After the lack of winter weather canceled many of the traditional Peninsula Winter Games events, like ice slides and carvings, Mother Nature granted a little snow for the 39th Peninsula Winter Games and out came the kick sleds and ice bowling events with squeals of children having outdoor winter fun in Alaska. “Yeah Mike Crawford of the Tsalteshi Trails who with only a few hours’ notice got out the kick sleds and coordinated the races,” said Michelle Glaves, retiring executive director for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. “The snow arrived just in time, but we were ready snow or not. Fred Myers was in the sports arena with ice a cookie, The Study did an Amazing Race, Soldotna high volunteers painted hundreds of kid’s faces, Sportsmen’s Warehouse taught archery, Jumpin’ Junction had an obstacle course and the Food Bank had free ice cream for everyone at lunch and over 1,200 corn dogs were given away by volunteer employees from Crowley who sponsored the free lunch and dinner The winner of the kid’s MONOPOLY tournament, that 52 registered participants, was Briley Morton of Soldotna Elementary who also won the Amazing Race,” she said. Morton became the Monopoly Champion without ever owning Boardwalk or Parkplace, but had the lucky shoe as her board token. Asked if she was planning a career in real estate Briley replied, “I don’t know.” And regarding her winning strategy she also replied “I don’t know! Just lucky.” All tournament participants went home with a MONOPOLY game of their choice and Champion Briley also went home with $50 of real money. Other Table Winners were Leah English, Drew Cox, Matthew Lewis, Morgan Lemm, Matt Hagel and Gracie Buss.
The Bird TLC of Anchorage had planned to come down for the event with several live raptors to display but according to Tami Murray of the Soldotna Chamber they didn’t want to take a chance with the weather, but hope to bring the raptors back to next year’s Peninsula Winter Games. After serving 1,200 corn dogs for lunch Crowley volunteers turned around and fed nearly 1,000 folks dinner which was followed by a fantastic fireworks display. “We had lots of great volunteers, from handing out game bags, to cooking and serving corn dogs. It took over 40 volunteers to make this happen and we appreciate them all! Special thanks to the crew at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, with an already busy day with a hockey tournament and the Brown Bears adding in the Peninsula Winter Games on the same day was an amazing feat,” said Murray.