Community spirit, kazoos ready to go on parade

Posted: Sunday, July 03, 2005

It's horses, it's a dancing group — no, wait! It's a kazoo band. Or maybe it's all three. Really, it's the Kenai Chamber of Commerce's Fourth of July Parade coming to Kenai on Monday.

And while the theme is the "Spirit of Dipnetting on the Kenai," the parade — and the associated events — will show there is a lot more happening than just dipnetting on the Kenai Peninsula these days.

Depending on who you ask, favorite activities for the annual event vary.

"You've got to go by there and get a slice of their pie," said parade chair Anita Necessary about the pie sale put on by Kenai Senior Connections.

As for the parade itself, plenty will be happening. While there is not a marching band, a certain faction of the community has come up with what they believe is an exciting alternative.

"My mom wished we had a marching band," said Connie Carlson of her mother, Helen Carlson. "One of us came up with the idea of the kazoo band (instead)."

Helen Carlson, along with her husband, Doyle, are the grand marshals this year.

Connie and her sister, Kathy Carlson, are organizing their nieces and nephews into a kazoo band to march in the parade — perhaps against their better judgment, according to Kathy.

Kathy suggested the band might be introduced as, "For your listening pleasure — or not."

However, she still thinks it will be a lot of fun, even if she only makes a couple of sounds on a kazoo.

"The idea was meant to entertain and kind of stir things up a bit," she said.

The kazoo band is only one fun aspect of the parade. There also will be clowns, floats, horses and a variety of community mascots.

Rebecca Hayes, the new Miss Alaska, and Elena Bird, Alaska Junior Miss, also will be in the parade. And if that's not enough, Kimberley Carr, Miss Alaska's Outstanding Teen, will make an appearance.

Walking in a parade — and watching one — can be hard work. Before the parade, the Rotary Club of Kenai will have a pancake breakfast at the pavilion shelter at the Green Strip Park at 8 a.m.

After the parade, entertainment, including live music, will begin at 1 p.m. featuring local musical characters such the Kenai Swinging Golden Girls, Tony Barrett on bagpipes and the Kenaitze Drummers — to name a few.

And if you're itching to dust off your kazoo, Connie Carlson said anybody who wants to join the band is welcome.

Independence Day events:

The following is the schedule of Fourth of July events in Kenai:

8 a.m. — Rotary pancake breakfast at the Green Strip Park.

n 9:30 a.m. — Parade line-up at the corner of Trading Bay Road and Main Street Loop.

n 10 a.m. — Vendor booths open at the park.

n 11 a.m. — Parade begins.

n 1 p.m. — Entertainment begins.

n 3 p.m. — Parade awards.

The parade starts at Main Street Loop, goes to Bidarka Street, Fidalgo Avenue, North Willow Street, the Kenai Spur Highway, back onto Main Street Loop and ends on Cohoe Avenue.

The pancake breakfast, entertainment and the vendors will be at the Kenai Green Strip Park.

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