Levitt AMP Soldotna Music Series

City of Soldotna

Ten Wednesdays from now, Soldotna Creek Park will again be buzzing with the sights and smells of the Soldotna Wednesday Market.

This time, people can also expect the sounds they're used to. After a year hiatus, the daytime performances and evening concerts will return to the park in full force.

City of Soldotna

Though most social events on the Kenai Peninsula have been upended this summer, one staple is still going forward: the Wednesday Markets in Soldotna Creek Park.

The markets feature local crafts, foods, and other goods spread out in stalls all around the park. The first one is scheduled to begin this Wednesday at 11 a.m. Annette Villa, who organizes the markets, said the stalls will be a little more spread out than in the past.

Wednesday nights in Soldotna are going to continue their trend of bigger and better this summer, with an influx of $25,000 to support the Music in the Park series.

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce got word last Friday that they secured another grant from the Levitt Foundation to bring in bands from around Alaska and beyond. This is the second year Soldotna will be one of the 20 communities to be part of the Levitt AMP Music program.

Events and programs director Andy Heuiser says Soldotna fits well with what the grant program likes to fund.

There’s nothing left to do now but wait. After a busy final week drumming up votes to get another Levitt AMP grant for its summer concert series, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce won’t know until Dec. 20 whether they’ll be one of the 15 recipients in 2020.

“Looks like we ended up in 14th place. We were looking at it right before, like, seconds before it closed, so we were in 14th place when it closed down,” said Andy Heuiser, events and programs director at the chamber.

After a summer and fall of meeting on Thursdays, the Soldotna City Council voted last week to revert to Wednesday for its regular council meetings.
    The council voted this summer to move from Wednesday because it coincided with the Levitt Amp Soldotna Music in the Park series. Many council members wanted to attend the concerts, and so the meetings were moved.
    The change back to Wednesday was suggested by Vice Mayor Paul Whitney because of certain conflicts on Thursdays peculiar to the fall and winter.

The popularity of Soldotna Creek Park, with its music stage and ample room for vendors and fans, is evident to anyone who’s tried to find a parking spot in the vicinity on a Wednesday evening.

Some nearby businesses welcome off-hour use of their lots for park events, but Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen says others would rather not, and as such, the city is helping them out.

  On this week's Kenai Conversatoin, host Jay Barrett welcomes Shannon Davis and Andy Heuiser of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. The wide-ranging discussion covers the Concert in the Park series, fundraising and how so much gets done with such a small staff.