The magic of Independence Day and the love of liberty was passed on to yet another generation thanks to efforts of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, sponsors and hundreds who joined the annual 4th of July Parade and celebration this year. With the theme of honoring our Home Town Heroes thousands lined the parade route along Fidalgo and the Spur Highway to show appreciation to the service men and women who stand up for the Republic promising liberty and justice for all. As the front of the parade reached the judges grand stand and the Nation’s colors were posted by American Legion Post # 20, Luke Baumer belted out a chilling rendition of the National Anthem as sky temporarily ceased its drizzle.
In addition to the parade the green strip along Main Street Loop was filled with 45 some vendors offering post parade activities that included pony and hay rides for the kids complements of Matti’s Farm and the Kenai Fire Department water games and a kids carnival compliments of the Kenai Kardinal football team. Not being an election former Kenai Mayor John Williams drove a car in the parade proclaiming he couldn’t lose because he was running for nothing. Another unique entry in this year’s parade was a Viking chariot pulled by dual biker babes with a horned helmeted Scott Hamann of Metal Magic holding the reigns. He probably figured he would get attention for his unique entry, but when arrived at the judge’s grand stand the tables were turned and parade was stopped as Kenai Chamber of Commerce chairman Jeff Warton proudly presented the Viking with the highly esteemed Chamber Log Cabin Award. In an interview following the parade Hamann said, “It was a total surprise and very humbling, knowing the people who have won that award over the years I was totally honored to stand alongside those who have given so much to this great community. It blew me away,” he said. Hamann was not able to attend the annual awards luncheon in June so Warton and Johna Beech decided to present the award to him during the parade and hundreds of people. The Log Cabin award commemorates the unwritten law of Alaska that when you use a cabin in the wilderness you’ll leave it better than what it was when you found it. It is in that spirit of making the community a better place than what he found it that Hamann was recognized.
The idea for the motorcycle chariot he said came from a 1938 photo he was sent of an event where they use to race motorcycle chariots, “They actually had four Harleys lined up side by side with a chariot controlling them from behind and when I saw that I said I’ve got to do that! It intrigued me so I did it and I think you’ll see variations of the chariot in coming years and should become a parade staple for Metal Magic,” said Hamann.
This year’s 4th of July Parade winners were: Phillip Evans in the Automobile category, Jumpin’ Junction for best Commercial Float, Youth/School award to KCHS Drumline, Dorothy Gray for best individual float, River City Cheer for Best Organization, Alaska C&C Riding Adventures for Best Animal entry and Tesoro’s White Knight fire truck for best Oil Field entry. The Best Overall parade entry went to Mountain View Elementary school.