Nikiski Days has been a destination for “Family Fun in the Midnight Sun” for many years. At this year’s Nikiski Days the opening of the beautiful new Nikiski Community Playground promises to make the Nikiski Rec. Center a destination for family fun all summer long. “We are so excited to open this playground it’s been in the works going rather unnoticed to the rest of the Central Peninsula for about the last year and a half but we believe it won’t go unnoticed much longer. We have a lot of local flare on our play ground toys, we have an oil rig, a tree house, commercial fishing boat, bears and so much to offer the community and I think the Peninsula will be visiting us a lot more from now on. It’s never been about having a pool or rec. center or playground here, it’s been about creating a destination for the Nikiski community as well as the Peninsula and I think that’s what we’ve accomplished,” said Center director Rachel Parra.
While Parra expressed appreciation for the support of the Peninsula’s legislative delegation she lauded the community for their support, “Really it was the community that came out and did a lot of fund raising a dollar at a time, everybody wanted to give in some way or fashion and the community support was what made the project happen,” she added. Speaker of the House Mike Chenault was on hand for the official ribbon cutting along with Borough Mayor Mike Navarre and explained, “We were able to get some funding from the state and add that to the money that Rachel and the committee gathered from sponsors and individuals and they’ve put together a nice little park where kids and parents can come and enjoy it and know it’s a safe place to spend the whole day or just a few hours for many years to come,” said Chenault. Once the ribbon was cut the kids flocked to the new toys and the smiles on their faces and squeals of their voices was the greatest tribute to the community’s hard work.
The 2013 Nikiski Days also included a variety of other games and prizes that included bike and helmet give-aways. Greg Brown was happy to be a Dunk Tank target as he was earning funds for his missionary trip with the Star of the North Lutheran Church. There were pony rides and a duck pond and even a chance to meet and have a photo taken with “Crash” the reindeer. Those athletically inclined signed up for the 3 mile or 5 mile walk/run and everyone enjoyed the good old fashioned carnival atmosphere and fun food that is a tradition of Nikiski Days.