Seward is the place to be on the Fourth of July, with about 30,000 filling our small town each year. Thousands of people make their way to Seward to enjoy the festivities, peruse the vendor booths, enjoy the fireworks display, and experience some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Many come to watch or compete in the Mt. Marathon Race.
Seward’s annual July 4th celebration features a packed holiday schedule of special events, presentations, contests, and community gatherings, with some pre-festival activities and vendor set-up starting on the evening of July 2.
Spend July 3rd strolling historic downtown streets where merchants and vendors sell Alaska-made wares, and your favorite food carts offer everything from corn fritters to gyros, deep-fried onions to traditional cotton candy.
While you’re here, take a walk along Resurrection Bay, hike some of our less insane trails and enjoy what Seward is all about — getting outside, exploring and having fun with friends and family! In a small town like ours, you’re certain to run into a familiar or friendly face.
The night before the race, pick a good spot to watch the stunning Fourth of July Fireworks Display, presented by Seward Subway. The fireworks launch from the Harbor Uplands, near the Mariners Memorial. You can spot them from all over town, but some favorite viewing spots include the Waterfront Park, Seward Boat Harbor or on a boat in the bay. The show starts at midnight (12:01 a.m.) when it is actually dark enough to light up the sky!
On July 4th, races start at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., giving spectators plenty of chances to marvel and cheer as the juniors, women and men climb, speckling the mountain with bright colors and lots of sweat, and finally plummet down in a controlled free fall, all the way to the finish line.
With three races throughout the day, you’ll have time to see the race from different vantage points – catch a start or finish on 4th Avenue, or head to Jefferson Street and see how racers tackle the base of the mountain.
Be sure to watch as the July 4th Parade makes its way through town – almost every organization in Seward participates with unique and fun floats, including Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Seward Fire Department, and the American Legion.
This year, many festival booths downtown will be open Sunday. Stop by for some delicious food, pick up a souvenir to congratulate a racer or gain back some calories after the race at any of the Alaska vendors.
There are plenty of wonderful events throughout the Fourth of July weekend. Check the event guide, Facebook page or mmr.seward.com for festival maps and a full schedule of events.
NO DOGS ALLOWED: Due to the very crowded conditions of the Festival and Race Course area, the Seward Chamber of Commerce and the City of Seward ask that you do your pets a favor and leave them at home.
No dogs, leashed or unleashed, are allowed in the downtown area or along the racecourse, including all race trails on the mountain. This will increase safety for runners and spectators, and reduce problems with sanitation and cleanup. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR PETS AT HOME.
GETTING HERE: Carpooling rocks! Or even better, take the train or bus into town. Taxis and a free shuttle between the train depot, Seward Boat Harbor and downtown are available to help you get around. If you do have a car, be sure to park it legally.
RACE TIMES: The women’s and men’s race start times alternate annually. In even-numbered years, the women’s race is the last event of the day and in odd-numbered years, men take the last race of the day.
Interested in joining us as a July 4th Festival vendor?