Colony Christmas is a festival that Palmer, Alaska celebrates every year. It highlights an important part of Alaska history.
In the midst of the Depression, the federal government looked for programs to help those who were suffering the most. The Matanuska Colony was one of many projects to move farmers to better situations. 203 families from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan were chosen to start a farming community in the Matanuska Valley north of Anchorage. They moved to Alaska in 1935, and most succeeded in establishing farms despite supply shortages and errors in management. Those modern-day pioneers are responsible for the town of Palmer and the farming community we have today. For more information on the history, see Explore North’s article at
Colony Christmas is Dec. 11-13 this year. Events include cookie and gingerbread contests, an evening parade of lights, fireworks, a triathlon, and a canine weight pull. It should be fun! 🙂 For more information, see the Palmer Chamber website at