Icefire Bay LARP and Homer Senior Center win top parade honors
After losing the Independence Day parade last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Homer Chamber of Commerce says this year’s parade Sunday evening was almost the largest one ever. The turnout of spectators, estimated by KBBI at about 1,000, may also be record-setting. The theme was “Whatever Floats Your Boat -- Celebrating Homer’s Maritime History.”
According to Chamber Visitor Center Director Jan Knutson, there were 43 floats this year, the second largest number in parade history. In addition, she said this year’s parade saw the most first-time entrants.
KBBI was a first-time entrant in the parade, with a float carrying a replica radio tower and sharing dance music with the crowd all along the route.
Volunteer on-air host Jimmy Squires broadcast live over KBBI from the float during the parade.
“Oh, my gosh, ladies and gentlemen, it is pure pandemonium out here at KBBI and on Pioneer Avenue,” Squires said. “We got the 2021 4th of July Parade going. We are just getting ready to pass out in front of, not pass out, but literally pass Vida's and on our way to the first judging.”
During a stop, Squires got a few words from parade spectators.
“Hey, you're on the radio. Are you having a good time? What do you like best about the parade so far? Candy?,” he said. “All right, guys, we're getting ready to get up to the judging station. We are having so much fun right now. I hope y'all are having a good time out there.”
KBBI broadcast the one-hour parade live, with hosts Kyle Schneider and Jay Barrett describing the floats from the balcony of Captain’s Coffee.
There were two judging stands along the route. The first one at Bay Realty and the second one at the Art Shop Gallery. There were two $100 prizes awarded. The first was the Best of Show award that went to the Icefire Bay LARP, or Live Action Role-Players. Their swordplay kept the crowd entertained while the group’s viking longboat followed along.
The prize for Best Use of Theme went to the Homer Senior Center, whose float best celebrated Homer’s maritime history.
All awards were in Homer Bucks. The other winners received $50 prizes.
The Best Car award went to the Masons and Shriners; Best Machinery was won by Rooted Tree Service, and the best bikes award went to the American Legion Riders.
The Wagon Wheel won the award for Best Trailer, while SVT Health and Wellness won for best float. The Center for Alaska Coastal Studies was recognized for the parade’s Best Use of Animals, while the Best Children’s Group was the honey-bee-themed BEE The Change. The Red Gallery Award went to the Homer Bay Rollers.
The Homer Chamber of Commerce Facebook page has a growing collection of photographs of the parade. If you have any of the KBBI float, remember to tag us on social media.