No fireworks on the 4th of July at Toolik Field Station because the sun never sets and they wouldn’t be very impressive. That doesn’t, however, diminish the festivities in the least. The 4th of July, along with the summer solstice, remains one of the most celebrated occasions at Toolik. With the 4th falling on a Saturday this year, all are expected to put in a full work day. But between 5 pm and 9 pm, the camp becomes eerily deserted as teams comprised of lab and staff members, congregate in their respective trailers to create costumes, lyrics, dance moves and more for the evening activities, which include a semi-improvisational skit contest. Given the short preparation time, skits range from ridiculous to absurd, but always manage to entertain the crowd and impress the judges, for better or worse, as well.
After a busy day of field work, Lab 3 prepares costumes and a skit entitled, “Washed-up at Toolik,” for the Annual 4th of July festivities.
The Dry Lab dons makeshift bladder-controlware for “Happy Depends Dance” Day.
A magical display by the Toolik staff captives the crowd.
Kites instead of fireworks adorn the night sky at Toolik’s Annual 4th of July bonfire.