Peninsula residents attend the annual KPBA Home Show at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex as seen here in this undated photo. (Courtesy of Kirsten Raye)

Peninsula residents attend the annual KPBA Home Show at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex as seen here in this undated photo. (Courtesy of Kirsten Raye)

40th annual KPBA Home Show will showcase Kenai’s past and present

This year’s theme fits with the 40th anniversary of the event

The Kenai Peninsula Builder’s Association is gearing up for its 40th annual Home Show, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Kirsten Raye, executive officer for KPBA, said that this year’s event is set to be the biggest one yet. For the first time in the event’s history, the upper mezzanine of the sports complex will be used to accommodate the more than 120 booths that will be present.

The Home Show is organized every year by KPBA with the help of sponsors such as Spenard Builder’s Supply and other KPBA members. It is billed as the biggest trade show on the Kenai Peninsula, and vendors in every area of homebuilding will have booths displaying their latest products and services. Besides vendor booths, visitors can expect door prizes, a shed raffle and various activities for kids. This will also be the first year that food vendors will be at the home show, so those who come for the day won’t have to leave halfway through for lunch.

The show also has a different theme each year, and this year’s theme fits with the 40th anniversary of the event: “Humble beginnings and strong foundations; the Kenai Peninsula – built upon for decades.”

Raye and KPBA have teamed up with the local historical societies to highlight ways that the peninsula has changed over the years. A “Then and Now” presentation will be screened during the home show that will feature photographs of original storefronts and dirt roads side by side with their contemporary counterparts. In between the historical photographs will be ads and commercials from local businesses and KPBA members.

In addition to the main theme, vendors at the home show will focus on showing how to prepare a home for the later years and how to create a safe space to care for an ailing loved one. “Often when we buy a home in our 20s or 30s, and we want it to be our forever home, we don’t give a lot of thought to all the things that will come up as we get older. Building ramps, widening doorways … there are things we can do to make that home work for you in the long run,” said Raye.

Raye said the theme is important because it focuses on how much the Kenai community has developed over the decades, as well as how much growth is still to come. Raye became the executive officer of KPBA in May of last year, and has used her experience in the IT industry to modernize the association’s online resources and increase its social media presence.

Raye is also looking to increase the capacity of KPBA’s scholarship program, which currently offers four $1,000 scholarships every year to young people who wish to attend a trade school or other vocational training. Raye said she hopes to raise awareness of the scholarship as well increase the amount of money available for the program, and a booth will be at the home show to offer students and parents more information.

FEMA will also have a booth set up to provide assistance to those still needing disaster after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that occurred last November. The home show will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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