This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
Now in its 67th year, the Kenai Peninsula Fair is slated to bring three days of classic carnival rides, pie eating contests, pig races and more to Ninilchik this weekend.
Tiffany Sherman, the Kenai Peninsula Fair’s new manager, said the fair has already received a record number of exhibit entries, ranging from larger-than-life vegetables to baked goods to homemade jams and jellies.
The annual event will be hosting the same popular events from the fair’s past, including the parade, but with new twists. This year, the parade will take place inside the fairgrounds.
There will be live music and entertainment throughout the weekend. Hobo Jim takes the stage on Friday and Seward-based band Blackwater Railroad Company will play Saturday. Colorado-based Americana band Grant Farm and California-based acapella group 4th and Main are headlining Saturday and Sunday.
Other entertainment includes Dan the Sword Swallower and Don the Magician.
Sherman said there will also be a thrift store on the fairgrounds this year, filled with donated items. All the proceeds go to towards keeping up the fairgrounds. Donations are still being accepted and can be dropped off during opening hours.
There will be plenty events attendees can participate in too, like the egg toss, fish toss, pie eating contest and a T-shirt tie-dying station.
A small, new feature of this year’s fair is a collection of painted rocks scattered across the fairgrounds for people to find.
“The community painted a whole box of rocks that we hid all over the fairgrounds,” Sherman said. “Basically, when you find a painted rock, you take a picture of it and upload it to the painted rocks Facebook page, and then you hide it somewhere else. It’s fun to see how far they travel.”
Sherman said fair-goers might also find some geocaches, a small container geocache users hide and seek using a GPS and other navigational techniques.
The Alaska’s Got Talent contest — a competition for singers, comedians and hypnotists — will take place Friday night. Attendees can also watch the Western-style rodeo on Saturday and Sunday.
Children from across the peninsula have been raising pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens, steer and other animals for the 4-H Junior Market League auction, which takes place noon on Saturday and is open to everyone.
The fair will be open from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday.