156505541Happy July everyone! Well I made it through June… What a month! Lovely wedding after wedding, sports, fishing, business, phew! When I think of July, I always think of Independence Day. I hope that everyone has a grand 4th of July holiday. I know I’ve talked about my personal Independence Day traditions but it’s too near and dear to my heart to not reminisce again! Typically my husband and I, and any family member we have on hand will venture downtown on the 3rd to watch the fireworks. We weave through the mass of people as we find a viewing spot.

We’ve been lucky enough most years to relax on someone’s beach on Douglas, or someone’s property downtown. Once the fireworks are over we join the rest of Juneau in making the slow bumper to bumper trip back home in the wee hours of Independence Day. It has been our ritual to celebrate by making our way back downtown midmorning of the fourth to share a delicious crepe from the Alaskan Crepe Escape (Monkey Business is our favorite) and visit with our dear friends before the parade starts. When we hear the sirens it’s our cue to head to the Alaskan Fudge Company sidewalk, where we watch the parade. As a former employee of the Fudge Co. it’s nostalgic to smell the sweet scent of fudge and caramel apples while observing the diversity and splendor of this local procession. After the parade and a quick sip of coffee our plans are usually weather dependent. If it’s nice we may head to Douglas Island and partake in the festivities there. If it’s raining we usually venture back to the valley and eat a hardy lunch and celebrate our independence with family and friends. I love the diversity that is Southeast Alaska, so many talents, cultures and artists. For me this magazine represents my passion and independence. I grew up drawing and painting, which transformed in college to graphic design and development and eventually led to founding this magazine. Southeast Living Magazine is obviously a local publication, owned and operated by a born-and-raised Juneauite. Starting, maintaining, and growing this magazine, I have developed a deep care and appreciation for the local economy and fully understand the necessity to support local business. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to local businesses and local residents who have supported and contributed to this lifestyle publication. I have much respect and gratitude for those people in the community that take the initiative to do something great, whether it be starting a business, a plan of action, a non-profit, a fundraiser… Doing something like that takes dedication and effort which is another reason why I love living here. There are so many caring, generous people willing to volunteer, donate or help. I don’t know if that is a small community trait or not, but regardless we are very lucky to have the philanthropic and generous communities of Southeast Alaska that we do. With that said, please go out and be safe, enjoy your summer and support our local businesses and local people.
Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.