Soldotna is getting ready to defy the cold this weekend at Frozen RiverFest. Cold beer from around the state will be served in even colder temperatures with live music and a fireworks show to cap the night.
Over the last couple of years, the event has also brought out residents from Anchorage, Homer and other places from the peninsula.
Attendance and participation in the small outdoor beer festival has grown “quite a bit,” Andy Heuiser, events and programs coordinator at Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, said.
Stakeholders from the chamber, the city of Soldotna and local breweries got together in 2015 to create a “crazy, Alaska experience” to get locals outside during the winter. Heuiser said the “uniqueness” of the event is a draw for visitors.
“It was a crazy fun idea that’s growing every year,” Heuiser said.
Going into its sixth year, Frozen RiverFest will host breweries from across the state and attendees can sample beers and stand by a campfire to keep warm. In addition to beer, there will be live music, food vendors and a fireworks show. Heuiser said this year’s fireworks show will be bigger than in years past.
Music will be provided by local bands Shonathin Hoskins and Hot Mess and Canadian artist Robin Benedict, who has a “Janis Joplin vibe,” Heuiser said.
“She has a beautiful, beautiful voice,” Heuiser said. “It’s going to be a fun evening.”
Featured breweries are visiting the festival from across the state. Most of the breweries on the Kenai Peninsula will be in attendance, including Kassik’s Brewing, Kenai River Brewing Company, Homer Brewing Company, St. Elias Brewing Company and Cooper Landing Brewing Company.
Breweries from Anchorage and the Matanuska Valley will also be present, including Midnight Sun Brewing Company, King Street Brewing Company, 49th State Brewing Company, Broken Tooth Brewing Company, Denali Brewing Company, Bleeding Heart Brewing Company, Bear Paw Brewing Company and Matanuska Brewing Company.
Not into beer? Homer’s Bear Creek Winery and Alaska Ciderworks will also be serving drinks.
Local vendors will have food for sale. A warming tent, as well as campfires, will be available. However, attendees are encouraged to bundle up — especially since temperatures will be dipping below freezing again later this week, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
Frozen RiverFest will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, at Soldotna Creek Park.
Tickets for drinkers are $20 and covers the cost of three 4-ounce pour tokens and a souvenir cup. Tickets for nondrinkers are $5.