Fair set to jam

Pigs, pies, prizes: Peninsula event begins Friday

Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2006

Event organizers are hoping new fun comes with the new theme, entertainment, buildings and events at this year’s Kenai Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik.

This three-day event begins Friday at 10 a.m. and, after a six-year stretch of swine-related themes, this year’s fair falls under the banner of ‘Jammin’ with the Salmon,’ according to fair organizer Lara McGinnis.

“We wanted to go in a new and creative direction with the theme and this being a fishing community, we thought Jammin’ with the Salmon was apropos for the peninsula,” she said.

With this theme comes several related events in the fifth annual Fish Olympics, sponsored by Deep Creek Custom and Packing.

McGinnis said people — whether salty sea hags or greenhorned Cheechakos — can try their hand at fish filleting, lure casting and throwing a pink salmon as far as they can in the humpy hurl. There also will be a round hauling competition for fishermen to test their mettle.

Despite the fish theme, McGinnis did say, “We will have pig races again, though.” These squealing sprinters take to the track three times daily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

McGinnis said a new barn will allow for more exciting livestock presentations by 4-H Junior Market Livestock youngsters.

“We’ll have more room for kids to raise and display livestock. Normally we only have three Junior Market Livestock steers, but this year we’ll have nine,” she said.

On Friday, 4-H and Future Farmer of America will have several livestock judgings throughout the day and on Saturday the Junior Market Livestock auction begins at noon, followed by the auction buyers barbecue at 2 p.m. and an open-to-the-public barbecue at 4 p.m.

“We’ve got some killer music this year, too,” McGinnis said, listing Zilla, R.B. Stone, Casualty to the Cause and the Flying Other Brothers as a few of the bands.

“There’s also lots for the kids to do,” she said.

McGinnis said that, in addition to an expanded midway with more food and games, there will be a rock climbing wall, an inflatable obstacle course and a boxing ring where children can don inflatable gloves and “have at each other.”

For children, or adults looking to feed the kid inside them, McGinnis said there will be a pie eating contest at 1 p.m. Friday.

“We’ll have chocolate and vanilla pies. The winner is whoever eats it the fastest,” she said.

Anyone looking to burn a few calories after the contest may want to return on Sunday for the River to River Run. This 5-kilometer event crosses Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River. Sign-up is at 9 a.m. with the race starting 30 minutes later.

For more information on other events and activities at this year’s fair, call (907) 567-3670.

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