Ninilchik is a small town that lies on the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula on the Sterling Highway. The area was settled by a Russian Orthodox missionary and his family in 1847. Before the arrival of the Russian American Fur Company, Dena’ina Indians historically inhabited the Kenai Peninsula.
Today the town combines the rich Russian and Alaska Native heritage of the original families with those who have homesteaded or retired in Ninilchik. Signs in the area greet visitors in Russian, Dena’ina and English.
Ninilchik transforms into a bustling fishing destination on Memorial Day, the opening weekend of king salmon season. Area campgrounds are brimming with guests, and sport fishers take to the river to fish elbow-to-elbow with other anglers.
The town is rich with a treasure of razor clams, halibut, salmon and river trout. Various derbies keep fishers ready to catch the big one during the summer.
The commercial and sports fishing industries employ many during summer months. Thers are a number of local businesses providing fishing tours and charters.
The quiet fishing town changes again in early July during the Ninilchik Rodeo. Men and women from across the Kenai Peninsula come to take part in a parade, horse show, a livestock competition and varous exhibits.
The “Biggest Little Fair in Alaska,” also known as the Kenai Peninsula State Fair, is held the third weekend in August at the Ninilchik Fair Fairgrounds.
As the fireweed blossoms and summer leaves, Ninilchik returns to a quaint village of less than 800 year round residents.
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