The annual 4th of July celebration in the All American City of Kenai was a festival fit for the canvas of Norman Rockwell. With more floats, vendors and visitors than any other parade on record, Mother Nature cooperated by providing a perfect sunny day with calm winds.
Scott Holmes of Kenai with wife Chris and 3 year old daughter Cassi show off their colors as they watch the 4th of July Parade pass by.
"It was just a blast! It was so exciting to see how everyone came together to make this day such a success. It was definitely a community event. The whole community had to come together to pull this off and make it happen, and we are very thankful to everybody who helped, especially the Young Marines who spent hours helping us set up. They even spent the night here in the park," said Kenai Chamber of Commerce assistant director Carol Bannock.
Senior wranglers from the peninsula dance as they march in the parade.
With over 100 entries in this year's parade the panel of 10 judges had their afternoon's work cut out for them, but when the final entry had completed the parade route, the winners were:
Thousands of visitors and families lined the parade route as the City shut down for more than two hours to watch the longest parade ever.
Grand Prize: Nikiski Senior Center
Commercial 1st place: Cottonwood Country Club
2nd place: Diamond M Ranch B&B
Organization 1st place: Kenai Senior Center
Equestrian 1st place: 4-H Clubs
2nd place: C&C Stables
Youth 1st place: Arctic Young Marines
2nd place Peninsula Martial Arts
Auto 1st place: Harley Owners
2nd place: Doug Anderson, The Tractor Doctor
Political 1st place: Kenai Peninsula Republican Women
2nd place: Alaska Voters Organization.
The 2002 4th of July parade passes by in Kenai in perfect weather.
"This is where you see the heart of a small town; this is our community," said coordinating judge Tambria Miller. "It's all about making memories for people, and we'll all remember this year," said Kenai Chamber of Commerce executive director Aud Walaszek.
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