Who said you can't mix business and pleasure?
Industry Appreciation Day will begin at noon Saturday at the Kenai Park Strip and offers a time for Kenai Peninsula residents to mix, mingle and have fun with members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough's three major industries oil and gas, tourism and commercial fishing.
Those in attendance will be able to enjoy a host of outdoor activities, music and food at no expense, while celebrating the accomplishments of the companies in these industries.
"There's going to be a lot of fun things to do," said Jack Brown, borough business development manager and event organizer.
These events include a fishing net round-up contest for all ages and a frozen T-shirt contest for the kids.
"They're frozen and kept in a cooler," Brown said of the T-shirts in the youth contest. "Kids have to unravel the T-shirt from the ice and put it on. The quickest time in each age group wins."
There will be three age groups and winners will receive one of three bikes. Area companies will sponsor more booths with activities and games.
The U.S. Air Force band Top Cover will be on hand to provide musical entertainment, and, of course, there will be food.
"We're going to have Kenai Wild Salmon, and Tim Navarre (co-owner of three peninsula Arby's restaurants) will be grilling hamburgers," Brown said.
The day of activities is sponsored by the borough to allow the community and community leaders to lend a hand of gratitude for the jobs and commerce the industries bring the area.
Brown and former peninsula resident Aaron Goforth originally began the annual celebration in 1991 to combat what Brown described as a feeling of animosity toward peninsula-based oil and gas companies following the Exxon Valdez incident. The commercial fishing industry and tourism became part of the celebration in later years.
Borough Mayor Dale Bagley, Kenai Mayor John Williams and Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey will attend.
Unlike last year's event, Brown said the number of government officials attending will be limited to local residents.
"This is a nonelection year," he said. "We expect there is going to be very little interest in politics."
But he did predict one big prize and one big surprise.
"We're going to have a drawing for a giveaway to Las Vegas," Brown said. "And we're going to have an announcement about the Arctic Winter Games."
8 a.m. to noon: Booth setup
Noon: Opening ceremonies and food service begins
12:15 p.m.: Present-ation of Colors by Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Young Marines
12:30 p.m.: Music Top Cover (USAF band)
1 p.m.: Chili Cookoff Contest
1:15 p.m.: Introduction of VIPs by master of ceremonies Bill Popp Sen. Tom Wagoner, Rep. Kelly Wolf, Rep. Paul Seaton, Rep. Mike Chenault, Borough Mayor Dale Bagley, Bor-ough Assembly President Pete Sprague, Kenai Mayor John Williams and Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey
1:45 p.m.: Presentation of industry awards
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Drawings and music
3:30 p.m.: Las Vegas vacation drawing
3:30 p.m.: Closing remarks
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