Mark your calendars for Fourth of July fun

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 23:00
Fireworks spread out across the Eagle River sky during the 2012 Independence Day Extravaganza. This year’s fireworks take place at midnight, July 3.

In July, the Eagle River Lions will again be hosting two of their largest events of the whole year, the annual Independence Day Extravaganza, and a great three-day Bear Paw Rodeo put on by Rodeo Alaska.

As a long time community oriented resident of Eagle River, I am always very proud when someone tells me how much the local Lions Clubs and the Eagle River Lions Park have positively influenced their lives and their families.

What many don’t realize is how much it costs to maintain the 40-acre park, or how many hours each member volunteers during the incredible community events we provide.

With the assistance of the Chugiak Lions and Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions, the Eagle River Lions Club has long hosted one of the earliest Independence Day Extravaganza’s in the Country. At around 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, the festivities will begin and continue on until it concludes with a large fireworks display at midnight, bringing in the Fourth of July with a glorious bang.

The celebration takes place at the 40-acre Eagle River Lions Park with most activities occurring in the upper baseball fields. As in the past, there will be games for the children, various vendors supplying food and fun including face and hair painting, a beer garden for adults (ID required), live entertainment on two stages including a fantastic singer (Hope Cassidy) from Nashville, and the grand opening ceremonies.

Although the Eagle River Lions take pride in keeping this incredible community event free for admission, in order to coordinate and provide a fun quality and safe event for your entire family, we need to raise a lot of money prior to the event. Due to increased costs, reduced corporate sponsorships and fewer private donations, this year there will be a small charge for parking at both entrances for all vehicles other than Lion volunteers and vendors. Campers and motorhomes will have a slightly higher fee.

There are some other important things to keep in mind in order to ensure you and your families are able the stay and that everyone enjoys the event:

• The Eagle River Lions reserve the right to refuse entry or service to disruptive individuals or any non-authorized vendors.

• Parking is limited – No parking permitted along Eagle River Road

• No pets or coolers full of food and beverages permitted (you will be turned away by security at the gate entrance)

• No alcohol other than that provided in the Beer Garden (ID required)

• Access to lower field near fireworks origin is prohibited

• Please use trash cans for all garbage


The Rodeo will take place the following weekend from Friday, July 11- July 13 in conjunction with the annual Bear Paw festival. Once again, there will be a small fee for parking, with the same rules for dogs, coolers, and alcoholic beverages as during the Independence Day celebration.

This rodeo is quickly becoming a huge event which offers fun for the entire family. It is complete with a wide range of competitions for all ages from bull riding to the always entertaining Mutton Bustin’ for the kids.

As with most community events the Lions host in the Chugiak/Eagle River area, we appreciate any donations and assistance. To volunteer to assist with the set-up, take-down, or running of the events, membership information, vendor space requests, or other questions, please contact Steve Grohol (907-317-3780), Gary Brown (907-301-3495), or current Eagle River Lions President Doug Sonnier (337-515-8349).

Please support the Lions in any way you can and join us for these fantastic events!

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