Brian Prather sits with Santa at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Brian Prather sits with Santa at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Santa comes to town

Nikiski rec center hosts Christmas celebration

Kids leapt with glee as they waited their turn to take holiday pictures with Santa at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.

The event was part of Christmas Comes to Nikiski.

Jackie Cason, the recreation supervisor at the rec center, said Saturday morning that people seemed happy to be able to gather in the community and bring their kids to see Santa.

Last year, Cason said, she wasn’t able to host a holiday event.

“I think people are really excited,” she said.

The event featured photos with Santa, as well as a craft fair, gingerbread house-making activity, and a gift-wrapping station.

Sasha Fallon, a volunteer who was wrapping presents on Saturday, said all donations made to the gift wrappers would be used to support the kids in the Nikiski Hockey Association playing for the Ice Dawgs, U8, U10, U12 and U14 teams.

Gift wrapping was available for both craft fair purchases and by drop-off. Fallon said the funds will help expand Nikiski’s hockey program.

“It’s pretty great, how it’s grown,” she said.

Down the hall, kids made gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and an array of candy, and artisans sold homemade items in the craft fair.

Hayden Barott was one vendor at the fair.

Her business, Sticks X Stones, features felt work.

Barott said she used to sew primarily, but didn’t want to operate machinery around her newborn.

“It’s more baby-friendly,” she said. Barott’s daughter is 14 months old.

The Nikiski Community Recreation Center is planning on hosting one more holiday event this month.

Folks are invited to gather for the “Great Holiday Cookie Exchange” on Dec. 22 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. People will be able to sell cookies, test other people’s baked goods and exchange their favorite recipes.

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

Sasha Fallon wraps gifts at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Sasha Fallon wraps gifts at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

An array of sweets were used by kids making homemade gingerbread houses at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

An array of sweets were used by kids making homemade gingerbread houses at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Adalynn Kouns makes a homemade gingerbread house at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Adalynn Kouns makes a homemade gingerbread house at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Felt art created by Hayden Barott is on sale at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello)

Felt art created by Hayden Barott is on sale at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello)

Hayden Barott sells felt art at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello)

Hayden Barott sells felt art at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Camille Botello)

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