Christmas Comes To Kenai

Christmas Comes to Kenai1

Christmas Comes to Kenai

The “Christmas Comes to Kenai” festival is an annual tradition in Kenai, Alaska that invites everyone in the community to revel in the holiday spirit. Between the official Santa float, lights parade, and local art fair, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

This free, family-friendly event is hosted every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. 

(Source: Brittany Brown / Kenai Chamber of Commerce)

From Humble Beginnings to Holiday Extravaganza

“Christmas Comes to Kenai” was first created by Peggy Arness, former Executive Director of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. Harry Gaines joined Arness as Santa Claus, handing out candy canes to the local children who came to share their Christmas wishes with jolly, old St. Nick. It wasn’t long until Anita Necessary started handing out homemade cookies to the children waiting in line — a fun and tasty tradition that she upholds every year.

After forty years, the “Christmas Comes to Kenai” festival is an opportunity to spread holiday cheer, while showcasing the creative spirit of our local businesses and artisans. 

You and your favorite friends can enjoy the Kenai Fine Arts Guild Arts and Crafts Fair, the Electric Lights Parade, a fireworks show, and so much more at Kenai’s yearly Christmas festival. Thanks to our spirited residents and generous sponsors, “Christmas Comes to Kenai” is always a day to remember. 

(Source: Brittany Brown / Kenai Chamber of Commerce)

Santa Claus Comes To Kenai

The “Christmas Comes to Kenai” festival kicks off with a visit from Santa Claus. Starting in the morning, families are invited to have their photos taken with Santa for free. You may also bring your own camera to take pictures. 

Kids can sit on Santa’s lap and share their holiday wishes. Your kiddos might also be surprised with a present from Mr. Claus himself — but you didn’t hear that from us! 

(Source: Kenai Peninsula Driving Instruction)

Electric Lights Parade In Old Town Kenai

Starting at 6pm , the Electric Lights Parade transforms Old Town Kenai into a holiday scene straight out of a Hallmark movie. 

Local businesses showcase their elaborately designed Christmas floats along Frontage Street for all to see. Floats of all shapes and sizes (and some even carefully constructed out of foam!) line up every year to delight and amaze hundreds of families in Kenai. 

Past parade winners include Denali Family Dentistry, Kenai Peninsula Driving Instruction, and Stichel Racing.

Attendees can also enjoy the free hot chocolate and cookies generously provided by our sponsors.

(Source: Hot Wire Foam Factory)

(Source: Brittany Brown / Kenai Chamber of Commerce)

For more information on this annual tradition in Kenai, click here.

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