Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Golden Days Parade Part 1.

Chena River at Flood Stage
I told you in an earlier post (yesterday) that the ragatta had been postponed for a week due to higher water levels than normal in the river.  The river is actually quite high.   This was taken on Saturday morning, July 23, 2016 on my way over to the parade line-up.

I played with the community band.  Since its always a mess over there, I parked about a block away from the starting point and had to walk over but it gave me a good look at how high the river was.  I've never seen it that bad.  The water had overflowed, covering the grass at various points along the route.  Unfortunately the Rubber Ducky Race has also been postponed and the other boat race was totally cancelled. 

Me, in costume
As I said, the idea of the parade is to celebrate gold being discovered in the area which lead to Fairbanks being founded.  The whole celebration began back in the 1950's and has really expanded to what it is today.  So getting into the spirit of things, I wore one of my numerous costumes to help create a fun atmosphere.  I'll admit, I was the only one who did not wear the band outfit but I think I had more fun!

I had someone take the picture of me because I was headed home into a nasty rain storm so I did not want to try to take it in the rain.  Even construction was shut down.

Back to the parade.  I'll be sharing photos with you over the next couple of days because there is so much to see that I can't do it in just one day!  All floats are truck beds or four wheelers (ATVs) that have been decorated in some way.

The parade always starts off with the Army band.  Several of our members marched with them instead of playing with us.  So on to the pictures and a bit about them.

The Army Band - Waiting around for the parade.

This is the Alaskan Version of The Beverly Hill Billies
The above car has been in the parade for as long as I can remember.  The man who owned this died and now his daughter drives it.  She brings it out anytime there is an event to remind people of the early settlers who came up to Alaska.  Just for your information, many people came up during the depression to farm in an area north of Anchorage.  Problem is that they couldn't do it in the same way as they did in the lower 48  so the government wrote a pamphlet on the topic.  

Some of the sports teams in town enter groups and floats.  Below is the entry from the Fairbanks Curling Club.  The stone is built on a four wheeler aka ATV.  

The Rock from the Curling Club

The Rolling Jail
The rolling jail is a fund raiser run by the Chamber of Commerce where you can arrange to have someone arrested for a small fee or you can purchase a get out of jail card so that you cannot be arrested.  They have it covered both ways.  The mobile jail is only out during Golden Days so if you come up looking for it at any other time of the year, you won't see it.

The Rubber Ducky

 Finally for today is the Rubber Ducky from the Rubber Ducky Race.  This huge duck is released into the Chena River with a hundred or two small rubber duckies who float down the river to see which one crosses the finish line first.  The number on the duck tells who won the money in the pot.  It is a fund raiser, not gambling and its all done in good fun.

Tomorrow, I'll share more with you.

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