Kinley Ferguson tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christmas during Christmas in the Park festivities on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kinley Ferguson tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christmas during Christmas in the Park festivities on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Creating a winter wonderland

Christmas in the Park to bring Santa, sleigh rides, fireworks on Saturday

Soldotna will celebrate the start of the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 2, with Christmas in the Park again set to descend on Soldotna Creek Park starting at 4:30 p.m.

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Maddy Olsen said this is the 12th year the event has been run by the chamber, and that they work to make it bigger and better each year.

“We all have a vision to see the park turn into a winter wonderland,” she said.

The festivities start at 4:30 p.m., with performers on the main stage and coffee, cocoa and cookies donated by Kaladi Brothers, Starbucks and McDonald’s on offer. New this year are free sleigh rides, by Alaska C&C Horse Adventures, which will be offered until 6 p.m.

There will be fires burning to keep attendees warm in the December cold.

Set to take the stage throughout the night are Ellie and the Echoes, the Kenai Performers’ Victorian Carolers, Josiah Burton, Charli Byrd and a Nativity performance titled “Bethlehem Revisited” by College Heights Baptist Church.

At 4:50, Santa Claus will arrive, delivered to the park by Central Emergency Services, and he’ll lead a tree-lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. before sitting to greet children with his reindeer — from Kenai Reindeer Farm. After meeting Santa, kids can take free stuffed stockings.

The evening will close out with fireworks sponsored by Marathon at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s a time for the community to come together,” Olsen said. “It’s a really fun, family-friendly event.”

For more information, find the “Soldotna Chamber of Commerce” on Facebook.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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