Community to celebrate winter solstice

Community to celebrate winter solstice

Friday marks the winter equinox — the shortest day and longest night of the year. The sun will rise at 10:12 a.m. and set at 3:43 p.m., leaving just five hours and 41 minutes of daylight.

In Alaska, the winter solstice, which occurs when one of Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the sun, is welcomed each year. It signals that Alaska’s already short winter days will creep up in length, and gives people a chance to celebrate the astronomical phenomenon.

The Kenai Wildlife Refuge is hosting a guided Solstice Walk through the refuge Friday.

“The full moon is on Dec. 22 at 8:50 a.m., so we figured we’d do a walk in the evening,” said Ranger Michelle Ostrowkski. “The sun sets at 3:43 p.m. and the moon rises at 3:53 p.m. We’ll walk down to the lake and celebrate solstice, the shortest day of the year.”

Bear Creek Winery will be lighting up the shortest day of the year with their Garden of Lights.

On Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 from 5 to 7 p.m., the winery invites guests of all ages to walk trough their “winter wonderland” full of “delightful holiday displays.”

The family-friendly event will also feature Christmas music and a chance to warm up with hot cocoa and a fire pit.

Outside of town, Anchorage Parks and Recreation is hosting the Winter Solstice Festival from 5 to 8 p.m. to celebrate the return of the light at Cuddy Family Midtown Park in Anchorage.

The free event is open to everyone and will include ice skating, fat tire bike rides, sleigh rides, food trucks, a light parade and burn barrels. Lights and festive gear are encouraged.

After the celebrations end, the days will start to be longer, beginning with an extra two minutes of daylight on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Kat Sorensen can be reached at

More in News

Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney speaks during the 100% Alaska Community Town Hall on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
100% Alaska survey results, state of services discussed at town hall

Change 4 the Kenai leads conversation about access to mental health, housing, transportation

Soldotna High School senior Josiah Burton testifies in opposition to a proposed cut of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District theater technicians while audience members look on during a board of education meeting on Monday, March 6, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Awaiting state funding, board of ed works to bring back staff positions

Alaska lawmakers this session passed a budget bill that includes $175 million in one-time funding for Alaska’s K-12 schools

David Brighton (left) and Leslie Byrd (right) prepare to lead marchers from the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to Soldotna Creek Park as part of Soldotna Pride in the Park on Saturday, June 3, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Nobody Can Drag Us Down’: Soldotna celebrates LGBTQ+ pride

The event featured food trucks, vendors and a lineup of performers that included comedy, drag and music

Judges Peter Micciche, Terry Eubank and Tyler Best sample a salmon dish prepared by chef Stephen Lamm of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank at Return of the Reds on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at the Kenai City Dock in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai celebrates ‘Return of the Reds’ in food bank fundraiser

Chefs competed for best salmon recipe; fresh-caught fish auctioned

A freshly stocked rainbow trout swims in Johnson Lake during Salmon Celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Johnson Lake in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Excellent lake fishing, good halibut and slow salmon

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 1

Map via Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Assembly to consider emergency service area for Cooper Landing

Borough legislation creating the service area is subject to voter approval

Peter Micciche (center) listens to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly certify the results of the Feb. 14, 2023, special mayoral election, through which he was elected mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Thousands respond to borough services survey

Many of the survey questions focused on the quality of borough roads

Two new cars purchased by the Soldotna Senior Center to support its Meals on Wheels program are parked outside of the center in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.(Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Soldotna budget defunds area senior center

The unanimous vote came after multiple people expressed concerns about how the center operates

An Epidemiology Bulletin titled “Drowning Deaths in Alaska, 2016-2021” published Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (Screenshot)
Health officials say Alaska leads nation in drowning deaths, urge safe practices

A majority of non-occupational Alaska drownings occur in relation to boating, both for recreation and for subsistence

Most Read