PALMER— The city of Palmer is decking the halls and getting ready for the annual Colony Christmas weekend. The Palmer-centric plethora of festive events begins Friday at 10 a.m. and continues through Sunday.
“These are my favorite times of the year because it’s a winter event in Alaska. The whole town is lit up with lights. Tons of people come out. We have a winter parade, which is pretty cool. There’s tons of reasons but it’s just cool to see so many people come to Palmer in December to support our businesses and support these events.” Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce board president, Ailis Vann said.
Friday kicks off the Colony Christmas festivities at 10 a.m. with a craft fair at the United Protestant Church, the Festival of Trees, gingerbread house drop off at the Pioneer Home, and annual Pick Your Discount Tree at the Gallery.
There are 18 Palmer businesses participating in the Festival of Trees event this year, according to Vann, and eight trees. Attendees can purchase tickets for a chance to win the trees they want to set up in their home in the raffle. All proceeds go towards the Mat-Su Special Santa program.
The Colony Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair starts at 12 p.m. at the Palmer Train Depot. Toward outside downtown Palmer on Friday the Mat-Su Experimental Farm will host a holiday themed open house from 4 to 6 p.m., and the Glenn Massay Theater will be showing “The Alaskan Nutcracker” at 7 p.m.
Saturday features the Parade of Lights and a day full of events.
The parade starts at 5 p.m. “on the dot” according to Vann. She said that this is the second year the parade will use the lighting of the famous water tower as a cue to start.
The tower lighting also signals the end of the annual Running of the Beers “5ishK” race, which still has open spots. Anyone interested in registering for the race can do so at Bleeding Herat Brewery, Active Soles, or Alaska Picker.
Sunday is the wrap up day for Colony Christmas with several cozy, Christmas events like the Colony Christmas Cribbage Tournament at Klondike Mike’s at 11 a.m., a performance by the Alaska Celtic Pipes and Drums at the Palmer Library at 2 p.m., Holiday Social and Desert Contest with live music provided by Earth 2 Travolta at the Palmer Depot from 5 to 7 p.m.
“There’s just really awesome energy in Palmer this weekend,” Vann said.
All three days of Colony Christmas will also be a chance for holiday shoppers to participate in new tradition for downtown Palmer, Shop Palmer. The chamber created Shop Palmer to help small business around town with their holiday sales while giving shoppers incentive to visit as many stores as they can, collecting stickers on their passport for a chance to win a $1,000 Visa gift card.
Each $10 purchase gets a sticker and once someone reaches $100 and fills their passport, they can enter their name into the drop box at any of the participating locations for the grand prize, to be awarded Dec. 21 on Facebook Live.
Each week leading up to the grand prize, the chamber will draw a participating merchant’s name, who in turn will draw a customer’s name for their drobox for a prize from their store (minimum value of $20). Their name will go back in the box and they will still be eligible for the grand prize.
For a full list of events and schedule visit palmerchamber.org and it will be on the home page.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org