Talkeetna celebrates Fourth of July

Photos by Emily LaPorte and Colleen Coulon

Though the Fourth of July started out cloudy in Talkeetna, the sunny afternoon was most welcome for the organizers and participants of the community’s outdoor holiday activities.

The Fourth of July parade, which has been described as “charming”, probably didn’t disappoint those familiar with it.  Along with fire trucks, a pedal trike, and Talkeetna’s Red Hot Ravens on a float, Matanuska Electric Association had a human hamster in a “hamster wheel” in front of a lit-up electric car, also on the float. The entries for the Moose on Parade included the Talkeetna Artists Guild’s dragon moose, accompanied by local princes and princesses, a Swedish-themed moose, and two plush moose donated by MEA. These and fifteen other entries were auctioned off after the live music in the Village Park, which drew audience and bidders. Thirty-seven people bid for the “yard art” moose, some local, and some from the lower valley and Anchorage. The proceeds of the auction equally benefit the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce, the Talkeetna Artists Guild, and the Talkeetna Historical Society.

Auctioneer Jay Van Horn, a Princess bus driver who donated his auctioneering experience, did a great job of encouraging the bidders, according to Suzy Kellard, one of the event organizers. The moose bringing the highest bid of $600 was named Moose-ter Moose, created by Katie Krepel-Heller. The Uncle Sam moose, with a patriotic theme, by Elwood Schapansky and Suzy Kellard, brought in $500. Other entries included the “Old Quilt” moose, by the Historical Society’s Joellen Bye, and the Talkeetna Elementary School’s “Day and Night” moose, and the cow and calf moose, also popular with bidders. The event brought in over $6,000 for the local non-profit organizations.

VFW Post 3836 sold 1000 tickets for its annual moose nugget drop. There were ten winners, several of them local. First prize winner was Cameron Sheldon, from Talkeetna, who won $500. David Nelson and Don Emerson were the other local winners. The thousand numbered moose nuggets are suspended in the air, and released to land, hopefully, near the bulls-eye of a target on the ground.  The VFW’s pig roast was also a hit.

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