Solstice party made possible by volunteers’ long hours

Posted: Monday, October 16, 2006

Solstice, the longest day of the year, June 21 was celebrated with the annual Music and Art Festival, a fund raiser for KDLL public radio.

The Kenai Senior Connection sold cinnamon rolls and hot coffee to the vendors setting up their booths. ConocoPhillips set up their tent cover over the flat bed stage donated by Weaver Brothers Trucking in minutes. Allen Auxier and KDLL volunteers erected the tent, loaned by the Kenai Watershed Forum, to sell brews by Kassiks Kenai Brew Stop. Coca Cola donated products and the bright red wagon. United Rental also made tents available in case of rain. Dustin Aaronson and the Knock Out Sound gang prepared to send out the “sounds of celebration” throughout the “Pit” at the Diamond M Ranch.

Soulution opened the music show, followed by The Possum Pickers from far away Florida, then locals Rob Justice, Rocking G, and The Mabrey Brothers. Robin Hopper from Chugiak sang to us about the pleasures of living and playing in the 49th state. The Couzins entertained us, then 60/40 from Anchorage. Very talented locals again entertained us — Sarah Superman, David Edwards-Smith, Savant, Flora and Fauna, the Wagner Logic and just as sprinkles began descending from above Joe Ray Skrha closed out the very successful evening.

Most of the vendors reported successful sales and some already plan to come next year. Those hawking their wares were Far North Glassworks, Morgan Williams, Melody Daniel, Ken Lang’s Corn Wagon, Rebecca Jorgensen and the Nikiski girls volleyball team, Cook Inlet Academy Mission Team, Kenai New Life Assembly of God, Laone Benton, Gifts from Mother Earth, Kathy Gauden, Kenai Senior Connection, Inc., Robert D. Olson, Sr., Liz Chase, Ila Treat, Chuck and Penny Nettles, Mary Roesing, Claire Huffman, Ridgeway Farms, The Winds Got it Kites, Kathy Mattas, Soldotna Silver Salmon Swim Team, Karen Lu Art, Body, Mind and Spirit, Hermanas, and Alaska C and C Horse Adventures.

Music, food and art vendors plus activities especially designed for children — the Jumping Castle, ring toss and other games were a huge success. The carriage rides and horse rides were added events. There was also a cow milking contest, a turkey poop drop contest and a cow chip throw contest.

Events like this don’t just happen! It takes cooperation for scores of volunteers. Thanks to the staff and the Diamond M Ranch, mostly made up of volunteers working off their summer residence site, who worked several days on the Solstice preparation — Chuck and Linda Bose, Alice Milmoe, Elliott Robinson and Alan Schrdepfer, Joanne and Jim Terrell; Rachael Anderson, and all the Martins — Carrol, Blair, Ronna, DeAnne, Josiah, Matti, Darius, and Sonora, Lisa, Ariana and Nicole. A special Thanks to long time friend and former 4-H leader Helen Darrow, Preceptor Pi Sorority sisters, Etta Mae Near, Kelly Smith and Gwen Preston and her husband John.

Thanks to Grant Aviation for donating a Kenai/Anchorage round trip plane ticket won by Laone Benton.

Thanks also the the crowd; we’ll see you again on Thursday, June 21, 2007!

JoAnne Martin

Diamond M Ranch


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