Some folks like to celebrate with quiet dinners, or modest parties, or sometimes, lighting off fireworks. July 4th in the US is most decidedly an occasion for fireworks, and you’ll find grand displays celebrating Independence Day in most every town from sea to shining sea. There’s one place in Alaska, however, where exploding gunpowder isn’t grand enough. Say hello to the Glacier View car launch. Wait, what?
Yes, we said car launch, and as the video above clearly demonstrates, these cars aren’t just launching off a ramp. Located along the Matanuska River roughly 100 miles northeast of Anchorage is Glacier View River Retreat, and on July 4th they send cars careening off a monster cliff overlooking the river. Crowds gather at the base of the cliff to watch, and we don’t mean off to the sides either. Moreover, the vehicles aren’t launched with some snazzy catapult system. Steering wheels are strapped down, engines are started, and transmissions are engaged. These cars meet their maker under full power.
This year’s extravaganza featured over a dozen vehicles, ranging from a Ford Taurus to a Dodge motorhome and several we don’t get a chance to identify. We don’t know exactly how many cars were launched, nor do we know how many people watched it happen. This event is held on private property and apparently isn’t sanctioned by any official governing body. A recent Reddit post said there could be attempts to shut it all down, with one Redditor saying the crowd “looked like chaos.”
There are plenty of videos showing this year’s event on YouTube, and Glacier View River Retreat also shared a plethora of photos and videos on Facebook. To the credit of the organizers, the crowd does appear to be a fair distance away from the impact zone. And a cleanup effort takes place to remove all the debris. We see two semi-trucks loaded with cars headed for the crusher, though there isn’t much left to crush. Measures taken to clean up any fluids left in the area are unknown.
According to an event page on Facebook, admission for this year’s launch was $20 for adults and $10 for children under 13. It’s advertised as a “day of freedom, family, fun, faith, friends, and food.”
Cars containing at least some flammable liquids sailing off cliffs with engines screaming, smashing to bits in front of a huge crowd … what could possibly go wrong?