Independence Day at Independence Mine
The mine at Hatcher Pass isn't actually named after the national holiday, but officials haven't let that stop them from planning a celebration
INDEPENDENCE MINE - There is a lot of history involved with the Fourth of July, so what better place to celebrate Independence Day than at the historic Independence Mine at Hatcher Pass.
“Independence Day at the Independence Mine, it's just like a no brainer,” said Matt Weaver of Alaska State Parks. “We have to do this.”
The mine at Hatcher Pass isn't actually named after the national holiday, but officials haven't let that stop them from planning a celebration.
“So we started off last year getting some sponsors, and some cooperators, and trying to make a family day and this year we are doing a lot of the same things – and even more,” said Weaver.
This year the celebration has turned into a two-day event with an emphasis on art.
There are places for children and professionals to be creative and inspired by the Alaskan landscape.
“I love having the sound of the river right next to me and smelling the greenery,” said Alaska artist KN Goodrich.
Goodrich is one of about a dozen artists working outdoors at Hatcher Pass as part of the Arts in the Parks program
“Usually I am working along in a studio, so I don't have people saying what are you doing? Can I look? So its kind of fun to have that happening too.”
It's a celebration where the public is definitely invited and you can roll up your sleeves and pan for gold.
It may not be a first choice for its climate though. “Well I’d like to be on a sunny, hot beach, but for Alaska it’s a really good spot,” said Alaska artist Dawn Aumann.
Independence Day celebrations continue at the mine Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.