Family fun highlighted at annual Nikiski community event

Posted: Friday, June 16, 2000

For the fifth year in a row, the Nikiski community will gather again Saturday for a day filled with fun and activities.

Karen Kester, recreation director of the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area, said Family Fun in the Midnight Sun -- Nikiski Days is an event held to familiarize the community with the recreational area while providing the community with an opportunity to gather together. Kester said she sees similarities between the event and old-time community picnics.

The event emerged from two separate events that were held in the past, Nikiski Days, held by the North Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and Family Fun in the Midnight Sun, held by the recreation service area. Because the events were held at different times during summer, the groups decided to merge the two and hold one event, occurring on the third Saturday in June.

Activities begin with registration for the fun run at 9 a.m. and the three-on-three basketball tournament at 10 a.m. The fun run, starting at 10 a.m., is an event to promote family activities and participation. The cost is $15 and funds raised will go to support the Nikiski Middle-Senior High School cross country team. Medals will be presented to the top three men and women in three divisions. T-shirts also are available.

The three-on-three basketball tournament will begin at noon. The cost is $15 per team and funds raised will go to the Nikiski Middle-Senior High School basketball team.

Also at noon, booths, age-appropriate activities and live music will begin in the parking lot of the hockey rink to feed, entertain and inform.

There will be nine different carnival booths featuring a beanbag toss, shoot the puck, sucker pull, treasure chest, golf putting, cakewalk and a fish and duck pond. The carnival booths are fund-raising opportunities for area nonprofit organizations.

Other activities for six different age groups will occur throughout the day. A bicycle giveaway will occur at the end of each set of games for each age group.

The chamber of commerce will be on hand to inform the community about the benefits of the chamber.

House District 9 and Senate District E candidates also will be at the event.

At 2 p.m., the Cook Inlet Lions will crown the "Nikiski Grouch," a fund-raising idea started six years ago. For every quarter donated, a vote is cast. The grouch is usually chosen from four or five candidates.

At 4:30 p.m., the family prize drawings will begin. Coupons to enter the drawing will be available from businesses and booths throughout the day.

Winners must be present to claim prizes.

Last year, Kester said, approximately 800 people were at the event. Two-thirds of the group were Nikiski community members, the other one-third were other community members and tourists stopping by.

With all the plans in place, Kester said only one thing could make the day complete.

"Were looking for good weather," she said.

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