The last day of the first month of the New Year may have been one of the most perfect winter days the Peninsula has ever seen. Certainly the most perfect day that the Peninsula Winter Games have ever been held. "We've had it all, from -20 to drizzly rain, but we're Alaskans and we've always had a fun time. But today was just perfect! All the way around - not too cold, no wind, clear skies, and nothing but sunny smiles on the kids faces," said Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michelle Glaves. "I'd like to take credit for the weather today, but then I'd have to take the blame for the -20, so we'll give Mother Nature a really big thank you for today. Last night it was starting to rain a little and we were pretty worried, but she came through for us with this perfect day," added Michelle. By all accounts, the big winter event that included the Native Youth Olympics (NYO), that were held separately at Kenai Middle school, was a huge success! Twelve teams from around the state competed in these unique competitions, which made this the largest NYO ever.
At the Soldotna Sports Center, the main venue for the annual Peninsula Winter Games, the Kid's Carnival was jam packed with excited kids and their parents. "Over 1000 folks came out to enjoy winter at its finest. They loved the games like ice bowling, put on by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, the puck shoot and the kick sled races both assisted by the Kenai River Brown Bears, snowmachine rides courtesy of Arctic Motor Sports, face painting with artists from SoHi and Skyview, an ice-a-cookie opportunity compliments of Fred Meyer and also a children's wood project brought by Home Depot. And of course the favorite this year for everyone large or small, young or tall, was the super ice slide created for the PWG by our local ice carving champions," said January Yaeger, events coordinator for the Soldotna Chamber. As always, thanks to the event sponsors, lunch and dinner were free for the kids, with over 800 hotdogs being chowed down in record time, according to Yaeger. "The day of activities culminated with a fantastic display of fireworks that wowed the crowd!" she said.
Ever since the Arctic Winter Games were held on the Kenai Peninsula, the Native Youth Olympics have become a PWG tradition. Held at Kenai Middle School this year's NYO's were the largest in its seven year history, with over 150 athletes from 12 teams competing in the 3 day event. While the games and fireworks may be over for another year, as long as the weather stays cold, the PWG Ice Carvings will be an attraction around the Central Peninsula. "There is a list of locations available at the Chamber of Commerce in Soldotna that the public is encouraged to stop by and pick up. You can be sure to see all of the carvings around town, and by having your card marked at the businesses, you will then be entered in a drawing to win a free ticket on ERA Aviation for a flight between Kenai and Anchorage," said Yaeger.
"The Soldotna Chamber as facilitator for the Peninsula Winter Games would like to especially thank our main sponsor, Conoco Phillips as well as our other sponsors Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, Alaska USA, The Peninsula Clarion, Aspen Hotels, Chevron, HEA, Peak Oilfield Services, KDLL and BP along with the many, many other sponsors and volunteers. We would also like to thank the community for all your support! It still is, and always will, be about the kids," said Glaves.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.