The day after Thanksgiving officially marks the start of Christmas in Kenai.
Christmas Comes to Kenai is a two-day series of holiday festivities at various locations around the city.
It all starts with the arrival of Santa at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Santa will arrive, courtesy of the Kenai Fire Department, aboard a fire engine, giving his reindeer the opportunity to rest up for their big night next month.
After some cocoa and cookies, festivities continue with an open house and sleigh rides at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska.
“(Christmas Comes to Kenai) has been going on for over 20 years, but this year has the sleigh rides, and the fireworks are bigger and better than last year,” said Kenai Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janie Odgers.
Friday’s real treats come after the sun sets, with the annual Electric Light Parade at 6 p.m., followed by the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree, caroling and a bonfire.
This year’s parade will include a new added feature an appearance by the second “Queen of Kenai,” Emily DeForest.
According to Odgers, the queen is chosen by a chamber committee, based on her contributions to the community. DeForest, a retired Kenai librarian, was chosen because of her contributions to the library.
“We have the library we do because she fought tooth and nail for it,” Odgers said.
The annual arts and crafts fair at Kenai Central High School begins Friday and Saturday at10 a.m.
Another event scheduled on Saturday is the Snowmachine Charity Run, which begins at 11 a.m. (See related story page A-1.)
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