About eight years ago when the organizers of the annual Sport, Rec and Trade Show were leaving the area, the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors stepped up to continue the event.
“We were looking to give back to the community and thought this would be a good way of doing that as well as keeping our name out there as realtors,” said KPAR board president Dale Bagley in an interview.
It was Kelly Martin’s second Sport, Rec &Trade Show as CEO for KPAR and numerous sources reported that it was the best ever for the event.
“The Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors was excited to host the 33rd annual Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec and Trade Show. We kicked of the show with the second annual VIP Beer and Brats night and had amazing attendance. Participants were treated to local brews and hot dogs and the positive response we received assures we will bring VIP night back for a third year. We estimate that close to 4,000 people came through our doors this year, there were 3,000 on Saturday alone. There were long lines out the door to come in and we had winners of $100 each night,” said Martin.
The chilly overcast skies may have encouraged visitors and the few rain drops didn’t discourage kids from stepping up to the trout pond to try their luck and catching a nice size trout.
“It was packed with kids all weekend and we had four big fish winners at the pond as well, which was sponsored by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association again this year and the fish were biting. We also had a Wall of Guns all weekend with many winners, and ‘Summer Fever’ hit spectators with the displays of RVs, ATVs, boats and motorcycles with several toys being sold over the weekend. We thank the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for the donation of all the fish as well as United Rentals for donating the pumps needed for the pond,” Martin said.
“We were also happy to be able to add horse, donkey and pony rides this year, courtesy of the Alaska High School Rodeo Association. We had education seminars both inside and out this year, and spectators learned how to tie flies, prospect for gold and much more. We were able to continue the Passport program and there was a grand prize winner of a big screen TV donated by Passport Sponsor Kenai Peninsula Satellite. New this year was a mini gun show in the upper mezzanine. The feedback was great, and we are already planning a large gun show downstairs around the whole arena for next year.
“We would like to thank everyone that attended. A Big thank you to our amazing vendors and our many volunteers from both the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors as well as the Kenai Performers and Soldotna High School Boys Basketball for sponsoring the Sports Gear Swap. We thank our Sponsors, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Kenai Peninsula Satellite, Kenai River Sportfishing Association and the Peninsula Clarion. A big thank you to Coca Cola of Alaska for beverage donations that kept our hard-working vendors and volunteers well hydrated during the show. A very special thank you goes out to the 2018 Sport Show Committee who spent countless volunteer hours working very hard to ensure the show was a success. We look forward to seeing you all again next year,” said Martin.
According to Kelly, next year’s show is already starting to fill up with this year’s vendors having until May 30 to reserve their space for next year. For more information contact Kelly Martin at the KPAR office at 907-262-1851.