Forget slush. Soldotna is green today with special events the Greater Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has organized honoring Saint Patrick's Day.
A parade begins at 4:30 p.m. at Bailey's Furniture and follows the Kenai Spur Highway to the "Y" at the Sterling Highway. Anyone is welcome to join the parade. To take part, line up in the Bailey's lot at 4 p.m.
A dinner is at the Soldotna Sports Center on Kalifornsky Beach Road beginning at 6:30 p.m. It features a no-host bar and family-style Irish dinner with corned beef and cabbage. Wade Hampton Miller will provide live Irish music. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12. Tickets are on sale at the Soldotna chamber office at the visitors' center next to the bridge on the Sterling Highway. If any remain tonight, they will be sold at the door.
An auction follows dinner at the sports center, starting at 8 p.m. Prizes include guided fishing trips, a getaway package for two in Homer, dinner cruises in Seward, a flight-seeing trip and numerous smaller items. People unable to attend the dinner still may attend the auction. Proceeds from the dinner and auction pay for the festivities and other chamber services.
Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. They will be fired off from the Little League fields. The largest display ever is planned this year, said Griz Smith, proprietor of FireArt by Griz Inc., which operates the pyrotechnics. This year's exhibit will feature at least 15 minutes of nonstop action, lots of noise and green shamrock shells custom-made for the event.
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