Vendors from all over Alaska and the lower 48 converged at the Central Peninsula Sports Complex the first weekend of May this year for the 29th Annual Sport Rec & Trade Show. According to Melissa Duffy, chief executive officer for the Kenai Peninsula Assoc. of Realtors, the organization that sponsors the show, the variety was greater than ever before, “This year we were really excited to have vendors joining the show from across the state as well as Florida, Arizona and Georgia. Once added to our local businesses, it made for a great selection of booths for everyone to enjoy. As a Sport, Rec and Trade Show we like to offer a wide variety of options so that there is a little bit of everything, appealing not only to outdoor sports advocates and outdoorspeople, but to the general public and kids as well. This year we really feel like we were able to accomplish that goal. It was also our first year being able to have food vendors at the event, and we were excited to welcome Big Daddy’s Pizza, Firehouse BBQ and Alaskan Sweet Things,” said Duffy.
With the perfect weather all weekend long, the show featured many outside attractions including a kid’s archery event which was put on by Sportsman’s Warehouse and live music from 150 Grit during the Sport, Rec & Trade Auto and Truck Show on Sunday. “People really seemed to enjoy the outside vendors and events this year. We were excited to have anchors and crew from KTUU Channel 2 News spend the day with us on Saturday, as they make their way across Alaska visiting cities for what they’re calling a ‘Road trip Across Alaska’. Many attendees were excited for the chance to meet and take photos with Jackie Purcell and others on hand from the station. Our Trout Pond event had a rough start due to the extra warm weather on Friday, but by Saturday the kids were catching beautiful trout, the size of which even grown-ups would have been proud to catch. Little two year old Journey of Soldotna caught her first fish ever and that was fun to see. Once again, we appreciate the opportunity provided by sponsorship from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association and donations from CES and Alaska Fish and Game,” she said.
Keeping Alaska’s Playground safe was the theme of the Alaska State Troopers booth which was the first booth to welcome visitors inside the sports arena, “This year we are focusing on boating safety with children and adults alike,” said Sgt. Acton, “We have the Kids Don’t Float program focusing on getting kids in the right size jacket as well as helmet safety that includes kids on bicycles, motorcycles and four wheelers. We also handed out whistles for the kids here at the show which can be an important part of safety whether they be on land and lost or on the water as a signaling device.”
The new passport program was also a big hit this year according to Duffy, “Our Grand Prize winner, Jackie Trigg was thrilled to learn she had won the 51” Television sponsored by Kenai Peninsula Satellite. We also gave away three $100 daily cash prizes sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Association of REALTORS, and over 60 door prizes donated by show vendors. We greatly appreciate our show exhibitors and all that attended for helping us make this show another successful community event. The show just isn’t possible without our generous sponsors so a big thank you to The Peninsula Clarion, KSRM Radio Group, Peninsula Powersports, Alaska Communications, Kenai River Sportfishing Association and Kenai Peninsula Satellite.