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Have yourself a merry Colony Christmas

Downtown Palmer is ringing in the holiday season with long-standing tradition
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 7:50 PM AKST
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and a little cold weather isn’t stopping the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce from celebrating it’s annual Hometown Holidays Colony Christmas event this weekend.

“It’s a great family-friendly event. There’s a parade, there’s fireworks, It’s kind of like the perfect Alaskan winter event,” Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ailis Vann said.

Spread all throughout downtown Palmer are vendors, food trucks, contests and activities of all kinds to help get people into the holiday spirit. The three-day event kicked off Friday and runs through Sunday. Saturday is slated to be the busiest day of Colony Christmas with over 30 activities scheduled, including the annual Parade of Lights, which Vann says is a staple tradition.

“We do have at least 40 floats this year which is one of the biggest Colony Christmas parades we’ve ever had,” Vann said. “We’re really excited about that.”

The parade gets underway at 5 p.m. but Vann says it doesn’t last very long. Those making the trip to Palmer to see the parade are encouraged to arrive slightly early. The signal that the Parade of Lights is about to get underway is when the lights on the historic Palmer water tower will be illuminated. Following the parade is a fireworks display set up in the Palmer Public Library parking lot. This year the chamber held a coloring contest for kids under 12 years of age and the lucky winner will have the privilege of being able to “set off” the display.

“We got to tell the little boy yesterday who won, that he got to plunge the fireworks and he’s so excited,” said Vann.

Most of the events at Colony Christmas are free of charge, with a few exceptions, thanks to several sponsorships. Residents of the Valley or anywhere in Southcentral Alaska can travel to Palmer to make ornaments, play games, get some last minute shopping in or even trade in the bunny boots for some dancing shoes at the Ho-Ho-Ho-Down. Downtown Palmer’s Hometown Holidays Colony Christmas event will have it all this weekend.

For kids, there’s even word that Santa will be attending the event.

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