60th Kenai Peninsula State Fair goes wet & wild with fun

It’s not the sunshine that brings people from all over the world to the Kenai Peninsula, it’s the fun they can have here regardless of the weather.  And there are old timers who would say you just can’t have a fun Ninilchik State Fair with out a little rain.  If rain then is the measurement of fun the 60th Ninilchik State Fair broke all the records when it came to fun. “It was a record breaking year at the Kenai Peninsula Fair.  We had the lowest attendance in history on Friday.  Many people said it was raining sideways, but I believe it was raining upside down as well. We had more water here on Friday then Tustamena Lake,” reported Fair director Laura McGinnis, “Okay I’m exaggerating a little. Now that I’m on the other side, I can joke about it, but all in all it was a great fair.  The junior Market Livestock Auction did set sales records and as always the Kenai Peninsula came out to show their support. I always brag on how much this community loves their fair and this weekend they showed it.  We had great attendance on Saturday, despite the rain and Sunday we were packed.  We had over 20 entries in our parade on Sunday,” she said. 

“Once again the businesses and individuals came out to support 4-H and our kids,” said retiring 4-H director for U of F Cooperative Extension Service Nancy Veal. “One of the mothers asked me ‘Should we put rain coats on the kids when they go in that rain to sell their animals?’ and I said no, these are good Alaskan kids and they just charged out there and got soaked to the skin and good and muddy but did a great job and learned that you can’t always order your life you have to roll with the punches and do the best with what mother nature may give you,” she said. 

For the first time since the inception of the “Backwoods Girl” championships the event had to be canceled due to the rain according to Laura McGinnis, “We had to cancel Arm Wrestling and the back woods girl due to weather, but our Alaska’s Got Talent show was great. We had 9 contestants. The winner was Conway Seavey and second place went to Jamie Fenton both will go to Palmer to compete in the state finals,” she said. Fair goers also enjoyed the pig races and rodeo events, “The pig races were a blast and the rodeo was incredible.  I have to tip my hat to all those cowboys that ride, rain or shine... 1st place for Bull Riding was Kenny Hacket and for Barrel Racing was Corey Wilkinson.

We had over 800 exhibits turned in for judging in open class and another 300+ for 4-H.  It was a great year!  Our gate was down, but spirits were up and all in all everyone enjoyed the fair,” reported McGinnis.  Parade winners included 1st Place Float - Ninilchik Senior Center 1st Place Theme - Ninilchik General Store Best on Foot - KDLL Whiz Banger marching band Managers Choice - Lindeman Family Best Motorized - Harley Riders (Kenai Chapter) Best Individual - Josiah Ronna Martin Honorable Mention - Ray Demoss and his 36 Chevy.