Summer solstice on the Kenai Peninsula

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015 5:10pm
  • News

There is no shortage of choices for celebrating the longest day of 2015 on June 21.

Three main events, The Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival, Nikiski’s annual Family Fun in the Midnight Sun and the Solstice Revue at Diamond M Ranch in Kenai will fill the weekend Saturday, June 20, through Sunday, June 21, with family-friendly and adult-oriented festivities.

Locals and out-of-towners can expect new twists in the traditional entertainment provided by Kenai Peninsula communities.

Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival

Dawn Campbell, festival co-chair, said to look forward to business as usual for the nearly four-decade-old event that supports the Moose Pass community.

The event, which started out as a spaghetti feed in 1978 has morphed into a festival that is brought together will all hands on deck, Campbell said.

Community members volunteer and donate supplies to help pull off the festival that has paid for the community hall and fun events year round in the town of roughly 300 people that stretches from mile 15 to mile 16 of the Seward Highway, she said.

Music, crafts, food and local art will keep attendees busy through out both days.

Saturday is a big day for musicians and the people who love to listen to them, said Campbell. A group of Moose Pass locals, Pretty Damn Close Band, will kick off the series of shows starting at 12:30 p.m. and will play past 9 p.m. that evening, she said.

During the day, children’s games will help keep the tikes entertained, and after 5p.m., those older than 21 can really enjoy the beer garden set up on the grounds, Campbell said.

Sunday, the annual auction and raffle will round out the event, Campbell said. There is plenty of camping nearby for people hoping to attend both days, she said.

Diamond M Ranch Solstice Revue

Expect new faces and new fun at the Solstice Revue, a revised version of the festival that’s been held in the Central Kenai Peninsula for more than a decade.

The event will go from 12 p.m. through 12 a.m. Saturday, and start up again at 1 p.m., lasting until 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and free for kids under 12 on Saturday, and is free for everyone on Sunday.

This year, Justin Rousseau, a Trapper Creek local and one well experienced in organizing community events, aimed at entertaining audiences of all ages.

Face painting and old-time picnic games like sack races can be expected to keep the kids busy, while parents enjoy the Barbeque or live music, Rousseau said.

The acts are a mix of hyper-local, Alaska-local and Lower 48 musicians, Rousseau said. The headliner, Ghost Town Gospel, out of Oakland California will be bringing their Punk-Folk sound to Central Kenai Saturday, he said.

Sunday offers attendees the chance at impromptu involvement in gospel music, which will be the main musical style played through out the day, Joanne Martin said. All proceeds made Sunday will go to Matti’s Farm, a future project aimed at eventually providing a stable sanctuary for the Central Kenai community’s at-risk youth.

Family Fun in The Midnight Sun

The largest annual event in Nikiski, and a 30-year staple of the community, starts at 12 p.m., Saturday.

Admission is free and comes with the chance to win prizes that will only improve community summer fun, said event organizer Rachel Parra. Grab a ticket at the door for the end-of-the day raffle, which will start at 4:30 p.m., she said.

Access to a swath of local vendors from across Central Kenai Peninsula will kick off the festival held in the field adjacent to the Nikiski Community Recreation Center. A variety of children’s games will follow shortly after at 1 p.m. Admission is free, and game tickets cost $0.50.

Troubador North will be playing throughout the afternoon, as attendees cycle through carnival games, including a dunk tank, munches on food, including hot dogs and funnel cake, and view a variety of local artwork, Parra said.

People come out from all over the Kenai Peninsula to attend the community event, Parra said. It is one of the best chances to get out and socialize, she said.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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