The City of Soldotna once again is lighting up the long Alaskan nights along the Sterling Highway and creating a Holiday Village atmosphere for Central Peninsula residents as well as north and southbound travelers. Decking the halls of Soldotna for the Holidays has become a tradition that calls for renovations from year to year, "The ornaments we originally got a long time ago have been wearing out, so we've been replacing six to ten a year on a cycle so over a period of time all they all get replaced and we continue to have good looking ornaments," said Soldotna City Manager Tom Boedeker. The ornaments will stay up through the dark winter months then once again City workers will be called on to take down the decorations, "We acquired our own bucket truck a couple of years ago that allows our crews to work around their other scheduled jobs rather than a rental truck. They really enjoy doing this for the people of the City, they enjoy this and putting up the flags in the summer and changing the banners to spruce up the town as the seasons change," added Boedeker.
Thursday night Soldotna Mayor David Carey officially welcomed Santa and Mrs. Claus to the Soldotna Senior Center and then threw the switch to light the giant Christmas tree in Parker Park. This year the decorations included the names of those who are serving in our armed forces during the holidays, "We have many people in harms way this year, and that is part of theme here at the Park where we have decorated the fence with the names of those who are serving in the military. Our prayers are for the safe return of all our men and women in the military, and we want to celebrate life and be glad that we are here. Life is good!" said Carey.
It was the largest turn out ever for Soldotna's traditional holiday gathering, where hundreds enjoyed an old fashioned ride in a one horse open sleigh compliments of C&C Stables and their new Clydesdale draft horse, King. The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and Agrium underwrote the Holiday event with refreshments catered by Isabelle's.
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