Regardless of whether the Home and Garden TV Channel cameras film it, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce is planning a Christmas celebration that's full of lights and action.
This year's traditional "Christmas Comes to Kenai" event promises to be bigger and brighter than ever -- with a little help from all central peninsula residents.
The event always set for the Friday after Thanksgiving is the community kickoff to the Christmas season. As in years past, Santa Claus will be on hand, arriving for the festivities at 10 a.m. by way of a Kenai fire truck. There will be carriage rides, cookies and hot chocolate. The electric light parade, the official lighting of the tree and bonfire, Christmas carols and the fireworks display are scheduled for the evening. An additional feature of this year's event will be a storytelling tour through Kenai's historic Old Town, which will be decorated with luminaries. The Salvation Army's angel trees also will be incorporated into the day's events, helping us all remember the true meaning of the celebration.
The day is a work in progress with other events also planned.
The folks at the chamber, however, are hoping to get people in the holiday spirit way before Nov. 29 by having people decorate for the holidays -- now. That way, viewing the holiday lights can be a part of a family's activities during the "Christmas Comes to Kenai" celebration. Plus, the lights brighten the dark days of winter. They not only serve to boost our spirits as we drive down the highway, but they also may serve to boost business. Those bright lights can be a warm invitation for people to come in on a cold, dreary day, instead of scurrying between home and office and hibernating for the winter.
The Kenai Central High School football team is making it easier to decorate by assisting businesses in putting up their holiday lights. All you have to do is call 283-4285; donations to the team would be appreciated. Prizes for the holiday decorations include energy credits from Homer Electric Association that will help defray the costs of all those bright lights.
We encourage all central peninsula residents and businesses to get in the spirit of the season with lights and good will. We appreciate the efforts under way in Kenai to make "Christmas Comes to Kenai" an even more memorable event than in years past -- even if the city does not end up in the spotlight on the Home and Garden TV Channel's "Small Town Christmases" show.
"Christmas Comes to Kenai" is a wonderful community tradition, and it's yet another way for residents and visitors alike to become hooked on the central peninsula's charms. There are lots of ways to become involved in the celebration; if you want get involved, give the chamber a call at 283-7989.
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