Perfect time for the Peninsula Winter Games

Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2010

While Friday's warm, wet weather may have made things a little slick, Saturday proved to be a gorgeous day here on the Kenai Peninsula. We hope everyone took advantage of the opportunity to get outside and enjoy some part of the Peninsula Winter Games.

The Peninsula Winter Games were conceived more than 30 years ago as a way to provide our community -- our kids in particular -- with a day to be active during one of the darker and colder months of the year.

Since their inception, the Games have grown and morphed. They've included everything from snowshoe softball to sled dog racing to Monopoly to a championship dog weight pull, and feature events and activities for kids of all ages. One of the most popular additions has been the ice carving competition, which draws artists from all over Alaska and around the world. Indeed, harvesting the ice for the competition has become an event in and of itself.

While it's great to see so many people out and about for the Games, we encourage our community to take away more than just an enjoyable afternoon.

First and foremost, use the games as a springboard to being active and engaged all season. Getting out and about and interacting with other people are the best cures for cabin fever, and the Games showcase just a few of the venues available. Why not host your own board game night or take the kids sledding or ice skating? Finish off a winter afternoon by baking a special treat together -- what could be better?

We also hope our community realizes just how much work goes in to planning an event like the Peninsula Winter Games. An event like this doesn't happen without a lot of community support, from the volunteers who make it happen to the support from the business community that makes it possible. So if you're looking for ways to be engaged and meet new people during the winter months, why not find out how to get involved with the Games?

In the mean time, if you didn't get a chance to check out the games on Saturday, you've still got time. The Native Youth Olympics run through today at Kenai Middle School, beginning at 9 a.m., and the ice carvings at the Soldotna Sports Center will be there for all to see until Mother Nature decides otherwise.

And after today, let's keep the spirit of the games alive by getting out and staying active, no matter the season.

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