Just prior to the salmon runs on the mighty Kenai and Kasilof rivers, the recent Kenai Peninsula Sport Rec, & Trade Show had something for everyone looking to get ready for another great summer of fun on "Alaska's Playground" - the Kenai Peninsula. From the latest in camouflage sportswear available through Sweeney's Clothing, to youngsters hooking their first fish in the ADF&G Trout Pond, it was a festive weekend at the Soldotna Sports Center. More vendors than ever before participated in this year's event according to Terry Coval, show promoter for the last ten years. "This was the biggest show we have ever had, with 145 booths sold and over 95 vendors, so for the visitors there was much more to see in this year's show," said Coval. "My wife claims that the only reason I do the show is because it's my own private Toyland for the entire weekend," added Terry.
From the NRA eagle mascot "Eddie" who passed out hugs along with gun safety information for kids, to unique metal art objects and chances to help local non-profits by buying a chance to win outdoor-related prizes, there was something for the whole family to enjoy and get excited about at the event. New this year to the Sport, Rec & Trade Show was the Christian Sportsman's fellowship and prayer breakfast. "It was a great success this year and we're planning on doing again next year in conjunction with the Sportsman banquet on Saturday night," said Coval. After hitting record numbers last year, overall attendance was slightly less with 4,672 visitors passing through the doors of the Soldotna Sports Center. "That's slightly less than our average, but was consistent with other shows across the state. Many of our vendors reported selling out of product, so we're expecting a very good summer on the Kenai this year," he said. Plans are already underway for next year's event says Terry. "We've already got some great ideas from our vendors for next year, and from the moment we open the doors of this year's show, we are already looking at ways to improve and do things differently to make the show better for the coming year."
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