Delightful start to Holiday Season as Christmas comes to Kenai...

Posted: Tuesday, December 06, 2005

 

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  Santa greets all the boys & girls waiting at the Kenai Visitors Center for a chance to share their Christmas wishes with him.

Santa greets all the boys & girls waiting at the Kenai Visitors Center for a chance to share their Christmas wishes with him.

If last week was any indication the holiday’s on the Peninsula are going to be bigger and better than ever. According to Assistant Director of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, Natalia Johnson more than 400 kids had a chance to enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and to share their wishes with Santa during the annual Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration at the Kenai Visitors & Convention Center. “It was a cold morning, but by the time we arrived at 10:30am kids were already lining up waiting for Santa to arrive,” said Johnson.

 

Leroy Heinrich & grandson lit the bonfire that kept spectators warm during Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration at Kenai Visitors Center.

The Jolly Old Elf arrived right on schedule thanks to the Kenai Fire Department who needed their ladder truck to fetch Santa from his reindeer drawn flying apparatus. “I gave my reindeer a little break today and caught a ride with those nice men and women of the Kenai Fire Department which was a great opportunity to remind everyone to keep their chimneys clean for Santa and to help prevent any fires this time of year,” Santa told reporters as he greeted the crowd.

 

C&C Horse Adventures gave free sleigh rides throughout the day at the Challenger Learning Center

Santa was assisted by Girl Scout Troop #623 turned elves for the day under the direction of Barbara Shipps. Elves gave away hundreds of candy canes compliments of Peterkin Distributors and served more than 40 gallons of McDonald’s hot cocoa. While Santa listened to each wish, Alaska C&C Horse Adventures gave old fashioned one horse open sleigh rides to families at the Challenger Learning Center. Then at 5:00pm the Peninsula Racing Lions starting lining up the floats for the Electric Light Parade, “The floats were bigger with more lights and decorations and we had a record breaking 20 floats entered this year,” said Kenai Chamber Executive Director Janie Odgers. Then just before the parade got underway Leroy Heinrich and his grandson lit up a grand bonfire that warmed observers and added to the enchantment as the Peninsula Players Victorian Carolers brought a touch of Christmas past to the celebration.

 

More Electric Light Parade floats than ever bfore delighted hundreds of all ages that turned out in the frosty night air during the Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration

At 8:00pm the honor of touching off the first of what was the largest fireworks display that Fireworks by Griz has ever ignited went to Kathy Romain, “We sold the experience at our Kenai Chamber fund raiser and it was purchased by the Soldotna Chamber and they raffled it off and our president Roy Wells won it back, but he was going to be out of town, so they drew again and Dale Bagley won it, but he was going to be out of town, so he gave it to Kathy Romain, a friend who had a pretty tough year battling illness, and Kathy had a ball setting it off. Our thanks to XTO Energy and the Chevron/Unocal employees for sponsoring the best display ever,” said Natalia.

 

Elf Angela Peterkin and 4-year-old Elisabeth (below) help out Santa during Christmas Comes to Kenai at the Kenai Visitors Center

1st Place winners in the Kenai Chamber Electric Light Parade were Snug Harbor Seafoods/Kenai Watershed Forum in the Commercial category, Kenai Senior Center in the Organization category, and Peninsula Winter Games in the Youth division.

 

More Electric Light Parade floats than ever bfore delighted hundreds of all ages that turned out in the frosty night air during the Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration

 

More Electric Light Parade floats than ever bfore delighted hundreds of all ages that turned out in the frosty night air during the Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration



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