Following the wishes of John Adams, second U.S. president who said, “It (Fourth of July) ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade with shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this continent to the other from this Time forward forever more,” the annual Two Rivers/Pleasant Valley Fourth of July celebration took place near the ball fields of the Community Center at 23.5 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road.

Roy Hessner sang the national anthem and Pastor Wayne Shea gave an invocation to start the festivities. Music by the Mike Stackhouse band of Mike, Larry Raines, Pat Costello, Rif Rafson, accompanied by Michael Kramer (aka “Rattles”) on his washtub base got everyone ready for food and games.  The aroma of  burgers and hot dogs wafted through the grounds. Konrad Bolz of Mein Diner and Barbie Howard of 24 Mile Java oversaw the food.  

Ginger McKee, who is retiring as the event coordinator after 20 years, welcomed new coordinators, Dave and Lydia Olszowy. Ginger McKee said “it’s been great to watch everyone grow up, get married and bring their own families.”  

Andy Harper brought his bagpipes to enliven the atmosphere with a few tunes, including “Scotland the Brave.” Mark Shea received the “Two Rivers Community Good Neighbor Award” for his dedication and service to the community. A silent auction featured items donated by local businesses and individuals. Proceeds go to the annual Fourth of July event. 

Val Chappelle corralled a throng of eager youngsters into games and contests while Jessica Harper took charge of the adult contests. Deonte Tift kept a watchful eye on the kids in the Bouncy Hauses.  

Caber Toss winners were John Gebhardt, over 60 years group, and Eric Gebhardt in the 18 to 60 year group. The Hammer Throw contest was won by John Gebhardt in the over 60 years group and Eric Gebhardt in the 18-60 age group. The father-son duo made a clean sweep of three contests with Dad John Gebhardt taking first place in the Shotput competition over 60 group and Son Eric Gebhardt winning first place in the 18 to 60 age group. The Crosscut competition was won by Elwin Lawler and Cliff Mobley in the over 60 years age group while Dico Dvorak and Eric Gebhardt took first place.  The ever-popular Husband Modifier competition saw 14 ladies vie for the chance to knock off the hapless dummy husband. This popular contest was won by Erin Young. 

As the afternoon waned, friends and neighbors collected their prizes and items, grabbed one last hot dog and made plans for next year.


Supporters of the 2020 Fourth of July celebration

The 2020 Fourth of July celebration by the Two Rivers/Pleasant Valley Communities would not have been possible without the support of numerous businesses and individuals.  We thank every business and individual that helped make this event successful.

Crowded Garage workshop; Alaska’s Angels Farm; Walmart; Midnight Sun Greenhouse; John Emmett; Ila Shoen; Hawk’s Greenhouse; Roxy’s; S Salon; Glass Solution, Inc.; Wagner’s Pizza Bus; Two Rivers Lodge; Cold Spot Feeds; Northern Sparrow Boutique; Gibbspark Design Unlimited; Hair by Holly; Two Rivers Electric; Melinda Garnier; Barbie Howard; 24 Mile Java; Mein Diner; Konrad Bolz; Birchleaf Turning; Two Rivers Laundromat; AKLog Father & Son, LLC; Superior Hardwoods; Pleasant Valley Store; Greg LeBeau; Don and Ginger McKee; Mike Stackhouse and the Rumblers; Seth and Vallie Chappelle; Shea Families; Pleasant Valley Community Association; Andy and Jessica Harper.