We made this trip in the first week of July. The "Canada Day" celebrations that took place in Stewart on July 1 were very vanilla. They included a "jaws of life" rescue equipment demonstration, a Name the Babies Contest, and the Annual Community Potluck Dinner in the early evening.
Three days later on July 4, Hyder spiced its national celebration with dashes of politically incorrect cayenne. There was an Ugly Vehicle Contest featuring pickups held together with duct tape and decorated with moose antlers (unlike the shiny ones in the driveways). There were parades of children with pets, toy guns and cowboy costumes. There was a Wilderness Woman Contest. Contestants raced to split wood, wash clothes, shoot a bear, flip pancakes, change a baby, and put on lipstick. The winner did it all barefoot.
Even Hyderites recognize their limits--in an earlier year's self-staged July 4 fireworks display, they had accidentally burned down their fire hall with the fire engine inside. So this year Hyder hired Canadian experts to stage the pyrotechnics. The show started around midnight, during the late evening barbecue. Stewart residents courteously joined in the fun, bringing new government trucks and a poodle.
How others see us, cont'd.
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