Contributed by A. Tucci
Every year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my family and I attend an amazing fireworks display in downtown Palmer. We bundle up in our warm attire, and drive the 5.5 miles to get a close parking spot. We stand in line at the popular coffee shop in the heart of Palmer to grab a quick hot chocolate and coffee. Then, we find a spot to spread our blankets and chairs amongst the thousands of people around us.
Last year, as I looked around at the crowd assembling, I was in awe. Do these people know the purpose of this firework display? Do they know who puts this show on? I wonder if it would change their opinion of this spectacular show if they knew the true meaning behind this event.
My husband and I began to talk about what a magnificent opportunity our local church had right at our finger tips. Why, do you ask? Well, the man who is responsible for the best firework show in the state attends our church.
His name is Stan Guthrie. He owns Country Cutts Salon in downtown Palmer. The meaning behind the fireworks is simple. It is a celebration. It is a celebration of his accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Stan accepted Christ on July 19, 1998 (7.19). He has always felt that God wanted him to celebrate his birth in Christ through a firework show. We all know that fireworks in Alaska, in July would be a waste of time and money. That is when he decided to celebrate the Saturday after Thanksgiving at 7:19pm!
This year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26, 2016, the 7.19 celebration will expand and start at 5:30pm at the Matsu Borough Gym with free live music, Stan’s video testimony, snacks and presentations from Safe Families for Children, Frontline Mission, MY House and Alaska Bible College. And as the tradition continues, at 7:19pm we will all congregate to the lawn outside the Matsu borough building to celebrate with Stan.
This year as I stand bundled up in my warm attire, with my family and my coffee in hand, I will know our community is celebrating together.