Onlookers await the passing of parade floats at the Progress Days Parade in Soldotna, Alaska on July 27, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Progress Days set to start Wednesday

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center has released its schedule for the upcoming Progress Days extravaganza, which starts Wednesday. It is the first year the festival will take place over four days.

Progress Days is a celebration of Soldotna’s population boom of the 1950s and 1960s, after settlers discovered oil north of Sterling at Swanson River. The city has commemorated the event every fourth weekend of July with a parade, which started in 1957.

Wednesday, Progress Days will kick off with the Soldotna Wednesday Market and Levitt Amp free concert series at Soldotna Creek Park from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Vendors who sign up for the Wednesday Market this week will get to have their spot at the park through Saturday.

Thursday, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank will host a donation drive, and vendors will be in the park from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. A presentation by a NASA engineer will be offered at the Challenger Learning Center, and later at 6 p.m. Hobo Jim will take the stage at Soldotna Creek Park for a performance.

Friday, the Soldotna Senior Center is hosting its summer bazaar event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Twin City Raceway will put on The Alaska Dirt Late Model Series from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Vendors and food trucks will be at Soldotna Creek Park all day.

Additionally Friday, singer-songwriter Tiffany will headline with L.A. Guns for a concert at Soldotna Creek Park. Tickets are available online at hooked-entertainment.com and are $30 in advance and $40, with an option for a $50 VIP pass.

Saturday, the annual Progress Days parade will begin at 10:30 a.m, and shortly thereafter from noon to 4 p.m. the Hutchings Auto Spa will host its Kaknu Cruisers Car Show.

In the afternoon Saturday there will be multiple kids events, including a Forever Dance and Diamond Dance show from 1 p.m. to 1:40 p.m., Hobo Jim kids day in the park from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and a Division of Forestry kid safety presentation from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Alaska Dirt Late Model Series will race again from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and the Progress Days rodeo will start at 3 p.m.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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