Kenai Peninsula fair returns this weekend

4-H club members guide their pigs around the barnyard during hog confirmation judging at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

4-H club members guide their pigs around the barnyard during hog confirmation judging at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

The Kenai Peninsula racing pigs will be running through a “Tunnel of Fun” at this year’s Kenai Peninsula Fair in Ninilchik.

The annual three-day event returns to the Ninilchik fairgrounds this Friday with a “Tunnel of Fun” theme.

“We have all our traditional events, the carnival, the rodeo, the pony rides,” Melissa Clark, the fair’s executive director said. “There is basically something for everyone.”

There will be live music all weekend long with headliners Austin Ellis and Megan Linsey, who were both on the television show “The Voice,” as well as Alaska’s own balladeer Hobo Jim.

Tickets to the fair are $12 for adults and $6 for youths and seniors, but are all inclusive and allow visitors access to nearly all of the attractions, excluding carnival rides.

“We’re not charging to see any of the entertainment, we really want to make this an all-inclusive king of thing,” Clark said. “It should be a lot of fun. … We really want to cut down expenses for everybody to let more people come in.”

This year’s exhibit hall, according to Clark, will be filled wall to wall with displays of local passions from the past year. The exhibits could include horticulture, flowers, food preservation, baked goods, sewing, needlework, ceramics, pottery, photography, woodworking, crafts, quilting, fiber arts, and Alaska Native arts and crafts.

“It seems like there will be more than ever,” Clark said. “People are enthusiastic and passionate about what they’re entering. … It’s a chance for people to enter what they’ve worked on or growing this year.”

The rodeo ring will be just as full as the exhibition hall, with the Alaska High School Rodeo Association organizing several activities throughout the weekend. The Friday night jackpot will begin at 7 p.m., the Saturday grand entry will take place a 5 p.m. and the Sunday grant entry will be at 2 p.m.

The rodeo association will also be organizing a pie booth to raise fund for the high school rodeo team.

“All the proceeds go to paying for our insurance,” Kathleen Kitson, the national director of the Alaska High School Rodeo Association and the secretary for the fair, said. “We pay insurance for every rodeo, to cover medical if anyone gets injured, so we’re selling pies and desserts. … It has traditionally been a pie booth, but we’re branching out to include more.”

The association will also hosting a performance on Saturday and a reining performance on Sunday morning.

“And we’ll have some demonstrations set up throughout the weekend,” Kitson said, including a roping dummy to practice on and some stick horse barrel races.

“We’re just going to do some fun stuff,” Kitson said.

The fair also welcomes local 4-H groups for the 4-H Junior Market League auction, which will feature pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens and steer for sale. Kids from all over the peninsula have been working all year long to ready their homegrown animals to bring farm fresh meat to the auction, according to Cassy Rankin of the 4-H North Road Rangers.

The auction is open to everyone and there will be a free barbecue for all buyers immediately following the auction, Rankin said.

“I’m really excited about the racing pigs,” Clark said, and the feeling is mutual.

The lauded spectacle will put the pigs to the test several times throughout the weekend, with races taking place daily at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The fair opens its gates on Friday at 11 a.m. and runs until 10 p.m. that night. On Saturday, the grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 9 .m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Reach Kat Sorensen at

More in News

A sign warning of a June 28, 2021, bear attack is placed at the head of the Kenai River Trail on Skilak Loop Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Federal wildlife officers seek information about early-May black bear poaching

Officials think the poaching happened near the east entrance of Skilak Loop roughly 2 miles from Jims’ Landing

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Ninilchik woman dead after Tuesday collision

The woman was attempting to cross the Sterling Highway from Oil Well Road when she was struck by a pickup truck

Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday in Soldotna. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Expect a lot from yourself and from others’

Connections Homeschool students accept diplomas at commencement ceremony

Graduates of Seward High School leave the gym at the end of their graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
‘Give people something to talk about’

Seward High School graduates 30

Kenai Police Chief David Ross speaks to Kenai City Council members about an ordinance that would repeal sections of city code that prohibit public sleeping and loitering and the city’s curfew on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai OKs repeal of loitering laws, curfew for minors

The policies, first enacted in 1978, are difficult to enforce and potentially violate citizens’ rights, according to the Kenai Police Department

Nikiski Middle/High School graduates throw their caps into the air at the conclusion of a graduation ceremony in the school’s gym in Nikiski, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nikiski graduates ‘will always be a part of each other’s stories’

The graduates celebrated their time together and took a moment to anticipate the bright futures that lie ahead

A seal pup rescued from near Kenai beach is treated by the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program on May 9, 2024. (Photo courtesy Kaiti Grant/Alaska SeaLife Center)
SeaLife Center admits abandoned harbor seal pups

Both seals were found abandoned and malnourished, and both were born prematurely

Caitlin Babcock, left, and other graduates enter Soldotna High School’s commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna sends off more than 140 graduates at Tuesday commencement

More than 140 students stepped off the Soldotna High School graduation stage… Continue reading

Most Read