A child watches as her line and weight sink into the water at an Alaska Department of Fish and Game-stocked fish pond at the annual Sports and Rec Trade Show at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Sunday, April 29, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

A child watches as her line and weight sink into the water at an Alaska Department of Fish and Game-stocked fish pond at the annual Sports and Rec Trade Show at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Sunday, April 29, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Sport, Rec and Trade show celebrates 34th year

This year’s Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec and Trade Show is the biggest it’s been in over a decade, Kelly Martin, president of the trade show said. Martin is also the CEO of the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors, which has been hosting the show for the last 34 years.

Martin said the show has something to offer the entire family.

For the first time, the trade show will have an Alaskan Made Exhibit, which will showcase artwork made by Alaskans from across the state.

There are over 150 booths, Martin said, both inside and outside of the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

“This isn’t the kind of trade show where you just walk around from booth to booth,” Martin said. “Each booth has something interactive.”

The trade show has come along way in the last few years, Martin said. She said in 2016, the show was only half full and ready to be closed for good.

“The show was dying when I started,” Martin said. “We worked to build it back up. Now the biggest problem we have is the sports complex isn’t big enough.”

One popular staple of the trade show is the trout pond, which is a small pool of donated fish. Kids can have the opportunity to fish for trout. After kids catch their fish, they can take it over to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge booth where they will have a hook-to-table activity.

“At the hook-to-table, they will cook the fish right there for you,” Martin said.

Other activities include a rock wall, a moose-calling contest, football toss, mechanical bull and more, Martin said.

The Kenai Performers will also be onsite doing three comedy shows during the event.

For an even more exclusive event, the trade show is offering a VIP night on Friday. Only 500 VIP tickets will be sold. Ticket holders have the opportunity to see vendors and take advantage of special deals and giveaways not available during the rest of the show. There will also be a photo booth for the Friday night events. VIP tickets also include free wine or local beer and food.

There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to win prizes. The wall of guns will take place all weekend long, with a special gun to be won during VIP night on Friday.

“There’s a winner every hundred tickets,” Martin said.

Visitors don’t have to travel too far from the activities to find a bite to eat. Martin said plenty of food trucks will be onsite to feed trade show visitors.

“People can come and make a day of it,” Martin said. “No need to leave for lunch.”

The Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec and Trade Show will take place on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. General admission: $5. Seniors, students and military: $4. Kids under 10 are free. A special VIP Night will be hosted on Friday, April 26 from 6-9 p.m.

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