Palmer Colony Days

The quaint town of Palmer celebrates its historical roots every June and December, with Colony Days and Colony Christmas. These two events are among the most popular annual events in the Mat-Su Valley, and draw quite a crowd.

Palmer was founded in 1935 when more than 200 families relocated to Palmer from Midwest states, as part of the New Deal under FDR. They were given 40 acres, a barn and a weight allowance to move to Alaska, with the only stipulation being they establish a farming community. These historical roots are evident even today, as Palmer is the agricultural hub of Alaska and you'll find vegetable farms throughout the area. Cabbages, carrots and potatoes are the dominant crops, but farmers are producing a bevy of vegetables that are available at farmer's markets throughout the region, and in local supermarkets. 

Today, Palmer residents commemorate the founding with Colony Days, held the second weekend in June, featuring a parade, farmer’s markets, open houses, a popular 5-kilometer run and other community events. During the second weekend in December, Colony Christmas is a Norman Rockwell-like celebration featuring a parade of lights, hay rides, reindeer visit, craft fairs and more. Both celebrations are very family-friendly.