Next weekend, on Friday and Saturday, the 31st Annual Kenai River Festival, hosted by the Kenai Watershed Forum, will again fill Soldotna Creek Park with music, food, drinks and educational booths and activities. The festival will run 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
That educational element, about the river and its resources, is the biggest focus for the forum, Development Coordinator Sara Aamodt said Wednesday.
The forum is hosting that content in the Kenai Watershed Forum Education Zone, formerly the Kids Zone. Aamodt said this year that content has expanded in scope to approach adults as well as kids.
To that end, the forum has partnered with a variety of other organizations to bring that material. She said that folks including the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, government agencies and private entities will all be participating. She said the breadth of providers serves to engage attendees with what’s around them, hopefully encouraging them to “appreciate what Alaska has to offer.”
For adults, that content is largely based on safety. One of the topics, Aamodt said, will be cold water immersion.
In addition to the Education Zone, there will be live music both days, including performances by the Tune Weavers, the Ridgeway Rounders, Big Chimney Barn Dance, Baker and Nervis Rex. Music starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Saturday’s music lineup opens with a square dancing session headed up by Big Chimney Barn Dance.
Aamodt said there will also be a variety of vendors and food options, as well as a beer garden featuring Kenai River Brewing, Kassik’s Brewery, Stony Creek Brew House and Cooper Landing Brewery.
Saturday morning ahead of the festival opening, the Run for the River 5K and 10-mile race will be held. The race will start at Soldotna Creek Park and continue north along the Kenai River. Online registration will be available until noon on Friday, or registration can be done in person at the forum office, at the Runner’s Feed that Friday night or before the race.
The Kenai River Festival is “the biggest event the Kenai Watershed Forum puts on each year,” Aamodt said. She said it was an opportunity to put the educational aspects of their work front and center, as well as to give the forum a high-profile public outing.
“We’re around and we’re doing projects,” she said.
For more information about the Kenai Watershed Forum or the Kenai River Festival, visit facebook.com/KenaiWatershedForum.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at email@example.com.