Alaskans celebrate the 4th of July by jumping cars off a cliff

In Glacier View, Alaska, the sun sets at about 11:30 this time of year, and rises again at around 4:30. With daytime fireworks displays being rather dull, its denizens have sought out alternative means of celebrating Independence Day. Their solution comes in the form of yeeting junkers off the side of a cliff.

In what could best be described as a cross between a demolition derby and a 24 Hours of LeMons judging session gone horribly wrong (right?), the 4th of July Glacier View Car Launch has become a staple event for locals seeking a little daytime revelry. Fitted with rudimentary systems (read: a log and a rope) to keep the accelerator floored, wild junkers are aimed at the side of the cliff, loaded with enough fuel to complete their very brief journeys, and then, quite simply, sent. 

To describe Glacier View as “rural” would be understating it a bit. From the video (via Motor1.com), it’s readily apparent that there isn’t much around besides relatively untamed wilderness and the town’s namesake frozen feature, which makes several cameos in the background of this delightful video of cars being driven off what appears to be a several-hundred-foot drop near a small recreational park on the Matanuska River

A spectator zone is set up near the base of the cliff (but far away from the actual “landing” zone) to allow locals and travelers to see the action from a safe distance. The crowd is separated from the impact area by a pond that doubles as an extra safeguard against errant parts. The cars involved range from what you’d expect (lots of rusted and beat-up trucks and SUVs) to a few odd entries for the rural interior of Alaska, including a B5 VW Passat wagon. 

For an up-close video of the resulting carnage, skip ahead to about 8:00 into the video, but the whole thing is worth a watch. 

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