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Fourth of July and Destruction of Vehicles: An Alaskan Way to Celebrate Independence Day

A unique event to celebrate July 4th, in Alaska | Photo: YouTube (Glacier View River Retreat)
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Daniel Rufiange
This year, 13 vehicles were flung off a cliff in Glacier View (don’t worry, they cleaned up afterwards)

Americans find any number of ways to celebrate their day of independence. Most of them involve fairs, parades, fireworks, outdoor concerts and the like.

Then there’s how they do it Glacier View. In that Alaskan community, since 2005, the day has been celebrated in a pretty original way. A very destructive way.  As in, cars are flung off a 300-foot cliff and go flying, crashing, flipping and rolling end over end to their destruction as a large crowd of people look on and cheer the madness.

The good folks of Glacier View set up two distinct spots for takeoff - two launch pads, more like. Lest you get too worried, all is done with safety in mind, and the spectators are kept far enough from the destruction to avoid any chance of injury.

The cars being sent to their death have been painted, often in the colours of the U.S. flag, and many carry messages put there by and for members of the community. This year, 13 vehicles were destroyed to the delight of the crowd... and the organizers.

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A vehicle takes off
A vehicle takes off | Photo: YouTube (Glacier View River Retreat)

No surprise, the event has gathered an increasing amount of attention since its debut in 2005. This year, it’s said some of the folks on hand came to Glacier View, which is near Anchorage, from as far away as Nevada to soak it all in. We're talking about a 51-hour journey for those road-trippers.

The video posted by municipal authorities has been viewed some 50,000 times since it was posted on July 6.

Only in the United States, as they say.

Note that a thorough clean-up and recycling operation follows the event, because while Alaskans may enjoy their share of pure destruction, they also tend to be very respectful of their beautiful environment.

Another vehicle aloft
Another vehicle aloft | Photo: YouTube (Glacier View River Retreat)
The crowd of spectators
The crowd of spectators | Photo: YouTube (Glacier View River Retreat)
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists