Kenai ready for 4th

Fires and floods won't stop the fun

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Wednesday will be the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, generally considered the birth date of the United States of America.

Notwithstanding fire, flood and fish runs, Kenai Peninsula residents and hordes of visitors will celebrate the anniversary with civic events. Problems around Kenai Lake are diminishing, the highways remain open and all systems are "go" for the holiday.

Some communities gather every year to make the Fourth a special summer tradition, and guests are more than welcome.

In the central peninsula, Kenai is hosting the Independence Day party with several special events:

n The Greater Kenai Chamber of Commerce is organizing its annual Fourth of July get together in the heart of downtown.

The first event is the Kenai Rotary Club breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the softball field by the western intersection of Main Street Loop and the Kenai Spur Highway. Cost is $5 per person. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy, orange juice, coffee and hot chocolate.

The parade begins at noon on Willow Street by the Kenai Spur Highway, then follows the highway north to Main Street and ends at the softball field. This year's theme is "Gettin' Fishy With It!" to go with the "2001: A Fish Odyssey Art Show" at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.

A community fair will follow at the park strip by the softball field from 1 to 5 p.m. with craft and food booths, a firefighters' exhibition and children's games. Last year an estimated 5,000 people attended.

The Fourth Annual Midsum-mer Night Golf Classic will follow Friday at the Kenai Golf Course at 7 p.m. The $50 ticket includes food and prizes. The golf tournament is a fund-raiser for the chamber's scholarship fund.

n Kenai is hosting special guests this holiday. The "Wings of Freedom" tour is bringing two World War II airplanes to the Kenai Airport for three days beginning 5 p.m. today.

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Consolidated B-24 Liberator will be open to the public during the day for tours. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children 12 or younger. Evenings, people can take half-hour rides for $350 each.

To reserve a ticket, talk to the people managing the planes or call Chip at Alaska Flying Network at 283-5700. All purchases are tax deductible.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday veterans will be on hand for a presentation and talks about their wartime experiences.

n The Kenaitze Indian Tribe's 30th Anniversary Celebration will be Wednesday at the waterfront off Cannery Road. Tribal members and their guests should bring a dish; meat will be provided.

All ages are welcome. For more information, call 283-3633.

Other parts of the peninsula also celebrate the occasion in a big way. See related stories on this page.

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