Worldwide, people are celebrating a new century and a new millennium. Soldotna, the Kenai Peninsula's newest city, is no exception.
This year, the 40th annual Soldotna Progress Days focus on the community's exuberant and optimistic outlook for the years to come with the theme, "Racing into the Future."
The town by the river has grown in two generations from a creekside trail in the spruce forest to a commercial and administrative hub for the Kenai Peninsula. With its can-do citizens, the beautiful Kenai River and a strong economy, Soldotna is ready to take on the 21st century.
The town has already been named as the most wired small town in Alaska by Internet observers, and its new generation of students show great promise as they steamroll opponents in academic competitions and athletic contests. Just this summer, a team from Soldotna High School won an international trophy in a competition called "Future Problem Solving."
Soldotna residents -- and everyone else -- are invited to join in the fun of the annual community festival beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday.
The Peninsula Clarion joins Soldotna residents, businesses and community leaders in inviting you to celebrate Progress Days. The Clarion publishes this special edition each year to promote the celebration and look at some of the people and events that make Soldotna a great place to live, visit and do business.
Progress Days offers something for everyone. Check out the parade, the rodeo, the foot race, picnics, food, the senior citizens' bazaar, the children's field day and the fair next to the Peninsula Center Mall.
Progress Days events get under way on Friday with the opening of the Soldotna Senior Center's arts and crafts bazaar, quilt show, antique display and bake sale. The center is located at 197 W. Park.
The annual parade will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, with the lineup beginning at 9 a.m.
New events this year include a Children's Spectacular and some NASCAR thrills in miniature.
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