Something magical happens in Soldotna every year during the fourth week of July. That’s when the town comes alive with Soldotna Progress Days—an annual community celebration worth planning your visit around. It’s a chance to meet locals and a whole lot of fun!
The party kicks off with the Wednesday Market—the weekly summer gathering of vendors and live music—but things really get going on Thursday, and events last through Saturday. You’ll find lots to do during the day as well as live music on Thursday and Friday night. And on Saturday there’s a big parade!
For more than 60 years, locals have been celebrating this event, which recognizes the population boom that happened with the discovery of oil on the Swanson River. It was an event that sparked industry, created jobs, and turned Soldotna from a tiny dot on a map into a developing community.
So come and join this historic celebration! You’ll find an exciting mix of delicious food for sale, as well as crafts from all over the state. Tap your feet to the tunes of an Alaskan balladeer like Hobo Jim. Bring the kids and look for a petting zoo and pony rides, and drop by the City of Soldotna booth, which hands out goodies like coloring books and Frisbees. There’s a community BBQ on Friday night at the Soldotna Historical Museum, a rodeo at Soldotna’s Rodeo Grounds, a car show, and a Dutch oven cooking contest. Check out exhibitions on fire safety, and enjoy talks by local experts for kids and adults. In other words, this is one event that’s not to be missed!