

Fifteen years ago I had never eaten any of these wonderful foods. Moving to Alaska was like moving to New York only better -
diversity and great stuff to eat!

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