Every town has its own unique traditions to celebrate major holidays. Residents look forward to them each year, whether it’s a Christmas-tree lighting, a Halloween parade, or a symbolic object “dropped” on New Year’s Eve.
In the United States, most Americans celebrate July 4th with barbecues, picnics, and, for the grand finale, fireworks. But a little town in Alaska called Glacier View has upped their Independence Day festivities–adding in the additional holiday flourish of hurling cars off of a cliff. Why the crazy stunts? Because America, that’s why.
Glacier View, Alaska, is a tiny town about 100 miles from Anchorage. Nestled in the shadow of the Matanuska Glacier, it’s a peaceful place with less than 250 residents. Since 2005, the citizens of Glacier View and the surrounding areas gather to watch old cars fly off the cliffs surrounding the glacier and crash into the valley 300 feet below.
The tradition started because it doesn’t get dark in this part of Alaska in July, making fireworks pointless. So, the town of Glacier View decided to celebrate its nation’s freedom in another way.
Launching Crappy Old Cars Off A Cliff Was The Perfect Way To Celebrate 4th Of July
The event is continuing to grow in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. After all, nothing says freedom like being able to celebrate your independence with a bang!
So where do these cars come from? They’re usually cars that are on their last legs of usability, and the citizens of Glacier View give the cars a proper send-off. And before you worry about the hazards of hurling a car off a cliff, the locals are careful to remove glass and substances like anti-freeze from the car, and they are sure to pick up after their chaotic celebrations. The cars are also hurled off of cliffs on private land, not public.
Still, you’ve got to wonder why Glacier View has made this a part of their July traditions. One resident equates it to the urge we’ve all had to roll a big rock off of a cliff, but I think the first video sums up pretty well why these Alaskans started their annual car launch. The answer given was simply “because you can”, and what better day to express that freedom than the 4th, right?
While this tradition is certainly a non-traditional one, for a holiday that is celebrated with copious amounts of burgers, booze, and blowing shit up, a car launching does seem to be a pretty natural extension of the more “traditional” festivities.