Forever Dance Alaska performs for the crowd during the 2019 July 4th parade in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Forever Dance Alaska performs for the crowd during the 2019 July 4th parade in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

The show must go on

American icons to take stage in outdoor July 4 performance

While there may not be an official Independence Day Parade in Kenai this year, residents hoping to celebrate America’s historical figures can head over to the parking lot of the Kenai Performers’ studio on Saturday to enjoy some patriotic outdoor theater.

From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., members of the Kenai Performers will be holding their free outdoor show, “Historical American Celebrities.” The show will feature cultural and political icons like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Rosie the Riveter, Susan B. Anthony, Babe Ruth and more.

Terri Burdick, who serves as president of the board of directors for Kenai Performers, said on Tuesday that she wanted to incorporate notable names into the show from all different eras and aspects of American life.

“I tried to pick figures that were historical, but not just presidents,” Burdick said.

The show will last about 30 minutes and will repeat four times on Saturday, with each figure performing either a short song or speech talking about America’s history. Abraham Lincoln, for example, will be reciting his famous Gettysburg Address. At the end of the show the entire cast will sing a medley of patriotic songs.

Halfway through the show, at 12:15, members of the local dance studio Forever Dance Alaska will put on a performance of their own.

Darcy Swanson, owner of Forever Dance Alaska, said she was thankful to have her dance company invited to perform with the theater troupe, because the parade is an event that her dancers look forward to every year.

Both the Kenai Performers and Forever Dance Alaska were planning to perform the shows as part of the July 4 parade in Kenai, but the Kenai Chamber of Commerce decided to cancel the parade due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Forever Dance has a routine in the parade every year — even winning the “Best Overall” award for their float in 2019. This year would have been the first rolling show for the Kenai Performers.

Despite the parade’s cancellation, Burdick and the Kenai Performers decided that the show must go on.

Mitigation measures will be in place for Saturday’s outdoor show, Burdick said. The show is free to the public, but people are asked to bring their own camping chairs for seating. The parking lot will be marked off to help maintain social distance between audience members. Visitors are also encouraged to wear masks. Parking will be in available in the front of the building so that there is enough space in the back for seating.

The Kenai Performer’s studio is located behind the Subway on Kalifornsky Beach Road at 44045 K-Beach Road.

The event will also be streamed live on the Kenai Performers Facebook page.

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