49th annual Chugiak Fourth of July Parade is hottest ever
Umbrellas lined the Old Glenn Highway for the Chugiak Fourth of July Parade Thursday, but the only thing raining from the sky was candy.
Record temperatures greeted paradegoers for the 49th annual event, which ran from the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department Latimer Station to the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in the Anchorage area reached 89 degrees on Thursday, the highest ever recorded since record-keeping began in 1952. The previous high temperature for the city was 85 degrees set in 1969.
JR’s Septic anticipated the brutal temperatures and provided bottled water along the parade route, with company owners Michael and Kay Wehr joined by Michael Wehr’s mom, Carolyn, in pulling coolers of bottled water along the two-mile route.
“I’m pretty sure no one wants any part of that truck in the heat,” joked Carolyn Wehr.
Kay Wehr said the company brought 440 bottles of water to the event as a way to help people beat the heat.
“It’s just so hot,” she said.
Sarah and Ryan Massey drove out from Anchorage for the parade, which is popular with kids because — unlike the Anchorage Fourth of July Parade — floats are allowed to throw candy. The Massey kids cleaned up Thursday after the family drew a large chalk “CANDY” sign on the hot blacktop of the Old Glenn.
“I just like the quiet setting out here,” Sarah Massey said of the event, which passed through the original Chugiak townsite founded in the 1950s.
The parade featured the usual assortment of fire engines, floats, classic cars, politicians and community organizations. Winners in several categories were announced shortly after the conclusion of the event Thursday afternoon. Winning Most Patriotic was the Chugiak Lions float, the Alaska Celtic Pipes and Drums won Best Music, the Vietnam Veterans and Fallen Linemen on Judges’ Choic, Frontier Fun Flyers were crowned Best Decorated, the Mountain Music Family Festival was named Best Family Group, unicyclist Carolyn Gilliland won Best Girl and the American Legion Post 33 won the Fire Chief Award.