Residents of Nome gathered in celebration of the Fourth of July on Tuesday. Front Street was greeted by sunshine and the streets filled with crowds in festive attire. Hundreds of children, parents and elders gathered downtown to celebrate the nation’s independence.
This year’s festivities began with the annual Anvil Mountain Run. The 17k race begins in downtown Nome, goes to the top of Anvil Mountain with an 1100 ft. elevation gain before it loops back down to downtown Nome. According to the American Train Running Association, the race was first run in 1979.
The parade began shortly after at 11am. The Nome Police Department (NPD), Nome Volunteer Fire Department (NVFD), and more strolled down Front Street throwing candy into the crowds. At the end of the parade, Girl Scout troop #342 was surrounded by a crowd in front of City Hall as they recited the Pledge of Allegiance, first in Inupiaq and then in English.
The Saint Lawrence Island Dance Group followed the pledge, performing two different dances. For the second dance, the dance group invited the audience to join in. Many women and children rushed into the circle as the audience sang and cheered along.
There were activities for all ages, including adults. Bike and foot races on Front Street went on until early afternoon. The party finished at the Nome Volunteer Fire Department with free ice cream.
The state of Alaska gained independence from Russia in 1867, although it didn’t gain statehood until 1959. It was the second to last state to obtain statehood, becoming the 49th state of the United States. Despite the state’s later induction into statehood, Nome has hosted 4th of July festivities for over 120 years.
Image at top: Spectators watch parade floats on Front Street on the Fourth of July.