(Photo Courtesy of Parks and Recreation)

Wrangell has finalized its Independence Day Parade route and the location of the Southeast community’s fireworks display.

Wrangell’s parade route has been extended this year to allow for social distancing amid COVID-19 concerns. 

“We’re asking everyone that’s going to be viewing the parade to be with their family, and their household, and keep a six-foot distance at least from other people who are viewing the parade,” says Chamber Director Stephanie Cook.

She says in years past, revelers would gather downtown as floats process down a portion of Front Street. But this year, the parade will begin near the hospital and continue down most of Church Street before making a loop downtown between Ottesens and the Nolan Center.

Making sure that we can have a fun time but also be safe as well,” Cook says.

The fireworks will kick off at the baseball field on the 3rd of July. That was the plan last year, but due to drought conditions, the City of Wrangell cancelled the event to avoid any threat of starting a forest fire.

Cook says she and the fire department are confident the weather is on their side this year.

We’ve gotten a lot of rain this month, so everything’s really damp and wet, so they don’t have any concerns as far as they know about safety,” she says.

Wrangell’s City Dock had been the location for many years, but the fire department says that spot is too close to buildings downtown.

Much of the fanfare leading up to and during the week of the 4th disappeared this year. No one signed up as a royalty candidate, leaving the downtown pavilion empty during the month of June when volunteers would be hustling food and raffle tickets daily.  Due to COVID-19, the Wrangell decided to only sanction two events, which the local non-profit thought could easily be done social distance style.

These festivities have been a huge fundraiser for the local Chamber. Even though the Chamber is missing out on that revenue, Cook says this year their overhead will be lower than normal. 

“We do have a lot less expenses this year with not putting on the regular activities that we do put on,” she says.

The Fireworks display kicks off on the 3rd at dusk, around 11 PM. The parade starts at 11 AM on the 4th. The chamber is selling raffle tickets.