Friday Five: 4th of July in Seward!

Hi everyone!  Happy 4th of July!  I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend!  Today marks my very first holiday in Alaska.  Up here in Seward we do 4th of July a bit differently than back home.  In fact, half the festivities happen on the 3rd because they have too much to fit into one day (which is where I took all the pictures below!).  And since it’s time for another Friday Five Linkup with Mar on the Run, You Signed Up For What?!, and Eat Pray Run DC, I thought I’d share what makes Seward so unique on the 4th!

1.  We host the craziest race ever.  People come from all over the USA to tiny little Seward so that they can run the Mt. Marathon Race.  Sure, it’s a 5k.  But it’s almost completely vertical up 3,022 ft of cliff, mud, and loose shale.  People get seriously injured every year, and some people have even died.  Yet hundreds dare to sign up for it each year.  Which brings me to my next point…

20140703-230031.jpgSee the squiggly grey line at the top?  That’s the race trail!


2.  The town’s population increases 15 times over during the 4th of July!  Imagine a small town with a year round population of about 2,500 that spans only 1 mile long.  Now imagine 30,000 people crammed into that space trying to watch the Mt. Marathon Race!  That is a legitimate statistic, and there are literally too many people here right now!  Campsites are full and people are starting to camp out wherever they can find some grass.  I’m not a fan of large crowds so I think I’m going to avoid the downtown area for a few days until things calm down!  Thank goodness I already took care of some running things recently so that I’m not pressured to run with this many people crowding the streets!

20140703-230012.jpgThis used to be a baseball field.  Now it’s an impromptu RV park.

3.  Fireworks are held on July 3rd.   It’s too bright here to see fireworks at 9:00 pm like the rest of the US, so the city of Seward elected to hold their fireworks show at midnight on July 3rd.  It wasn’t dark at all, but it was really pretty!  The coolest part was how much the fireworks echoed around the mountains.  It was so loud!  I’m sure the City of Seward chose midnight on the 3rd because many people have off the next day and can stay up late to see them, except…



The fireworks under the midnight sun at 12:01 am!

4.  People in the tourism industry don’t have off on the 4th, but they probably should because everyone is at the race anyways.  Yes, I work today.  No, I’m not bitter…although my manager better let me sneak off to watch the race!

5.  The temperatures make it finally feel like summer!  Temps in Seward are in the mid-70s right now which is totally not normal!  Seward usually gets rain so we’re loving this new weather.  I am looking forward to spending some time outside in the never-ending sun in a t-shirt and flip flops eating a reindeer dog from a food truck.  Best 4th of July plans ever!

20140703-230023.jpgIt’s funny, because after writing this post I went out and did exactly that.  I love reindeer!

And just because “sunset” here is so pretty, I’m including this last little patriotic sunset picture.  Freedom!


What is the 4th of July like in your town?  What’s your favorite part about the holiday?

29 thoughts on “Friday Five: 4th of July in Seward!

  1. A reindeer dog? Need to try one of those I’ve heard of that race, brutal. Love the photo of the fireworks, hard to believe it’s midnight. Must be disorienting. My favorite part? Watching fireworks probably, or grilled food. 🙂 Hope your manager gives you the time off.

    1. Yes, they are so good! Anything caribou/reindeer (it’s the same animal) is super yummy! It’s bright out every night but yeah, seeing how bright it is at midnight when they shot off the fireworks was really strange. It’s so different from how it is back home! My manager did give me an extra long lunch break to watch the race so I can’t complain 🙂

  2. Wow, that race really sounds like something. I’m kind of glad you aren’t participating, it sounds dangerous…lol.

    I bet the midnight fireworks are awesome!
    I’ve never heard of a reindeer dog? Is that really what it is made of, deer?
    And it looks like you might be wearing a phillies shirt in that pic? I’m off to a phillies game today!

    1. I don’t think I will ever participate in that race considering it took me 5 hours to climb the mountain and there’s a 2 hour race cutoff. Oh plus the fact that I don’t want to die 🙂 And it’s nearly impossible to get in since there are so many crazy people registering for it! The midnight fireworks were really cool, and so was the food. The hot dog was in fact made of reindeer sausage. Reindeer is just domesticated caribou, and they have a ton of that up here. It tastes really good! And I was wearing a Phillies shirt! I hope they won the game!

    1. Haha they do in Alaska! It did, it’s more of a sausage type hot dog. I think it tastes better. I also eat caribou (aka wild reindeer) burgers now and I like them a lot! FYI I’m a picky eater so I have no idea how this happened!

  3. Oppph uphill. I never thought about how the sunlight would impact a town’s 4th of July celebration! Loved that you guys had your celebration first. Beautiful pics (as always). Received Katie’s email, can’t wait to pick out my bands!

    1. Yay I’m so excited about your BAMR Band! I hope you like them as much as I do! And I totally forgot about it too. That was definitely strange but exciting!

  4. Sounds like a very unique and cool 4th.

    I am also very intrigued by the reindeer dog and must have one. They don’t have them at the ballpark in Philly though.

    1. Thanks, it was! I’m sure you can buy them somewhere except I have no idea where. I know Giant sold bison burgers and stuff, so maybe a grocery store would have them? Anything marked caribou/reindeer is the same thing so try to look for that. I like how it tasted a bit different from regular sausage-type hot dogs!

    1. I’m from Philly too! Yeah Philly gets totally nuts with everything. Usually I avoid the city for most holidays, but I have gone down to the Parkway a few times for the big concert/fireworks celebration and that was fun!

    1. Yeah I’m starting to get used to the peace and quiet that we have here! I did like having all the food trucks in town, I’m going to miss that!

    1. Yeah some people are totally nuts! It took me 5 hours to climb that and some runners do it in less than an hour!

    1. Yes, very scary! There are lots of injuries every year. I will never run it haha. And don’t knock it until you try it!

    1. Yeah the fireworks were so strange but I loved it! They are gone and I have yet to run downtown since then but I hope they cleaned it up! And thank you so much for the award! I’m going over to check it out right now!

  5. When I visited Seward and learned about the Mt. Marathon race a few years ago, I put it on my “one day list”.
    I bet it was neat to hear the fireworks echo off the mountains, I bet the bay really helps add to that.
    You live in a beautiful place!

    1. You are crazy for even thinking about it 😛 but yeah, I do want to hike the race trail now. It took me 5 hours to hike the “hiker’s trail” and it was so difficult that I can’t even imagine how the race trail is. I was amazed by how strong those runners were though!

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