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Our Progress Days

Posted: August 5, 2013 - 9:33am  |  Updated: August 5, 2013 - 9:44am

Past, present and future are as bright as the weather.

On behalf of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff, we appreciate everyone who volunteered their time, sponsored the event, entered the parade, the patience of those who live and work along the parade route and all who came to join in on the festivities.

Chamber staff of January Yeager, Tami Murray, Katie Jacobson, Maile Hanson and Rebecca Hanson did a wonderful job organizing the event and the volunteers. We cannot thank all the volunteers who went above the call of duty.

Parade line-up volunteers- Ryan Kapp, Robyn Sullens, Mary Hart and Ashliey Purcell. Lined up, organized and coordinated the parade. Thank you.

We would like to recognize the VFW for providing Color Guard and setting up of the parade judges stand which was provided by Lynden Transport; to the volunteer parade judges- Rick Davis, Becky Hutchinson, Jim Stogsdill, Dale Bagley and Brenda Hartman. Shanon Hamrick and Tavia Wilson thank you for your invaluable help at the judge’s stand and Merrill Sikorski, our Master of Ceremonies.

Thank you to Olivia Brewer who started the parade by singing the National Anthem, the City of Soldotna, the Sport Center Staff and the Soldotna Police Department for all their help and support. The Sports Center staff was always there and giving 100%, they are invaluable. Thanks to Stanley Chrysler for carrying our banner and to the Kenai Peninsula Borough for the use of their building, parking lot and power.

Thank you to the over 40 vendors that came together to welcome the crowds after the parade to our location at the Soldotna Little League Fields. A big thank you to Guy Hayes and the Little League organization for being so accommodating in the use and care of the fields for our community. Thank you to Robert Ruffner as the parking director. Thanks to the Soldotna Equestrian and Rodeo for sharing the space. We heard time and time again about the convenience to attend both the rodeo and Progress Days and location was very well received. Thank you to the community for sharing in the celebration of Soldotna’s 54th annual Progress Days. Alaska Waste for supplying a dumpster and Udelhoven, Chris Cruickshank and HEA for hooking up additional power at the fields.

The Dutch Oven competition was a great addition to Progress Days several years ago, it is growing, adding new ages and many new competitors. The growth would not be possible without Nels and Carla Anderson. The volunteers in the Dutch Oven area were: Janet Pope, Sarah McAlpine, Andrew Rogers, Matt Wilson, Mary Hart, Steve Horn, Stan Steadman, Omar Alvarez, Melodie Symington, Dave Patat, Josselyn O’Connor and Brenda Hartman. Thanks to prize sponsors of Sportsmans Warehouse and Dairy Queen.

New to Progress Days this year was incorporating ‘Sawfest’, a chainsaw carving competition in its 7th year with Scott and Sandy Hanson at ‘Town of the Living Trees’. This year we had five carvers pleasing the crowds with their talent and skill. This year’s carvers were: People’s Choice winner Eric Berson of Sterling, Sawfest Founder Scott Hanson, Derrick Stanton of Kenai, Jamie Roxenberger of Wasilla and Carmen West of Hatcher Pass. Sponsors of the event were

Stihl Inc., Ron’s Rent it Center, Tesoro, Odie’s Deli, The Duck Inn, and Hot Dogs A’ la Carte.

The local entertainment of this community is enormous. A few of the local talent preformed and pleased for the crowds throughout the event. They were: Melissa Glaves, Conway Seavey, Jessica Lopper and Hobo Jim. Thank you all.

We would like to recognize our Community Partners: BP, ConocoPhillips, Fred Meyer, Kenai River Sportfishing, Central Peninsula Hospital, City of Soldotna, ERA Aviation, Apache, Udelhoven Oilfield Services, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Stanley Chrysler, Hilcorp, Providence Imaging Center, Lynden Transport, Wells Fargo Bank, First National Bank, Lambe, Tuter & Wagoner CPA’s, Homer Electric Assoc., Tesoro, Kenai River Guides Assoc., Aspen Hotels, Arby’s and Sweeney’s Clothing. Media Partners- KDLL, Peninsula Clarion and the Redoubt Reporter.

Without sponsors it would be difficult to fund these wonderful community events.

As you can see, it takes the community and many volunteers to have such a successful event annually. Thank you all for celebrating Soldotna’s progress.

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