Soldotna is named after nearby Soldotna Creek. It was officially incorporated as a town in 1960.
With its central location, Soldotna is a good place to "home-base" while exploring the Kenai Peninsula.
The Kenai River Festival is a free annual three-day event held in early June. It grew out of the Kenai Watershed Forum's desire to provide a free, fun setting for the community to celebrate the river that is central to the livelihood of the local community. At the festival there are opportunities to learn how to give back to the river by keeping it healthy and productive. Legendary festival highlights include 20 foot long magical Luq'A the salmon, pioneer salmon dinners, Run for the River 5/10K race, free live music riverside and more than 20 free children's activities. The Kenai River Festival is brought to the community by the generosity of local businesses and organizations. More than 10,000 people attend each year.