July 7, 2011

The NPS float: Skagway, Alaska July 4, 2011

NPS park rangers portray Soapy Smith
and the gang in their July 4, 2011 parade float
Photo by Sean Daniels



I learned before hand from Arlen McCluskey, our Skagway interpreter friend from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park that the park service was placing a float in the July 4 parade with a theme of Jeff Smith's Parlor. The float was built by park maintenance with the help of  park interpreters.  I asked Arlen and Sean Daniels, a resident trail guide, to please take some photographs of the float. I was hoping for one or two good ones, but instead received quite a few, and all good!


Closer!
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Photo by Arlen McCluskey

Here comes the float!
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey

















The NPS passes the Mascot saloon
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey


The float!
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey















Soapy & Jeff Smith's Parlor
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey
Up close with Soapy
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey

















The float and rangers dressed to the nines
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey







Rangers look great!
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey
Great front view
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Sean Daniels
















There is a story that in 1898 when the parade finished it's route no one wanted it to end  so soon, so they turned around and and resumed the parade in the opposite direction. It is possible that if the paraders simply turned around and went the other way, that Soapy, who was grand marshal of the 4th division would then be leading the parade! Numerous accounts have Soapy as the "grand marshal"of the parade and this could possibly account for it.

Not wishing to break tradition the Skagway July 4 parade turns around at the end and continues the parade in the opposite direction. Planners for the NPS float took advantage of this as you will see in the following photographs.


The inside of Jeff Smith's Parlor
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey
The other side of the float
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Photo by Arlen McCluskey













They won!
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Arlen McCluskey


Soapy the dog.
(Click image to enlarge)
Photo by Sean Daniels















Sean Daniels and his dog "Soapy"



Sean Daniels, who took a few of these wonderful photographs, has more from the parade and the day in general. You can view them on Facebook HERE (you may need to be a member of Facebook to see them). The photo above shows his dog, appropriately named "Soapy," however, I have been informed that his AKC papers list his name as "Jefferson Randolph Smith."

Thank you Sean Daniels and Arlen McClusky! 


Jeff Smith









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