Community events welcome in the Christmas season

Local merchants share their wares during the annual Bidarki Holiday Bazaar

Cordova’s Christmas festivities kicked off on the evening of Dec. 2, with the arrival of Santa Claus, in a sleigh accompanied by the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department, making a bold entrance with lights flashing and sirens squawking on their fire trucks.

The Cordova Chamber of Commerce welcomed all at  5 p.m., with hot cocoa and other treats. Christmas carols were sung by the Cordova High School Choir.

At Santa’s command, the towering Christmas tree was lit at 5:45 p.m. sharp, to the cheers and applause of onlookers.

The majestic tree, put into place by Micah Renfeldt, and Jerry and Vicki Blackler of Alpine Diesel, was decorated by Cordova Electric Cooperative employees.

At 6 p.m., the doors opened for the annual holiday bazaar at Mt. Eccles Elementary School, to let in the throngs of shoppers gathered outside, hoping to be among the first to gaze upon the locally-made treasures.

The Cordova Parks and Recreation Department and Bidarki Recreation staff  begin preparing months in advance for the annual holiday market, which attracted 30 vendors this year.

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Tables and booths offered everything from crafts to holiday décor, and many things to eat.

There were furs, Alaska Native handicrafts, fine jewelry, clothing, hand-knitted scarves and hats, hand painted wooden bird decoys, handblown glass holiday globes, wooden signs made from reclaimed pallets, infused oils made from locally harvested plants, all types of baked goods, chocolates, and fermented foods.

Other booths and tables were manned by National Ocean Sciences Bowl’s members selling tickets for their fundraiser, Pizza Palooza, Girl Scouts selling fresh boughs and Christmas wreaths, local photographers’ and other artists’ fine art prints and cards, and the chance to have a photo taken with Santa.

There were also food tables featuring waffles with all the trimmings, more baked goodies, breakfast burritos, breads and soups at the Close-Up fundraising table, and Italian sodas, to name just a few.

Christmas concerts were in full swing at the high school and elementary school this week and Cordova churches will continue to hold bake sales and mini-bazaars up until Dec. 25.

Local businesses will stay open late every Friday up until Christmas, with extended holiday shopping hours.

Merry Christmas, Cordova!

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Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson
Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson is a staff writer and photographer for The Cordova Times. She has been writing in one form or another for 30-plus years and has had a longstanding relationship with The Cordova Times starting in 1989. She's been an Alaskan since 1976 and first moved to Cordova in 1978. She's lived in various West Texas towns; in Denver, Colorado; in McGrath, Cordova, Galena, Kodiak, Wasilla, Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska and in Bangalore, India. She has two children and three grandchildren. She can be reached at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @alaskatoindia.