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It all began and ended with first responders.
The Ketchikan Police Department led off the 2019 Fourth of July Parade with sirens blaring as soon as it got the signal — a Temsco helicopter flew by presenting the colors in the form of a grand-sized U.S. flag.
Then came the Alaska State Troopers — one of many of the about 35 entries and one of a dozen or so to dispense candy along the way.
Chuck Hanas, who contributed greatly to the rescue of several aircraft accident survivors earlier this year in George Inlet, served as the grand marshal for the Independence Day parade. Jacquie Meck, the community’s citizen of the year for all of her business and civic contributions, followed Hanas.
Besides emergency responders, much of the parade featured Ketchikan High School graduating classes and one class scheduled to enter its senior year this fall.
The parade had music — some longed for more, as in bagpipers of past parades — pets, kids and even opportunities to buy raffle tickets for KRBD and First City Rotary’s annual duck race and skiff drawing, respectively.
But, the real clincher happened to be the weather, which turned out to comfortable with temperatures n the high 60s by parade’s end and a gentle breeze to keep the heat off.
After about 32 minutes of parade entries passed by, the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department closed out the traditional Fourth of July mid-day feature.
The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce once again scheduled the parade, and in its true fashion, along with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, which lined the entrants up, city police and other workers, pulled it off on time and without major mishap.
Thank you to the chamber, the parade entrants, the respectful crowd and the weatherman for another wonderfully successful parade through Ketchikan. It was a pleasure to enjoy your generosity and patriotism.