State fair open for fun

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2008

The Kenai Peninsula State Fair will return this weekend, and organizers say this year's event will be the biggest and best one yet.

"Everything is coming together and it's going to be fabulous," said fair manager Lara McGinnis.

Fair-goers will probably notice a new addition to an older structure, which McGinnis said is the first step in multi-year plan for the fair to take on a more "frontier-like" appearance.

"We have totally remodeled the exhibit hall and I'm really excited about that. We worked with the workforce development group and their instructor Jerry Bernhardt from Nikolaevsk. They built a new barn with a great authentic store front.

"We'll have an iron worker there making horse shoes, doing branding and other old-time stuff. We'll also have Kenai Kate's Old Time photos there. She has a real pioneer, frontier feel to all her photos," she said.

McGinnis said there would also be new attractions for the youngsters.

"We've expanded our isle of fun to include the 'Leap Frog Play Place.' There will be a licensed daycare provider set up with lots of fun activities for children from ages 2 to 6. It will cost $5 to come and play as long as you want, and there will be spin art, a duck pond, dress up and many more fun activities," she said.

In addition to all the new things, many staples will be returning to this year's fair.

"The rodeo will totally rock this year. We had an amazing show on the 4th of July and the fair show is always a great finale. We will be introducing barn tours. We will have three tours a day. We will also be introducing our 'Egg-straviganza' exhibit with fun facts about chickens and eggs, which will include homemade incubators and live fowl," she said.

The Backwoods Girl Competition will also be back.

"This is always a fun competition. Women can come and see if they have what it takes to be an Alaskan woman. They have to haul water, stack firewood, start a fire with only three matches and fry an egg without cracking the yolk, all while carrying a baby," McGinnis said.

There will also be numerous vendors hocking their wares.

"We're packed on vendors. We have more than 150 vendors, and a no duplication policy, so no two booths should be the same," she said.

Some of the vendors will have some good eats and sweet treats, too.

"We have excellent eats. We'll have Susistna Shorty's cheesecake in a cone, Pat Pollard's Gourmet Ice Cream, which is the yummiest ice cream on a stick, 4-H will be baking potatoes, the American Legion will have rib-eye sandwiches, and there will be cotton candy and other goodies," she said.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. today and Saturday. It will run from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children 6 to 12 and seniors. Three-day and family fun passes are also available. For more information call 907-567-3670.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at

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