Many contribute to fun-filled St. Patrick's Day celebration

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The 13th Annual Soldotna St. Patrick's Day Celebration was truly a successful day enjoyed by many in the community.

Special thanks go to our major sponsors ConocoPhillips, Wells Fargo and HEA. These are just a sample of the great community-minded businesses we have on the Kenai Peninsula.

Parade: Special thanks to Mike Sweeney, our parade-leading Irishman, who started the celebration 13 years ago; to everyone who entered the parade, from the little kids with their homemade vehicles to the senior dancers, you were all terrific; to those who lined the streets to watch the procession; to the Soldotna Police Department who kept everyone safe for the parade and had fun doing it.

Dinner-Auction: The Soldotna seniors put on a great Irish feast. They served more than 100 pounds of corned beef along with all the fixings. Whenever called upon the seniors come through, the staff and volunteers at the center are awesome to work with. Norm and Barbara Blakeley (the auction team) are always willing to help; I hope you realize how much we appreciate you both. Norm and Barb make the evening fun and they are a big reason the auction is a success. A great big thanks to the businesses and individuals who donated and attended the auction. The auction funds the fireworks display, and we had the best auction ever. Special thanks also go to KC and the Bose Beat Karen Cowan for the Irish tunes and auction help. A great hand of applause goes to 11-year-old Aaron Hawbold, who is an outstanding Irish dancer and amazed the audience with his performance.

Fireworks: The grand finale fireworks display was enjoyed by many residents of the peninsula. Special thanks to Central Emergency Services for all their help and to Griz Smith (Fire Art by Griz) for another fantastic show.

We appreciate all of the coverage provided by the local media. Also, thanks to the volunteers and chamber staff who give beyond what is asked: Teresa Nicole, Robyn Sullens, Sammie Cole, Shanon Hamrick, Nita Fena, Erica Williamson, Rebecca Hanson, Iris Carrico and Elgin Glaves.

On behalf of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, we thank all who helped make this event the best ever and we look forward to seeing everyone next year.

Michelle Glaves, executive director

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

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