It might not have been that perfect sunny weekend that draws thousands to Ninilchik for the biggest little fair in the country, but the weather didn't dampen the spirits of fairgoers. More buyers paid higher prices at the annual 4-H Junior Livestock auction then ever before.
7 year old Archie Minkler, of Soldotna soars skyward on the Bungle Bounce at the Fair.
"We really want to thank everybody who participated in the auction this year, the kids really appreciated it and were very encouraged with the results," said Bob Lamb who with the assistance of the Soldotna Rotary Club does all the record keeping of the auction.
Kay Lytle parades her reserve champion lamb before enthusiastic bidders at the Fair in Ninilchik.
There were several new buyers this year including Cornell Companies who donated the meat back to the Peninsula Food Bank. "We love to see new interest in the auction," added Lamb, "but we also appreciate the folks like Unocal, Agrium, 1st National Bank, Blakeley's Auction, and Diamond M Ranch, the regular tried and true supporters that come back year after year to support these kids."
Blue Ribbon chickens bring high prices at the 4-H auction
According to veteran exhibitor, entertainer, and the new Fair Manager Mary Clock, more than 10,000 visitors were expected at the ten-acre fairground rain or shine to celebrate the Fair's 50th Anniversary.
"What I noticed this year is that there seem to be more young exhibitors than there was the last few years, so that's a good sign that the younger generation is becoming more interested in exhibiting and hopefully that'll continue on," said Clock, who is already busy planning next year's fair. "There is an unbelievable amount of people that pitch in and help out and the Fair just couldn't happen without everyone." Fair founder Mary Hawkins was on hand for the anniversary and served this year as Parade Marshall.
14 year old Hillary Cameron of Sterling on her Arabian "Tara" and Mandy Best of Nikiski with her quarter horse "Shack" prepare to enter the ring for the State Fair Rodeo competition
At the close of Tuesday's Assembly meeting, Assemblymen Bill Popp humbly expressed his pride in being a blue ribbon recipient for his cucumber entry. However, Popp, gave credit to his wife for exhibiting his cucumber, and corrected the statement written about his apple orchard, "I do have a few trees that I hope someday may be an orchard, but I don't really have an apple orchard in my back yard as was reported," said Popp.
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