No fireworks, no problem! The Mat-Su Valley has several fun and family-friendly ways to celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, including the always unique Moose on Parade.

In downtown Wasilla, the annual Fourth of July parade promises to be a sea of red, white and blue as the floats wind their way through the town. It's one of the largest parades you'll see each year, and there's plenty of fun to be had. The parade begins at 11 a.m. sharp and continues through the early afternoon. Then, you can make your way to Wasilla Iditapark for the annual Mayor's Picnic, which starts at 1 p.m. Free food and drinks for everyone, so you don't want to miss out on this fun event.

In Talkeetna, the entire day is devoted to fun and patriotism. The events get started with the Moose on Parade event. This parade goes up and down Main Street in downtown Talkeetna and features painted moose that have been in front of the many Talkeetna businesses. Following the parade, the artistic moose are auctioned off as a fund-raiser for the historical society there.

At 2 p.m. on Christiansen Lake, the zany Cardboard Boat Regatta begins. If you think cardboard can't float, just wait until you see the creations people have come up with. It's always a fun event with lots of laughs. At 7 p.m. at the Talkeetna VFW parking lot, you'll find a "only in Talkeetna" event - the moose poop dropping. Yes, you read that correctly. A bucket of moose, uh, poop is dropped, with each "nugget" having a number on it. You can purchase these "nuggets" and the closest one to the target wins. You can't go through life without seeing an official moose poop dropping raffle once! Later that evening, between 9 and 10 p.m., the Denali Cooks wrap up the Fourth of July with a concert at the Fairview Inn.

In wake of the recent Sockeye Fire in the Willow area, there are strict restrictions on burning and a complete ban on fireworks. Please enjoy your Fourth of July in the Mat-Su Valley, but do it responsibly and remember to err on the side of caution. If your plans include camping, please be cognizant of the continued dry conditions and fire safety.

Have a great - and safe - Fourth of July! Moose Art