Dennis Corrington on his penny-farthing. PHOTO COURTESY OF NANCY CORRINGTON


Dennis and Nancy Corrington, both of whom will serve as grand marshals for Skagway’s 2018 Independence Day Parade, were married on the Fourth of July in Skagway in 1984.

“He [Dennis] said if ‘we get married on the Fourth of July, instead of the 13th of October when we had planned it, then I’ll never forget our anniversary,’” Nancy said.

The Corringtons were eloping Skagway style; Nancy wore a hundred-year-old dress pulled off the wall of the Red Onion, and got a matching hat from the same place. The day before the wedding, Dennis’s mother bought $250 worth of food from Fairway Market, and the wedding party took down the bedpans hanging around the Red Onion.

“We went to the Red Onion upstairs, and we washed all the bedpans and we made all the food and we served dips and all kinds of stuff out of the bedpans for the reception,” Nancy said. “We got married the next day after Jeff [Brady] and his wife…we stayed the Golden North Hotel, we stayed in the Ghost Room, which is room 24, and Dennis always jokes that he enjoyed his honeymoon so much that we bought the hotel, but that’s not really true.”

Nancy said that in 34 years, she and Dennis have only spent one Fourth of July outside of Skagway. The celebrations of years past included a ton of different types of contests and games, some of which have continued on to the present day. Nancy said she, Dennis and their kids spent the day participating in events and games like dunking machines, slow bike races and the three-legged races.

“There weren’t as many cruise passengers, so everybody participated,” Nancy said.

“Everybody knew everybody,” Dennis added.

Dennis said he and his daughter Sherry Corrington always participated in the egg toss; for many years, he also rode a penny-farthing – a high-wheel bicycle – while wearing a three-piece suit and sporting a derby hat.

“We’d have fun on Fourth of July,” Dennis said.

These days, Dennis has hung up the derby and has walked with the Honor Guard in the parade for the past few years. Nancy said they both sit on top of their Broadway apartment on July 3 and watch the fireworks that are shot out over the water.

This year, Skagway’s Independence Day festivities start on June-29-July 1 with the International Co-Ed Softball Tournament at Seven Pastures. On July 3 and 4, a good deal of returning, crowd-favorite events will be all over Broadway and the town at large.

For the Fourth of July Schedule, see Page 12.