Karen Kester, N.P.R.S.A Director, gets a soaking during Family Fun in the Midnight Sun celebration in Nikiski.
It may not have been a day for shorts and tank tops at this year's Family Fun in the Midnight Sun celebration at the North Peninsula Recreation Center, but for those hardy Alaskans and visitors who turned out, it was a day filled with wet and wild activities. "I think I've lost my karma, I just can't explain it any other way," said Karen Kester, recreation director for the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area. Kester has organized the annual event for the last 13 years, most of which have been under sunny warm skies, and says that while the sun is fun, the celebration is certainly not dependent on nice weather, "People should mark it on their calendar every year because rain or shine we're going to have family fun in the midnight sun every year, we just move the games and booths in under the ice rink and carry on, because we are the sunniest, happiest community in Alaska," said Kester.
Joshua Carina of Nebraska juggles and eats an apple inside the jason Peterson Memorial Ice Rink during Family Fun Days in Nikiski.
Many of the kids even got wet inside as they enjoyed the traditional wet sponge toss and water balloon contests. One visitor from Nebraska, 15-year-old Joshua Carina, helped himself to some free apples and started an impromptu juggling while biting an apple routine, "My youth pastor couldn't get the hang of it, so when I was 12 he handed me the book and said here if you can do it have at it," said Carina. The act fit in well among the many candidate booths where local politicians were explaining the best way to juggle issues in Alaska. Carina was visiting Alaska for the first time with his family and said the fishing was great.
Greg Harrington & Tom Janz dump 12,500 Scramblr entries into the drawing box at the Midnight Sun celebration in Nikiski.
Another highlight of the summer solstice celebration was the drawing for the grand prize winner of the Peninsula Clarion's Scramblr contest. Over 12,500 entries were dumped into a huge drawing box inside the Jason Peterson Memorial Ice Rink, and 5-year-old Bobby Young of Anchorage was selected to climb in the box and pull out a winner. Bobby came up with the entry submitted by Bobbie Blythe of Kenai for the $500 cash prize award. Runners up receiving a 3 month subscription to the Peninsula Clarion were James M. Fisher, Delma Moore, and Kenneth Bingaman. Plans for next year's Family Fun in the Midnight Sun celebration are already underway according to Karen Kester and she promises some surprises and new events that will take this Nikiski solstice tradition up even another notch.
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