To many, the summer solstice simply means the brightest day of the year, but in Nikiski it also means food, games and entertainment.
It's all part of the annual Family Fun in the Midnight Sun event put on by the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area, North Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the Nikiski Fire Service Area.
The free event is Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Jason Peterson Ice Rink, next to the pool in Nikiski at Mile 23.4 on the Kenai Spur Highway.
"It's an old-fashion community get-together," said recreation director Karen Kester. "The event focuses on community. We use it as an opportunity for people to come out and get to know each other, and local nonprofit organizations use it as a fund-raiser."
The event will feature many age-appropriate games with prizes for the winner in each age group.
"We'll have a crawling race for really young kids. We'll also be doing a three-legged race and a balloon race, where the kids have to toss water balloons to their partners," Kester said.
She said the latter event is always fun because inevitably a few balloons burst, saturating the unlucky recipient of the toss.
A volleyball net will be set up for those looking to dig their toes in the sand and bump and spike the ball in a little friendly competition.
There also will be a five-mile walk-run for those looking for a little more of a cardiovascular challenge. Proceeds from this event go to the Nikiski High School cross country team. Registration for the run is at 9 a.m. and the race begins at 10 a.m.
A three-on-three basketball tournament also will be held and registration begins at 10 a.m.
The Nikiski hockey team will host a "Shoot the Puck" contest for kids. This event allows children to make their best slap shot on a plywood goalie and test their skill and accuracy.
A summer festival wouldn't be complete without hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and cold drinks. The Cook Inlet Lions Club will sell grilled goodies at the event as part of their fund-raiser.
For those with more of a sweet tooth, the hockey team will sell elephant ears a fried bread treat. The Nikiski Senior Citizens Center will sell homemade pies and ice cream.
Throughout the event, entertainment will be provided by area musicians.
Kester said around 4 p.m., as things start winding down, there will be a drawing to give away family prizes such as canoes, tents and a trampoline.
"We wanted to give away things themed to encourage families to play and recreate together," she said.
The only catch is you must be present to win a prize.
For more information about Family Fun in the Midnight Sun, call 776-8800.
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