July 4th—McCarthy Style 2016

I was going to write the Images, Ideas, and Updates blog for July 2016, when I realized these photos deserve their own little blog post. I wrote about last year’s July 4th celebration here. That year’s parade featured a scantily cad wildernes guide impersonating a park ranger, rhubarbarians, and an intense potato sack race.

Hundreds of tourists from around the world visit McCarthy for its wacky old-school-with-a-bit-skin July 4th celebration. It is very kid friendly, but there is beer, and dogs, and men in wigs too.

Maria Shell July 4th McCarthy Style 2016The only event in McCarthy that ever starts on time is the July 4th parade—at straight up noon the procession begins. Anyone can be in the parade. In fact, this New Yorker has a float every year. The requirements to be in the parade are simple. Just show up and get in line.

thumb_IMG_7674_1024The parade always begins with our marching band. This year that included a uni-cyclist with a dog.

Some of my favorite floats this year included Wrangell Mountain Airs also known as Wrangell Mountain Hairs. These are our bush pilots, and they sure are bushy.

thumb_IMG_7663_1024And I loved the seven Red, White, and Blue river guides with their Snow White. Rumor has it that Snow White likes to wear her gown while making quesadillas for her kids. 

We even had a politican’s float this year. Margaret Stock is running for U.S. Senate. 

thumb_IMG_7655_1024The Kennecott Lodge girls are always popular. Who can resist a Russain girl who knows how to do the twist?

Our EMT service was struggling—it looks like Stephens has broken his neck.


Our parade is so short that it goes around twice—this time Stephens needs oxygen


The St. Elias Alpine Guide’s float celebrated spandex and fluid gender identification.

The Wrangell St. Elias National Park employee’s float was a political commentary—outhouse politics is always a hot topic. Who should pay for the toilet paper? The guiding companies or the federal government? And what about the porcupines? Who manages them? Inquiring minds would like to know.


We have a new mail service in town–they are promising to deliver.


And it wouldn’t be a parade if the Fire Department didn’t squirt everyone.


After the parade, we have an assortment of old school competitions.

Tug of war.


The slow bicycle race.


Rope on a stump—there has got to be a better name for this, but I don’t know it.


And the infamous egg toss.


Egg tossing teams have often worked together for years to hone their skills.


With each toss the competitors must move farther apart.


Until they are almost at the opposite ends of the street.


The MC’s of the event heckle as well as give play by play commentary.


And that concludes another amazing July 4th in McCarthy.

thumb_IMG_9915_1024Maybe next year you will join me?

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5671983/?claim=z8wu2ts9r5v”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

This entry was published on August 11, 2016 at 9:39 AM. It’s filed under Alaska, Just Plain Stories, McCarthy Style and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “July 4th—McCarthy Style 2016

  1. kathleenloomis on said:

    so what’s the drill for the rope-on-a-stump and egg competitions? how do you win? inquiring minds want to know

    • Kathy–The winner of the rope-on-a-stump knocks his competitor off his stump with fancy rope tricks. They all have different tactics–leaning backward, pulling on their rope, jerking the rope back and releasing. With the egg toss, teams of two throw one egg back and forth to each other, if their egg breaks, they are eliminated. The last team to successfully throw their egg without breaking it wins! It is fun, especially when locals team up or against each other.

  2. Small towns. Gotta love’em. Fun post.

  3. I just Googled McCarthy. Population 28 (2010). Awesome.

  4. Susan–the summer population is significantly more–maybe 200 residents in a 10 mile area. We do have a lot of fun.

  5. Thanks for the chuckle this morning, Maria. I loved reading about this: small town festivities steeped in Alaskana. I’ve got to get out there. We are so inspired by everything around us, yes? XO

  6. I know. Sometimes it is too cold up here, but really we can’t complain. We kind of have it all. Wilderness, culture, and short commute times!

  7. Looks like a FUN celebration, where creative thought went into the costumes and floats. My favorite was the Rhubarbarians! 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: