Kenai kicks off Christmas season

Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008

While many are cleaning up from yesterday's Thanksgiving feast, the next holiday is right around the corner.

No place is this more true than in the City of Kenai, where today St. Nick will make his annual appearance at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, thus kicking off the countdown to Christmas.

"Everyone is invited to join in the fun of Christmas Comes to Kenai, which will start when Santa arrives at 11:30 a.m.," said Tina Baldridge, executive director of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce.

Since parking a reindeer-driven sled is difficult, the red-suited chimney-slider will get a lift from Kenai Fire Department, arriving on a fire truck.

"He'll be there until 3 p.m. handing out candy canes and sitting on stage to listen to children's wishlists and to pose for pictures," Baldridge said.

Family's are welcome to take their own photos of a loved one on Santa's knee, but for those that forget a camera, Polaroid photos will be available for $1. There will also be entertainment and snacks for those waiting for their turn.

"The visitors center will be playing Christmas movies all day, and will be giving out cookies and hot cocoa," Baldridge said.

Later in the evening, the festivities will continue with the start of the Electric Lights parade at 6 p.m.

"This year's theme is 'Cinema Christmas,' so we are encouraging people to decorate their floats based on their favorite Christmas movies. There a lot of really great Christmas movies out there, so we're hoping people come up with some neat ideas," Baldridge said.

The parade will start behind the Uptown Motel, travel down Frontage Road, and then end at the Visitor's Center, where the floats will remain for judging.

"After the parade we'll have the tree lighting and we'll light the bonfire, which should be a big one this year. Then at 7:30 p.m. we'll have the grand finale with a fireworks display," Baldridge said.

As to how many people attend the event annually, Baldridge said she wasn't sure of an exact count, but the number is high.

"It's just a feel-good event, so it really brings the community together. It's one of the most family-attended events of the year," she said.

For more information on the Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration, contact Tina Baldridge at 283-7989.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at

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