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-   -   Juneau for 4th of July? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska/1416926-juneau-4th-july.html)

IggySD Dec 12, 12 10:21 pm

Juneau for 4th of July?
 
Hello Alaska Forum Folks,

I'm tentatively planning a weekend trip to Juneau over the weekend of the 4th of July. Is that a decent time of year to go? Was wondering if maybe there was increased cruise ship traffic and if maybe it was best to go another time. What type of festivities are there for the holiday? Does it get dark enough to actually have a fireworks display?

Thanks for any advice.

Cheers,
Iggy

jerry a. laska Dec 13, 12 12:56 pm


Originally Posted by IggySD (Post 19847137)
Hello Alaska Forum Folks,

I'm tentatively planning a weekend trip to Juneau over the weekend of the 4th of July. Is that a decent time of year to go? Was wondering if maybe there was increased cruise ship traffic and if maybe it was best to go another time. What type of festivities are there for the holiday? Does it get dark enough to actually have a fireworks display?

Thanks for any advice.

Cheers,
Iggy

Fireworks are the night of the 3rd/4th and start at 12am on the 4th. There is a parade in downtown Juneau and another short parade in Douglas. There are other activities in Douglas during the day. Always a very good chance of rain in Juneau. You can expect 3 - 6 cruise ships in port everyday during the summer.

fti Dec 14, 12 1:40 pm

I was in Juneau a couple of years ago on July 4th. The parade is fun and the fireworks on July 3/4 were nice. We did have quite a bit of rain over the course of the several days we were there, but it didn't stop us from doing much. Just plan on it.

Note that the public bus system won't be operating that day and traffic downtown will be snarled in the morning and into the early afternoon with the parade.

You might consider taking a whale watch trip with one of the operators. I have used Harv & Marvs in the past and have been more than pleased.

CBear Dec 14, 12 5:00 pm

Darkness is not your main concern, it is rain. It is not unknown to have annual 4th fireworks display cancelled due to weather in Southeast Alaska.

Kaphias Dec 15, 12 12:40 pm


Originally Posted by fti (Post 19857096)
Note that the public bus system won't be operating that day and traffic downtown will be snarled in the morning and into the early afternoon with the parade.

With this is mind, it may be best to look for a hotel/B&B downtown so you don't have to deal with parking. There are usually free shuttles operated by one of the local tour companies (I believe) that run between the events downtown and on Douglas throughout the day.

IggySD Dec 15, 12 9:26 pm

Wow, thanks for all the great info! I'll most likely arrive on the evening of the 4th so I should hopefully miss all of the congestion. Although the fireworks at midnight sounds cool, might have to see about coming in a day early.

Rain doesn't bother me in the least, living in San Diego for the last 7 years I actually miss rain and enjoy it whenever I'm somewhere that has actual weather.

Whale watching sounds like a good idea for a day activity, thanks for the recommendation fti.

I guess my main concern that there would be a mass influx of folk that weekend and make it un-enjoyable. Sounds like it'll be the same traffic over the summer regardless of holiday. Hopefully I can find a bar on a back road somewhere to avoid the crowds.

Thanks again!

fti Dec 17, 12 5:04 pm

Actually July 4th is on a weekday so you won't really experience an influx of people due to that. In fact, even if July 4th were on a weekend, the crowds are due to the cruise ship schedules, not due to July 4th.

Some of the best times downtown are after about 6pm. Even though many cruise ships stay in Juneau until 8-9pm, most cruise ship passengers are safely back on their ships by 6pm (can't miss a free meal!). If you have a car, you can find lots of places "in the valley" for food and drink and avoid downtown until the evening.

jackal Dec 20, 12 4:21 pm

Having worked in the tourist industry in ANC for almost a decade, I'll attest that July 4th actually sees a pretty significant slump in tourist numbers. Not sure why--guess people want to stay home in the Lower 48 to enjoy fireworks and parades with their families or something.

I can't say with certainty that this extends to other parts of Alaska, but I'd imagine there is a correlation in JNU, too.

ETA: Here's a bit more on the tourism numbers in ANC:

-Tourist numbers are in the pits until about May 15, coinciding with the opening of some tourist attractions
-Tourist numbers start to ramp up about June 5-10, coinciding with the beginning of the cruise season
-Tourist numbers peak right around the Solstice, coincididing with the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon (ANC)
-Tourist numbers begin to fall off the week after the Solstice and begin to bottom out at the beginning of July
-Tourist numbers remain low until about July 10-15, coinciding with the first run of red salmon
-Tourist numbers shoot up and then remain high until about August 15, coinciding with the end of the red run and the beginning of the drop in temperatures
-Tourist numbers fall off a cliff after about September 15, coinciding with the end of the salmon runs and last cruise ship

Obviously, you can see the tourist season in ANC is heavily influenced by fish. I'm not sure how that compares with JNU.


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