McMurdo Station parade celebrates July 4
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Video Credit: Rex Cotten and Andrew Wutsch


McMurdo Station parade celebrates July 4

The sixth-annual Independence Day parade took place at McMurdo Station this month.

Residents of McMurdo Station took part in the sixth-annual Independence Day parade earlier this month, a demonstration of their creativity and commitment to fun at the midpoint of the long Antarctic winter.

Research Associate Liz Widen first organized a July 4 parade in 2016, her third winter spent at McMurdo. “I missed parades back home and realized with our super creative community down here, it was actually something we could do our own version of,” Widen said.

That first parade was more fun than Widen anticipated, and she decided to make it an annual tradition. This year was one of the largest in terms of the number of vehicles, floats, and individuals participating. Participants who were off work during the time of the parade were able to cheer on veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, the McMurdo marching band, the Antarctic Cat Club, Lady Liberty, and more. Residents of nearby Scott Base also joined in the fun, and everything was organized and executed in station residents' spare time.

The parade lasts five minutes, but it's a great way to celebrate not only Independence Day but also to applaud station residents for their special talents, according to Widen.

“It's a super concentrated summary of everything that makes the Antarctic winters great,” she said. “Ultimately it's the perfect demonstration of how a bunch of Antarcticans will make an extra/silly/creative effort to brighten their community's day.”