Talkeetna plans parade, picnic for Fourth of July

This year’s Fourth of July festivities in Talkeetna have expanded to include some features that usually would be part of the Moose Dropping Festival, which will not be held this year.Moose Dropping Festival organizers have decided to take a break from the annual fest as last year’s event was overshadowed by excessive partying, drug and alcohol abuse as well as the disappearance of a young man after he jumped off the Talkeetna railroad bridge.

Events like the Mountain Mother contest and the Moose on Parade and auction that were held during Moose Dropping are this year going to be celebrated during the Fourth of July.

This Sunday, events will kick off with the 20th Mountain Mother contest at 10 a.m. at the Talkeetna Museum grounds. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

According to Suzie Kellard, the Moose on Parade will join the Fourth of July parade starting at 1 p.m. from the parking lot in front of the free box. Kellard said she expects 15 to 20 decorated moose in the parade. The parade is going to finish at Talkeetna Village park, where the VFW plans a community picnic. Organizers invite anyone who wants to walk, bike or ride in the parade to join in.

Around 3 p.m. Karen Schapansky is in charge to auction off the wooden, decorated moose. The Moose-on-Parade live auction benefits the Talkeetna Artists Guild, the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce and the Talkeetna Historical Society.

Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said troopers are ramping up patrols on the roads. Wildlife troopers are also patrolling the backcountry for fishing and hunting infractions. Troopers ask motorists to be aware that a thousand bikers are expected to arrive in Alaska this weekend as part of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.

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