Ninilchik to host spring carnival

Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Kenai Peninsula State Fair isn't until August— so help has arrived for those who can't wait three months to cut loose.

Fair officials announce Gettin' Jiggy for the Halibut, the first carnival at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds featuring Golden Wheel Amusement rides, games and vendors to the area in years.

The carnival is today through Sunday.

Organizer Lara McGinnis said she has been inviting the Golden Wheel Amusement company for 15 years. This year, the timing was right.

McGinnis said there will be 11 different rides accompanied by midway games, such as darts and a ring toss.

"There will be rides for teenagers, where they will spin upside down 'til they puke," she said. "Those were always my favorites."

McGinnis said an open mic night will enlist the talents of locals.

"Whether you play the keyboard or rap or whatever you do, bring it," she said.

McGinnis said now is the perfect time for a fun event because kids are getting anxious to get out of school and enjoy the sunshine.

"Our kids need something to do because they have so much energy to burn. They'll need to burn off some steam to make it through the last week of school."

The funds raised from the carnival will go to grounds beautification and securing headline entertainment in future fairs and events.

"That's the real goal," she said. "We have a stage equipped for huge events, but we don't have the funds to bring those acts here. We'd love to find a way to pull it off. It would be a huge draw from the whole peninsula."

McGinnis said the grounds could use some work, too.

Proceeds could help that effort.

"We also need electrical work, a water system upgrade, which is the secondary water source for emergencies," she said. "It takes $2,000 per month just to keep it running, and insurance for a place like this is high, too."

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