Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Anchorage Fourth of July - Something For Everyone

We biked down to the Delaney Park Strip for the Anchorage July 4 celebration.  We were too late for the parade or the reading of the Declaration of Independence, but then I'd just read it preparing for the previous post.

This will just be pictures and a few comments of a sunny day enjoying being with others on the Fourth.

The Marines were there.

J wondered why they didn't hire vets to interact with the kids - particularly vets in wheel chairs,

and with missing limbs.  Give the kids a more realistic idea about war and the vets some work.

One of the things that makes the US great is the richness that we've gained over the centuries from immigration.  While most citizens of the world know more about the US than the average American knows about any of their countries, we can know people from all those countries. We have absorbed not only the people, but their cultures which gives us access to understanding them in a totally different way, if we choose to engage them.  

I've been a fan of Taiko drumming since the very first time I saw and heard a group from Japan perform at West High School, eons ago.  The physical strength, discipline, and group coordination necessary to do this is amazing, and the result is mesmerizing as you can sense in the video.

You can learn to drum like this in Anchorage.  Just think, you get exercise, music lessons, and cultural training all in one.  From their website:

Tomodachi Daiko offers beginning taiko classes for adults (13+ years) on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., starting September 1, 2010.  All classes are held in the gymnasium at Sand Lake Elementary School on Jewel Lake Road. (Please wear comfortable clothing for this activity.  New students are required to purchase bachi (drum sticks) which are available at class.)

There was lots of food.

This young lady was soliciting donations - very successfully I would say - for Alaskan Assistance Dogs. 

Their mission statement, from their website, is:
"Alaska Assistance Dogs provides professionally trained service dogs to Alaskans with special needs including mobility impairments, autism and post traumatic stress disorder. We also incorporate service dog training into therapeutic programs to improve the lives of Alaskans from pre-schoolers to adults."

A lot of relatively young kids were having a great time on the climbing tower, well strapped in.

 The Bird Treatment and Learning Center had several birds there.  They were either disabled or too adapted to humans and couldn't be released into the wild.  It was a great opportunity to get some good pictures since my little camera doesn't do well with telephoto.  This is a great horned owl.  The owls that really do go Hoo, Hoo, Hoo. Hoo.

 From the Bird TLC website:

The Bird Treatment and Learning Center

is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitating sick, injured or orphaned wild birds and providing avian education programs to the public. Dr. James R. Scott, an Anchorage veterinarian, now retired, founded Bird TLC in 1988. Dr. Scott, along with other Alaskan veterinarians and volunteers, donate their time to treat these birds in need. In addition to medical care, Bird TLC provides a variety of educational programs to increase people's awareness of the wild birds around them and to encourage preservation of their habitat. Bird TLC is supported by education program fees and contributions from individuals, private foundations, and corporations.

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