Christmas schedules vary for Valdez services
Plan ahead for smooth sailing through the upcoming holidays
Valdez Star photo
Tis the Season to pick up your packages from the Post Office as often as possible. The back is fuller than ever with Christmas parcels. Post Master Jeff Avery says the front counter at the Post Office will close at on Christmas Eve, but he will personally stay until at least 5 p.m. to help Santa
Attention Safeway shoppers: the only full -service grocery store in Valdez will close promptly at 6 p.m. December 24 and not reopen until 4 a.m. Thursday. So make sure you don't forget the cranberries for your Christmas dinner.
Putting the last minute touches on the holidays can often be a challenge, so it's important to prepare and know what goods and services will be available in Valdez the day before Christmas and New Years.
While the vast majority of all but the most essential services are closed on both holidays, it is a real mixed bag of services that will and will not be available the day before. Some services, especially state-run agencies such as the DMV and Job Services, are dicey, because Gov. Sean Parnell sometimes allows last-minute early closures of such offices. Last year he didn't.
Job Services will be closed December 30-January 3 according to manager Twila Beck.
The Post Office, which is fuller than ever with packages awaiting pickup, will close at noon Christmas Eve, but the package pickup door in the main lobby will be manned afterward by Jeff Avery, Post Master.
"We're going to close the service windows at noon Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve," Avery said.
City garbage pickup will be normal on the Eve of both holidays; those with Wednesday trash service will have curbside pickup on Friday, December 27, instead. The baler facility will be open until noon the day before Christmas and New Years Day. The same holds true for the week of New Year. Residential garbage service normally slated for Wednesday, January 1,
will get curbside pickup on Friday, January 3 instead.
"If anybody needs to get rid of something, there's dumpsters outside the gate 24/7," baler employee Louis Clark said.
This year, the Copper Valley Electric Association's business office will be closed the on both Christmas and New Years, plus the Eve of both holidays.
Village Pharmacy will be closed on both Christmas eve and Christmas day, but will be open 2-6 p.m. New Years Eve, but close all day January 1.
Valdez Medical Clinic will be closed December 24-25.
Copper Valley Telecom will be open until noon Christmas Eve, and closed for Christmas. The schedule and hours will be in effect for December 31 and January 1.
While both banks will be closed December 25 and January 1, Wells Fargo will close at 2 p.m. Christmas Eve; First National Bank Alaska will close at 1 p.m. Both banks will be open regular hours New Years Eve and closed January 1.
You might want to make sure you are loaded up with fuel. Both companies that supply diesel and propane are closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas day and New Years Day. Both will be open New Years Eve.
Valdez Star photo
The Valdez Star will be closed December 21-25. The next edition will be Dec. 31. The deadline for all copy in that edition is 10 a.m. Friday, December 27.
While both will be closed Christmas and New Years, City Hall and the Valdez City Schools district office have differing hours Christmas Eve. City Hall is slated to close for all but essential services, such as police and the fire department, at noon December 24; the school district office is slated to be open its usual business hours Christmas Eve, though it is likely many department heads and employees will take the day off or leave early.
"They usually let us go a little early," said Deanne Porritt, who says she stays until the end of the day, regardless.
As usual, Santa's elves will close the workshop at midnight sharp, December 24, while Kris Kringle will be on duty for a full 24 hours Christmas day.
"Merry Christmas to all," Kringle said from his workshop in North Pole, "We'll be seeing you in Valdez next week."