Once again wet weather plagued the Kenai Peninsula Fair in Ninilchik, but it didn’t hinder bidders from paying record prices at the 4-H Junior Market Livestock (JML) auction or Home Free fans from packing the fairgrounds Saturday night. The charity turkey brought in over $4,000 dollars this year with the winning bidder being Udlehoven Oilfield System Services with the winning bid of $1,200 the rest of the funds were “Ad-on’s” (After an animal is sold anyone at the auction is invited to give an “ad-on” for any amount to support the 4-H member) Every year 4-H JML sells an animal and contributes the proceeds to charity. This year 4-H member Katelyn Correa volunteered to raise the charity turkey and after the auction the board voted to contribute the proceeds back to the family to help Katelyn’s mother who is battling cancer. The final item of the JML auction this year was a pen of three chickens which brought $1,400 plus ad-on’s. “It was a lot of fun to be part of it this year and do the ad-on’s. I went through the barn and talked with each of the 4-H kids whether they had a steer, pig or chickens and every one of them I would ask what costs they had into their animal. They’d tell me to the penny, plus a lot of time they’d say and tell me what they were hoping to sell their animal for because they had already figured out their college fund and it was so impressive to meet these kids and seeing that they had a handle on the real world of finance plus pride in grooming and showing their animals and as an Alaskan each of them made me proud,” said Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, who attended the JML auction this year.
According to Fair director Lara McGinnis 6,021 people attended the fair this year, “It was a great fair!!! Record Gates, but sadly Friday was a bust with only around 800 people and less than 200 lbs of food for the food bank, but despite the weather it was our best fair in history – we packed the house on Saturday night for Home Free, I’ve never seen our lawn so full at the fair. It was awesome. Booking them was a gutsy move for the fair board, but it paid off in the long run and it was what we hope is just the beginning of some awesome future fair with great entertainment,” said McGinnis. With steady rain eight Backwoods Girl contestants lined up to haul water, stack wood, fry an egg and start a fire with only 3 matches while carrying a virtual baby. The winner of a new chain saw after all the wood was stacked and eggs broken was Rebecca Duncan, her daughter took 3rd in the fair’s Alaska’s Got Talent, 5 sided di took first and Katerina Sinenko got 2nd. Both will go on to compete in the 2014 Alaska State Fair competition on Monday Sept 1st.
The Fair saw its first queen this year with Miranda Martin taking the inaugural crown. She will be attending Rotary meetings and other events to encourage people to support and participate in the Kenai Peninsula Fair and will receive a $1,500 scholarship as part of her prize. Also for the first time at this year’s fair was a midway, “A-1 Midway was wonderful to work with and we are really hoping they come back. It will be contingent about their getting a long term contract with Tanana Valley Fair. If they do come back, we need some sponsors to help keep them coming. They didn’t break even, but they say that wasn’t why they came. They came, because they had heard our kids never got rides at the fair and that just didn’t sit well in their hearts. They are an amazing company, owned by and amazing couple. I really enjoyed my time with them,” said McGinnis. The fair is 90% volunteer driven with only one year round part time director, “If you would like to volunteer to help our little fair keep going and growing – contact the fair office at email@example.com or come to our annual meeting on Oct. 11th at 10am. Or follow us on Facebook to hear about all the great things we are up to year round,” added McGinnis. This year’s winningest pig was a tie between Alaska USA’s “Lightening,” LNG’s “Ellen GEE” and Geico’s “Maxwell.” “They were all super-fast! The pig races, as always were a huge hit,” she said.