Beauties, beasts and more at Kenai Peninsula State Fair

No one has lasted eight seconds riding Stubbin’ Post, a notorious Canadian bull featured in the rodeo at this year’s Kenai Peninsula Fair, Fair Grounds Coordinator Lara McGinnis said.


“He’s going to be the bull to ride,” she said. “He’s ferocious.”

The fair is Friday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it features magic, livestock judging, comedy and juggling, live music, food, and more. 

The first round of rodeo is at 6 p.m. Friday, the event titled as Beauty and the Beast.

“The beauty are the barrels and the beasts are the bull riders, and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Two of the other rowdier bulls are Frostbite, another bull from Canada, and Monkey Bones, she said.

“Those three bulls are bulls to be reckoned with,” she said. “They’re the bulls that the cowboys want to ride.” 

The rodeo’s grand entry is Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., and scores from both the days will be averaged for first place. 

This year ADA handicap ramps were installed in rodeo bleachers, a $70,000 investment which McGinnis said she thinks is the “biggest, most exciting thing” in the fair.

Others are excited about another fair fixture and have been posting repetitively on the fair’s Facebook page.

“Everybody keeps coming back with fair food, fair food,” she said. 

Blooming onions, roasted corn on the cob, barbecue, roasted turkey legs, stuffed baked potatoes are a small sample of what is available at the fair, she said.

Food vendors include Hot Dog A’La Carte, Smoke House BBQ, Poncho Nacho, The Chocolate Gypsy and Starvin Marvin’s Pizza, to list a few. 

The 8th annual Backwoods Girl Competition, which is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, is a sport for spectators, according to McGinnis.

The 10 women competitors are vying for a chainsaw, which McGinnis dubbed as “Wild Thing.”

McGinnis estimates each contestant will take five minutes to compete all five objectives. 

They will take care of a baby — “not a real one, mind you,” McGinnis said — fry an egg, pack water, stack fire wood and light a fire. 

“And who ever does it the best and the fastest wins a chain saw and the title ‘Backwoods Girl,’” she said.

“In terms of entertainment and what’s coming to the fair, man, we’re on fire,” she said.

Canadian Comedian Juggler Paul Issak is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Issak has traveled around the world, McGinnis said.

“He eats fire; he juggles fire; he does all sort of crazy Houdini stunts and he’s just phenomenal,” she said.

The fair is at Mile 136 of the Sterling Highway, Ninilchick. Adult tickets are $10, senior and youth $5. With the donation of non-perishable food, kids’ admission is free. Rodeo admission is $2. 


Dan Schwartz can be reached at


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