Anchorage July Fourth event canceled indefinitely

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Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 6:59 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Independence Day is not for two months, but the organization that normally hosts the main Fourth of July event in Anchorage says it has been canceled indefinitely.

The July Fourth celebration in Anchorage has been an iconic event held on the Delaney Park Strip for the last 25 years. However, Anchorage Fairs and Festivals, which is a nonprofit, has dissolved, according to former Board President Nicki Hale.

The group voted to dissolve after losing its partnership with vendor Art Services North, Hale said.

“We were a fiduciary agency that did the fundraising and got the sponsorship and, you know, contacted all the vendors and did that piece,” she said.

Art Services North played a huge role in logistics and would handle details such as sound, lighting, stage and setup, Hale said. However, the company went under during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We don’t have staff, paid staff. We’re all a group of volunteers,” Hale said. “So in losing Art Services North, you know, that was a big piece.”

Hale said Anchorage Fairs and Festivals tried to run the event last year on their own and succeeded. However, she said the group would not be able to hold the event again with the lack of funding. Last year’s event only worked out, Hale said, because there was a group of a few people that were very interested in being able to celebrate in person again after the event had been canceled for two years in a row during the pandemic.

“Anchorage is the biggest community in the state, and for the biggest community in the state — the biggest city in the state — not to have a Fourth of July celebration at all is, you know, a bit disappointing,” Hale said.

Hale said that she would love to see an organization large enough take over the event. While the event has been canceled for the indefinite future, the parade for veterans will still be held as planned.

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