Over 6,000 Sign Petition Opposing Palmer "Colony Days" Name Change

Palmer Chamber Wanted To Call The June Event "Braided River Festival" A 1935-era Colony barn with Pioneer Peak behind it. (Photo,...

Palmer Chamber Wanted To Call The June Event "Braided River Festival"

A 1935-era Colony barn with Pioneer Peak behind it. (Photo, Country Journal) 

7,131 People Live In Palmer, U.S. Census Says 

If you spend any time around Palmer, you realize that there are two well-established concepts that are frequently used by locals to symbolize the town: "Colony" and "Pioneer." 

The high school is called Colony High School. The middle school is called Colony Middle School. There's a Colony Inn, and a street called Colony Way, and Colony Suites Hotel is on that street. The popular Noisy Goose Cafe out on the Glenn Highway has a second name: Colony Kitchen. There's a Colony House Museum, and a place called Colony Estates. And then there's the Colony Greenhouse, the Colony Church, and the Colony Construction Company. 

The second name that is very popular in Palmer, "Pioneer," is used by Pioneer Door Company, Pioneer Self Storage, Pioneer Grappling Academy, Pioneer Peak Monitoring, the Palmer Pioneer Cemetery, the Pioneer Peak Baptist Church, the Pioneer Peak Lodge... and the list goes on. There's even a Pioneer Home in Palmer. 

People in Palmer, Alaska really like the concept of remembering and celebrating the fact that Palmer was once a U.S. government-sponsored farming project during the Great Depression – a colony. And they like to feel that the colonists were "pioneers." 

So when the Chamber of Commerce announced this week that they were changing the name of the popular Palmer June "Colony Days" festival to  "Braided River Festival" it didn't go over well. 

Over 6,000 people signed a petition against it, and hundreds of comments flooded social media. The town has a population of only around 7,000 people, so there was obviously a bit of outside interest in the idea, too. 

The Chamber quickly reversed course. The name of the festival would stay "Colony Days." And the winter Colony Christmas events in Palmer would not be renamed "Hometown Holidays."  

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